DisplaySearch: 3D laptops aren’t selling well

Stereoscopic 3D seems to be the latest industry buzzword, with everyone from movie studios to Nvidia hyping up the technology as the next frontier in digital entertainment. Are consumers really buying it? At least when it comes to laptops, DisplaySearch figures quoted by ComputerWorld hint at a general lack of interest.

DisplaySearch has worked out that, so far, only about 179,000 laptops with stereoscopic 3D capabilities have shipped this year—small potatoes compared to the 100 million notebooks that reportedly shipped during the same time frame. DisplaySearch expects this year’s 3D laptop shipments will grow to 611,000 by December 31, but even that figure only represents "about 0.23%" of the overall market.

The way DisplaySearch’s John Jacobs sees it, thousand-dollar 3D laptops are only appealing to enthusiasts. And even within that small slice of the market, many enthusiasts don’t feel comfortable with the compromises involved. Jacobs says most 3D laptops have 15.6" displays with 1366×768 resolutions, but gamers "usually like laptops capable of handling full 1080p high-definition images."

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    • Palek
    • 9 years ago

    It has been said several times, but it’s a good thing these 3D laptops are not selling. 3D on a 120Hz LCD screen with shutter glasses is absolutely awful; flicker is very clearly perceivable and the amount of crosstalk makes the 3D effect very hard to enjoy. It’s nice to see that people actually use their eyes and brains before making a purchase.

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 9 years ago

    lolwalnut 3d enabled laptops not selling well? lol really? yah no one saw this coming……….

    • aatu
    • 9 years ago

    When LCDs came, we got rid of the low frequency flicker, right? Now with 3D, we’re artificially bringing it back? Is it really worth it?

    • Firestarter
    • 9 years ago

    I’m not going to buy any 3D product as long as it’s a 60hz torture device, no matter what the price.

    • sweatshopking
    • 9 years ago

    this is a good thing. studies show that 3d can cause permanent damage to your eyes. at particular risk are children and preggers. this is a good thing.

      • Grigory
      • 9 years ago

      What?! Really? That’s it, from now on I will only walk around with one eye closed. 🙁

        • stdRaichu
        • 9 years ago

        You may jest, but there’s a big difference between the way your eyes see 3D IRL and how they see stereoscopic pictures that try and trick your brain into thinking they’re 3D.

        * Stereoscopic views are taken from a single viewpoint; in reality, moving away from this axis will change the projection; i.e. you’ll see more of a side, or top of bottom, of an object. If you move away from the axis of a stereoscopic view you don’t see any change in perspective because you’re only seeing a 2D representation from a viewpoint you can’t control. This confuses your brain.

        * For the eye to see a stereoscopic view and for it to be believable, the view has to subtend about the same field of view of the human eye – in cinematic terms, be shot with a “standard” lens (e.g. 50mm lens for 35mm film). Zooming and/or cutting from a tele shot to a wide (as happens with amazing regularity in most fims) goes completely against the brains’ understanding of how 3D works, and thus confuses it. The only 3D film I’ve seen that kept the field of view relatively constant was Coraline, although I still can’t watch that for more than 20mins at a time.

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 9 years ago

          Real 3d movies (not converted in post-processing) are shot with dual lenses that are roughly as far apart as the human eyes are from each other.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 years ago

    I think that expensive laptops not selling well isn’t all that relevant to 3d as a technology.

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    I figured all laptops were “3D” products, har har.

    Anyway, to echo the comments of others, I need only reply “Can’t imagine why” to the title.

    • Grape Flavor
    • 9 years ago

    3D laptops are just a lame idea – for one, most laptop GFX cards barely have the power to run games normally, let alone take the framerate hit associated with stereo 3D. Also laptops are about mobility and convenience, and lugging around your 3D shutter shades are hardly in line with that ideal.

    Although I still don’t get the widespread hostility to 3D and the “I hope it dies” type attitudes on display every time someones brings up 3D. If you think it’s not worth the price premium or you plain don’t like it – don’t get it! No one is forcing you.

    It’s weird to see people on technology sites rooting against the advancement of technology. The whole point of more powerful graphics is to create more vivid, lifelike worlds – and cyclops vision isn’t lifelike.

    Stereo 3D gaming isn’t quite ready yet, certainly. But this whole attitude of rooting for it to fail and die, instead of rooting for it to drastically improve and work out the kinks, is just backwards.

