Zalman came in to PC Advisor Towers this morning to show off a piece of gadgetry liable to get the gamer in your household – if not the gamer in you – in all of a dither. It is set to launch 3D LCD monitors starting at just £349 inc VAT.
That means real 3D in your living room or bedroom at a price that doesn’t require remortgaging the house or pleading for an extension on your student loan.
The Korean company better known for helping your overclocked PC keep its cool and remain discreetly unrattled while you thrash the hell out of your online foes spotted a corner of the market it could exploit in tandem with graphics card partner nVidia. The result is the £349 Zalman Trimon ZM-M190 and the 22in widescreen Trimon ZM-220W, which will cost around £429 inc VAT.
PC Advisor was treated to a demonstration of the larger 22in widescreen model this morning. We each donned a pair of severe-looking black-rimmed polarising glasses. (These give a similar stereoscopic effect to the laminated posters you could get in the 1990s which often required you to ingest inauspicious substances before the 3D wonders they contained swam into 3D life before your very eyes.)
In a suitably dimmed room we sat just so – you need to sit at a particular height for the 3D effect to work properly. Across a vertical span – ie, with several gamers or 3D movie fans crowded round the screen at once – there’s less of a problem, but we experienced at first hand the issue of limited viewing angles when one of our number crouched behind us was unable to see what all the fuss was about.
However, with polarising 3D glasses adorned and a copy of World of Warcraft on our screen, we were able to experience the thrills and spills of blue horned beasties coming at us seemingly through the screen itself – an experience that in my case gave me the curious sensation of being gently prodded just above the earbrows. Odd.
Zalman also showed how the quality of the 3D coding within the game itself is critical to the in-game experience. A demonstration of Painkiller: Overdose showed that weaponry we held in our hand was not quite as firm or as sharp as in a true virtual reality environment. Nonetheless, we were impressed with the speed at which we were able to switch between standard 2D gameplay and 3D and with the accuracy of the visual overlay.
Similarly, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that the technology Zalman has developed – essentially an overlay over a top-of-the-line ‘A’-grade LCD panel that adds the second embedded image to be enmeshed and that adds a little more gloss to the displpay than is desirable – doesn’t demand exorbitant PC specifications.
Zalman Trimon 3D LCD screen