3D Tech is slowly taking hold. Most TVs sold today support 3D in the smallest sense, with refresh rates of 120Hz or more. 3D can be found on cameras, phones, and game consoles, and this holiday is the best time to get into 3D if you haven’t already. And if you have some 3D hardware already, be it at your media center, your workstation, or even in your pocket, now is the perfect time to upgrade. Take a look at some of our favorite, must-have 3D hardware!
ASUS VG278 3D Monitor + 3D Vision 2
3D needs to make its way into the home, and while most new TVs support 3D in some respect, most computer monitors don’t. Yet, with smartphones and 3D cameras growing in number, handling all that 3D media is going to have to be done somewhere. That somewhere starts, and ends, with the computer. 3D monitors have been available for a few years, but the ASUS VG278 is the first with NVidia’s 3D Vision built directly into the hardware. No need for extra cables and accessories spewing across the desk, just a monitor and your glasses to enjoy all the 3D content you can get, right at your PC. And thanks to the larger 27″ screen size, the 3D effects are easier to see than ever. Add onto that NVidia’s latest version of their 3D glasses, the 3D Vision 2, and you get bigger lenses that cover more space and block more external light, and a better, lightweight design that is easier on the face for longer periods of play. At the same time they still fit over glasses, still last 10-12 hours of continuous use, and now charge with a MicroUSB cable, so your cell phone charger will work with the glasses.
LG Thrill (AT&T)
The Thrill is the second 3D-ready smartphone in the US, and the first to feature a Nintendo 3DS-like depth slider. Compared to the Evo 3D, the Thrill has some very neat 3D options, such as instantly turning 3D pictures and video into 2D, and automatically adjusting the depth when both shooting and viewing pictures. Plus it’s the only 3D-ready phone on AT&T, so if going into the 3rd dimension is your thing and you have a contract to fulfill/upgrade, the Thrill is your phone.
HTC Evo 3D (Sprint)
The HTC Evo 3D may be the only 3D smartphone on Sprint, but it’s also a powerful phone that easily replaces the very popular Evo 4G. It includes not only a handful of excellent features like a powerful processor, an improved 4G antenna and a more ergonomic design, but two 5MP cameras and the ability to shoot 720p 3D video. After we reviewed and enjoyed it, the Evo 3D is a solid phone, with or without the 3D. And the 3D is good to boot.
Playstation 3D Display + Extra Glasses
There are too many potential 3DTVs gamers can choose from, but only one that is built from the ground up for 3D gaming, and even more specifically, for the Playstation 3. The Playstation 3D Display may be small at 24″, but this 1080p TV has two things no other TVs have: SimulView and the Playstation guarantee. The latter means you know the quality is up to snuff (and in my time playing with it, that is absolutely true). The former allows for two players to wear their 3D glasses, watch the same screen, but see two completely different pictures. That’s thanks to the display’s 240Hz refresh rate, which can switch between two different pictures – one for each player – 120 times a second. That means no more splitscreen, and the 24″ monitor will suddenly seem twice as large for two players. The 3D effect really comes to live with scaling multi-leveled platforms and giant levels, and so many games on the Playstation 3 already have far reaching games like that. God of War 3, Infamous 2, Killzone 3…these are all games that really take advantage of the 3D effect, and with this display – built from the ground up by the Playstation team – you get every bit of that.
Nintendo 3DS + Starfox 64 3D and Super Mario Land 3D
I wasn’t sold on the 3DS for a long time, for several reasons: the 3D games weren’t up to snuff, there weren’t many games anyways, and the pricing was just obnoxious. Then games like Super Mario Land 3D, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Starfox 64 3D came out; the price dropped from $250 to $170; and now Mario Kart 7 releases on December 4th. Those new games combined, plus some crazy holiday deals (like finding the 3DS for as low as $100…good luck finding it!) are killer reasons to want Nintendo’s newest portable console.