Acer goes 3D with new Win 7 laptop

Using software and special glasses, it will allow 3D for movies and games, as well as 2D for everyday applications

Acer will release a new laptop to coincide with Thursday's Windows 7 launch that can display movies and games in 3D while allowing everyday applications to appear in their usual 2D format.

The Aspire 5738DG has a 15.6-inch 3D screen, as well as software and special glasses from a company called TriDef to enable the 3D experience. The laptop, a powerful desktop replacement, delivers images "that literally pop from the screen," according to Acer.

The TriDef system displays 3D content such as movies and games, and can also take standard 2D content and make it appear 3D, Acer said. TriDef also sells software called TriDef 3-D Experience through its Web site, which makes programs like Google Earth appear in 3D.

To make watching 3D movies more compelling, Acer has built Dolby surround sound into the laptop. Users can also run common applications like spreadsheets and e-mail programs in 2D.

Since its introduction at movie theaters decades ago, 3D has made its way into TVs, webcams, binoculars and other products. Nvidia offers a product for PCs called 3D Vision, a hardware and software package that brings 3D images to desktops.

Acer's laptop weighs a hefty 6.16 pounds (2.79 kilograms) and runs on a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor, with 2MB of performance-boosting cache memory. The TriDef 3D screen has a special coating that reduces the need for a separate graphics card to process 3D content.

Instead, the Acer laptop has integrated ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 graphics with support for 512MB of dedicated video memory. It runs on Microsoft's new Windows 7 Home Premium OS, which is launching Thursday. It comes with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi networking and supports up to 4GB of RAM and 320GB of hard-drive storage.

The laptop will be available through retail stores on Thursday, Acer said. It didn't announce any plans for international availability.

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