      • Grape Flavor
      • 9 years ago

      I’d like to clarify that I don’t use 3DVision, I find the whole idea of downgrading to a smaller, substandard TN panel and wearing bulky, uncomfortable glasses quite unpalatable. I wear regular glasses to boot so the whole thing is a total no go. And that’s not even factoring in the inconsistent software support and performance hit.

      What I do think is worth defending is the concept of 3D, it’s truly the final frontier in graphics and I’m highly looking forward to the day when better solutions are available.

        • scpulp
        • 9 years ago

        It’s not 3D until you can actually look around something in the image and see something else. Until that point, it’s just a 2D image stretched across multiple planes.

          • Grigory
          • 9 years ago

          It’s still 3D. Stereoscopic 3D to be more precise. To have volumetric displays would be very cool, tho. 😀

      • PeterD
      • 9 years ago

      “Although I still don’t get the widespread hostility to 3D and the “I hope it dies” type attitudes on display every time someones brings up 3D.”

      Because what xii said is true: you don’t make a good movie out of a bad movie by going 3D.

      What happend is this: the public of movie theatres became younger. Older people stayed away, because 1) they didn’t have time for such frivolous things and 2) they owned their own tv sets.
      So why go to the theatre and spend money, if you can whatch it on tv?

      Bottom line: movies for movie theatres target a different public. It’s not an adult public anymore. It are children and youngsters, who don’t have much experience viewing movies, and who are happy with some special effects.
      As long as they’re flabbergasted because of what’s shown on the screen, they’re happy.
      It explains the succes of movies like 2012, but also the current stream of animation movies (children’s movies).

      In that environment, 3D has a change.
      However: the moment you try to bring that to the living room, the succes plummets.

      So, yes: quality is the problem.
      You don’t make a good story out of a lame story by putting 3D on it.

      And the hostililty towards 2D?
      Because lots of people have a gut feeling that 3D will eventually pull up the prices but will not give them better products, that is: better movies and stuff, they hope 3D will flunck.

    • potatochobit
    • 9 years ago

    and the price of this 3D laptop?
    if Im gonna drop 2k on something it better be 60 inches, bro

    • burntham77
    • 9 years ago

    Three Dee Shmee Dee.

    • trinibwoy
    • 9 years ago

    Putting aside the notion that 3D on a laptop is silly, maybe the reason there are far more 2D laptops sold is that there are far more 2D laptops offered? This “analysis” is a joke.

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      Even given that, if demand is high it would quickly show up in production after some time. Look at netbook explosions/iPads.

      Companies pay very very close attention to demand, some even minute by minuteg{<.<}g

        • Voldenuit
        • 9 years ago

        Agree completely, but that doesn’t explain the fidiots who keep trying to shoehorn products into areas of nonexistent demand.

      • designerfx
      • 9 years ago

      it just doesn’t have high demand and does cause eyestrain.

      wait for the new studies to come out and you’ll see it gone again.

        • PeterD
        • 9 years ago

        12% of the British audience can’t even see 3D. Their eyes can’t. Losing 12% of your potential audience is pretty steep.

    • Anemone
    • 9 years ago

    3D has been around for over 3 decades. It has NEVER gotten mass market appeal. And don’t give me that “quality is better now”. VHS tapes had market appeal way back when and quality has improved. 3D has never, ever “taken off”.

    That’s because it’s only desired by a very, very tiny portion of the market. Most want 120Hz, or think they do, but 95% of folks couldn’t and don’t give a whit about 3D as a feature. The R&D that has gone into the technology has been a waste. People with the money to spend, don’t want it. So bring on the 120/240 Hz displays, but give us a break on the 3D stuff. Higher refresh displays and more screen area (Eyefinity and the like) are where things are at.

    You should do a simple poll:

    Are you interested in 3D?
    Not at all interested?

    And boom you’ll find out just how small a market they have waiting for them.

    • Krogoth
    • 9 years ago

    3D = stupid, stupid old ass gimmick.

    Give me real holographic imagery. None of those pseudo-perspective BS.

    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    120Hz please, yesterday, on all laptopsg{<.<}g

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    3D is the latest gimmick that companies are trying to peddle to clueless consumers. Remember when flat panel plasmas and LCD TVs cost $10k? They’re trying to artificially create another high margin niche now that LCD TVs are commodity items.

    Panasonic put out a 3D lens for its cameras recently, and the (rightful) community reaction was a big, fat “meh”.

      • Grape Flavor
      • 9 years ago

      Um, you realize that early-adopter, cutting edge technology is expensive right? /[

        • Pettytheft
        • 9 years ago

        3D is a gimmick. It will go the way of DVD audio.

