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Monday, April 25, 2011

Toshiba's New Laptop Offers Glasses Free 3D

Toshiba's got a very cool notebook on the horizon. They've christened it the Dynabook Qosmio T851/D8CR, and it may well be one of the most unique Toshiba products I've seen to date. What's so unique about it? It's the first laptop that allows for glasses-free 3D viewing. Sounds pretty awesome, no? 
Let's take a closer look. 

The Tech

Let's start by examining how the Quosmio T851/D8CR(rather cumbersome name, isn't it?) actually creates the three-dimensional illusion before we look at some of the additional technology that the notebook uses. There's this method known as the "parallax technique". What this involves is sending a different image to each eye in order to essentially 'fool' the brain into thinking that there's depth where none exists. 
One problem with this technique- and one Nintendo's 3DS ran into- is that it's highly reliant on the angle at which it's viewed. Toshiba's attempted to eliminate this handicap. The onboard webcam has two functions known as "face tracking" and "active lens" which track the position of the user's eyes and face, and adjust the angle of the 3D image accordingly(The Inquirer). I'm not sure how this will be affected by the presence of multiple viewers- I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.
The laptop also features real time conversion of 2D to 3D via Toshiba's proprietary Spursengine image processor. This has the added effect of allowing two dimensional and three dimensional images to be viewed at the same time. (Engadget)

The Specs

The Dynabook actually sports some pretty decent hardware. Then again, this innovative new technology does seem like it might take a fair amount of processing power to pull off, so I suppose it shouldn't come as any great surprise. The Dynabook Qosmio T851/D8CR features the following technical specifications(Tablets and Smartphones, Geek With Laptop): 
  •  15.6-inch LCD screen,1920x1280 resolution
  • Core i5-2410M CPU (2.3GHz clock speed)
  • Nvidia Geforce GT540M Graphics Card (1 GB of Video Memory)
  • 8GB RAM
  • 750 GB HDD
  • BDXL-compatible Blu-ray drive
  • Digital TV tuner
  • One USB 3.0 slot
  • Three USB 2.0 slots
  • One HDMI slot
  • IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0+HS Support
Not bad. Not bad at all. Truth be told, this might make a halfway decent gaming laptop, specs-wise. Plus, it would be downright epic to see whatever game you happen to be playing literally jump off the screen. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. 

Final Word

Sadly, the Dynabook Quosmio is in the same position as Toshiba's new Regza tablet. While they've announced a Japanese release date, the international release seems to still be quite some time away. It's a near certainty that Toshiba will eventually release the Dynabook in North America and the UK; the unanswered question is when.
Since the Japanese launch is set for late July, we might be waiting for quite a while. And when it finally does release, it's not going to be cheap, either: Toshiba's setting the price at $2790.00 for the Japanese release. The price might eventually drop by the time we see the laptop become internationally available, true. Either way, though, you'll be paying a bit more for this notebook than you would for a run of the mill 15 inch.
Regardless of whether or not you feel the Dynabook is worth the cost, you have to admit that Toshiba's done something pretty awesome here. I'm looking forward to seeing where they go next.

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