Ah – 3D. The very word sends shivers down my spine, as the 3D realm was what brought gaming to life after Mode 7 scrolling on the Super NES did its utmost best to prolong the 2D era for games. With leaps and bounds made in the 3D arena, it would be natural for the computer and current home consoles take the same route to keep gamers throughout the world entertained with ever more realistic experiences. The iZ3D monitor aims to bring gaming to the next level, offering an illusion of depth never before seen on the desktop.
Unfortunately, 3D games meant thousands upon thousands of polygons dancing across the screen, giving you the illusion of depth, but not quite making the jump over to the real world just yet. iZ3D aims to change that, offering a 3D monitor that is actually made up of two displays within to give you the vaunted 3D effect. Before I proceed any further, let me just rattle off what you get with each purchase. The 17″ review unit which I received came with all the necessary cables, driver and game CDs, as well as a quick start cheat sheet.
Setting it up is pretty easy – just hook it up to its own power adapter, connect the necessary cable to the monitor and you’re good to go. The iZ3D features a maximum resolution of 1,280 x 1,024 pixels which is a vast improvement over the stale 1,024 x 768 standard and comes with a contrast ratio of 400 to 1 and a response time of 8ms. That figure might rile gamers a wee bit, since 2ms would be much better considering the fact that this is in essence, a gaming monitor.
At first glance, the monitor looks thicker than a standard LCD since it actually boasts two displays internally, which explains its rather hefty weight as well. The back screen is used for intensity control purposes while the front screen functions as a polarization control. Wearing a pair of the included polarized glasses, your eyes will then be able to decipher the 3D image shown on the monitor. The colors look a little washed out at first, but after a while you get used to it. I still prefer getting my frags in pseudo 3D though. The glasses definitely make you look extra dorky, and too bad for those who are wearing specs and have not yet made a pair of contact lenses – they don’t exactly fit comfortable when you’re having your own glasses on.
The 3D function can be assigned to a hotkey to pull it up whenever you’re in need for a 3D fix, but I’m afraid I find this monitor to be more of a novelty than anything else. When using this monitor for normal work like word processing and editing spreadsheets, the surface does give off a whole lot more glare than a regular LCD monitor. If you work with plenty of text and numbers every day, only to immerse yourself in an occasional spot of gaming, I’d highly recommend you spend your money on a good, regular LCD monitor instead.
To date, there are 66 games which can be played in 3D with the iZ3D, including World of Warcraft.