          • Game_boy
          • 9 years ago

          What about the 3DS?

          Especially since there’s no announced PSP2, and the games list includes basically everything anyone could want from first and third parties.

            • stdRaichu
            • 9 years ago

            The 3DS doesn’t require goggles, you sit directly in front of the screen and one would hope that designers are able to restrain themselves from changing the FoV every five minutes like most 3D movies do; it shouldn’t cause headaches likes most 3D movies do.

            Disclaimer: I’m one of those 12% of brits who can’t see 3D unless I squint.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 9 years ago

      Actually a good binocular vision camera would be awesome for landscapes and massive things which just don’t carry the same meaning once they’ve been smashed flat onto your LCD. It might take a while to get a really nice method to view said images, but thats OK, I can keep them for a long time. I’d carefully consider buying a serious binocular vision camera.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    I doubt 3D displays are selling that well on desktops either (3D monitors)

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    Don’t think 3d in laptops will work as long as the GPU’s in laptops are so much weaker than their desktop counterparts, but… I do think a 120hz display will be nice when they get them up to 1080p.

    • xii
    • 9 years ago

    The last time I was in the movie theatre was over 12 years ago, so I realise I’m not the best example here… But I wasn’t interested in buying movies on videotape because they show up on TV anyway and most of them just aren’t very good. Then came DVD – with a lot of hype about the quality – but of course the movies themselves didn’t get any better at all… neither did the prices. Then came the HD-DVD and Blu-ray battle, with a lot more hype about image quality. The buzz word HD was added to every noun known to man. But people had gotten slightly weary about the industry’s money grabbing schemes. Now 3D joins HD as overhyped buzz word, and I can see some real consumer fatigue. Who the hell, but a handful of hardcore movie buffs and technology enthusiasts, wants to start updating their collection and hardware again?

    To me, the whole range of Blu-ray, HD and 3D technologies amounts to little more than money-grabbing schemes of the content industry. It is about the packaging of the product, and not the quality of the product itself. A crappy movie in Blu-ray Full HD and 3D format is still a crappy movie. Of course it stands to reason new movies (or games, or music) are produced in better fidelity, technological progress is unavoidable and beneficial; but this whole 3D rage is hyping the technology and not the product – packaging over content.

    It is obvious movies, music and games are ever more treated as a consumption product more so than an art form, and people’s interest and respect is waning, and consequently piracy is rampant and the uptake of these new, hyped technologies stagnant. I wonder if it will get to a point where the content industry will crash when people can’t or don’t want to pay anymore for the same old rehashed content and lack of originality.

      • HisDivineShadow
      • 9 years ago

      The problem is not that HD or 3D are bad, but that the quality of the movies they are packaging in these new forms is typically bad, a side effect of the decision-making process of these said mainstream games and movies and music being made by executives who know what trend charts and polls tell them is hot.

      When you’ve seen a load of vampire movies, when you’ve seen werewolves vs vampires, when you’ve seen werewolves vs zombies, when you’ve seen vampires vs zombies, zombie wolves vs vampire zombies vs vampire were-zombies, it just gets old.

      At least with games, you can have new experiences even if the gameplay is the same after a while. That is, you have that moment when you shoved a rocket up some guy in Indiana’s butt and shot him into orbit and you could hear him screaming about it while choking on chips. That moment, that exact feeling, will not come again, but other moments might.

      I do think that the movie, game, and music industries need to realize they are NOT in a business of high dollar items. They are in industries that need low-cost, high volume sales. Prices need to drop, especially as ownership of content becomes license to use content, because they are going to keep having problems with piracy–though it is not really hurting their bottom line nearly as much as they claim–unless they figure out that people would be willing to pay $1-2 to watch a movie, even a crappy movie they may have little interest in, just to have something to do. But paying $5-8, suddenly you’re expecting quality out of it.

      You spend a candy bar on a movie, you don’t care if it’s great because you got a candy bar’s worth of entertainment. You spend a Third Pounder value meal with upsized fries on a movie, you expect a movie to last a while longer and give you crazy bowels afterward.

      Music, movies, and games need to be cheap to get exposure to everyone, creating new audiences from people who just won’t pay a Third Pounder Value Meal for crappy movies.

      So they can either raise the quality of their movies or they can lower the cost to view the crappy content they’re producing, but they can’t expect to raise the cost of rental, deny ownership of said product with prodigious use of licenses, produce the same crappy content, and then think everyone’ll go along. Because they won’t.

