I’m going to wrap this up in pretty much the same order that we looked at things. Starting with the build quality of the screen, the stand and mount make up a very sturdy base, but when you’re holding up a display with a total weight of 10kg, you want to make sure its not going to go anywhere, this was evident as I noted from the weighty base plate that every thing rests on. The smoothness at which the screen raises and lowers is somewhat surprising from what I’ve seen with other bulky displays and it holds its position without naturally raising or lowering itself.
With regards to the new and improved 3D Vision 2 glasses, whilst they are larger than the previous model, they are just as if not a little more comfortable and to me feel a little lighter whilst wearing them. The battery life is very impressive as well, I’m not entirely sure when the glasses were last used, but I still managed to get a fair amount of use out of them before they needed charging. With the older glasses, having only briefly used them at a trade show I found that they tended to give me a headache due to the shutters flickering away and I was worries that these were going to pose the same problem, however I’m glad to say that after using them for nigh on four hours straight, I didn’t feel tired or heady (which is good for someone that suffers from migraines).
So the performance as this is what everything is about. For a 27″ screen, everything was relatively crisp and the colour reproduction was great. The main pitfall that I did find here, is the viewing angle. The specifications claim to have a horizontal viewing angle of 170° horizontally & 160° vertically however whilst the image is still viewable from these angles, the quality quickly falls away and the image appears to blur and pixelate as you move round from the centre. This is more noticeable when looking at text at the wider angles. This however is an extreme situation, and apart from having many people watching the screen at the same time, say to watch a film together, this really wouldn’t be a real world problem seeing as its easy enough to rotate and/or pivot the screen to a comfortable viewing angle.
Viewing angles aside, I did find that setting the display output on my computer to 60Hz gave a brighter image, and this to be expected seeing as the displayed frame is on screen for twice as long as it would be at 120Hz. For day to day use, I’d recommend setting it to this rate, but if you’re wanting to watch a fast paced action film like I did for testing, then ramping things up to the full 120Hz did give a far smoother appearance.
Now the major part of this review, the 3D gaming aspect of the bundle. To me 3D gaming is not a new experience and I’ve played on a few different setups including the older 3D Vision kit with the separate IR emitter, but wow, what a difference the larger glasses make. The depth portrayed in the image was far superior to what I have seen in any other situation, especially in Metro 2033 which is fully 3D Vision ready. What really made this clear was dust particles that are suspended in mid air in the tunnels within the Metro ‘world’. This takes the 3D experience right to the next level, and to beat this is going to be a tall order for the manufacturers involved.
Whilst playing other games in 3D that are not ‘3D Vision ready’ doesn’t quite stand up to the mark, the effect that I given is fantastic and TrackMania Nations really did well here. There are a number of other games that have varying capabilities with 3D Vision, such as Battlefield 2 and Portal 2, but with these not being fully 3D Vision ready, the effect given is not as great as the fully enabled games but the system does do a pretty good job at recreating the effect.
Last of all any by no means least, I guess you’re wondering how much you shall have to set aside for this great bundle. Well the short note is that its not cheap and at £499.99 inc VAT it is a huge investment to decide on. To put the price into context, buying the 3D Vision 2 kit separate from this screen and getting something else instead still costs £124.99 and as I mentioned back through the review, even though this method of doing so saves some pennies and enables you to integrate it into an existing setup you may not get the same real depth and realism as you’d expect.
Bottom line, if you’re really wanting to go all out and get the best experience possible, then buy the bundle – it really is worth it even though it is more than the top end cards of late.