      Hence, piracy. I suspect most of the piracy that happens is happening with people who want to know if the content is worth the money they’re charging. Put the price low, especially for the rental, and people’d pay it without regret. Make the price high, regret becomes a factor and people are going to check their investment before they make it.

      I suppose that’s why these content industries always say every act of IP infringement is a lost sale. They know their content sucks and know that if someone gets a shot at seeing it free, there’s no way they’d buy it afterward. Because a confidant industry who makes content that is flat out awesome would know that 1) most people want to reward great products, 2) most people don’t want to mess with the hassle of transcoding or network sharing or making their own blu-rays, and 3) most people would rather have an easy solution. Given these things, the industry that is making great products knows these products would sell, if priced right, regardless of whether people were trying it out for free the first time.

      In fact, they’d encourage people to try it out the first time by giving it away free because they’d know their content is worth buying and most people would, too. Demos are a fine example of this, but increasingly against the norm.

      The RIAA may say that CD sales tanked after piracy hit, but the truth is CD sales tanked once people began recognizing how bad the mass produced artists of the CD era really were. Movies are suffering the same thing now.

      Crappy movies dominate. The people making them know it’s true, so they want to hide it behind a $10 movie charge at the box office or a $8 digital download. This is also why they despise Red Box and Netflix so much.

        • Krogoth
        • 9 years ago

        QTFM

        [soapbox]
        Major labels and producers have been living the gravy train for far too long. The market is deciding their marketing strategy is BS and the content they crap out isn’t worth the big dollars that they demand. The rise of cheap rental services, cheap pick and choice services and “piracy” in the mainstream market is destroying their artificial monopoly.

        Instead of trying to compete and embrace/adapt to new possibilities brought by advances in technology. They are strong-arming the market with nasty forms of protectionism. In form of current copyright laws, DMCA, and soon ACTA. It is all being done to maintain the status quo. To keep the easy money train flowing.

        I had enough of the entitlement BS from the extremist on both camps. Hardcore Pirates and major labels/producers. Neither side has the “moral” high ground or such non-sense. They just want rape their victims until they are bled dry.
        [/soapbox]

        • kvndoom
        • 9 years ago

        I have bought a good few CDs that I downloaded first and made sure I actually liked. I’m sure everyone can relate to getting burned when the “one song” they play all he time happens to be the ONLY good song on the whole CD. Of course you don’t find that out until you’ve spent 20 dollars.

        “90% of everything is crap.” This statement is why game demos are almost extinct now.

          • paulWTAMU
          • 9 years ago

          20 dollars on a CD? Maybe 10 years ago. I buy whole album downloads from Amazon for like 8-10 bucks, at about 1 a month.

            • aatu
            • 9 years ago

            Do note he’s talking about CDs, not albums in general. Here in Finland, new CDs usually cost anything from 16€ to 21€.

            Digital downloads usually cost 10-14€ per album, or 1-1.3€ per song.

    • Drive
    • 9 years ago

    Reply to #3 and #4

    The point of adding 3D is to overpricing their cheap and awful laptops just like most 3D movies.

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    Why manufacturers thought it would be best to put 3D displays right now is beyond me. Ignoring the fact that most people dont play too many high end games on 15″ laptops because its just less practical than a bigger PC screen with big keyboard and mouse, the GPU power is just not there. You can play the latest games on some of the more expensive laptops, but not at a great resolution or detail. How many laptops can push 120FPS on the latest games, unless you count dropping the res to 640×480.

      • PeterD
      • 9 years ago

      They thought they would make big bucks because Avatar was such a succesfull movie.
      But who’s gonna buy expensive 3D technology because of ONE movie?

    • cegras
    • 9 years ago

    I would also like to add:

    “Wow, no shit.”

    I mean, forget 3D, the GPUs that those laptops ship with can barely play games in at medium settings on native resolution.

      • paulWTAMU
      • 9 years ago

      sums it up pretty well. It’s both pointless AND expensive, duh it’s not selling!

      • kvndoom
      • 9 years ago

      Can Intel integrated run Minesweeper yet? l[<;)<]l

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 years ago

      Have a bump to the top.
      You, sir, are correct.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 9 years ago

    As well they shouldn’t. People know crap when they see it.

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      No, only some people do. There are plenty of morons out there.

        • TaBoVilla
        • 9 years ago

        179,000 to be precise. well, it actually depends on how many Jensen bought.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 9 years ago

        True, but most of them don’t have a grand to blow on a technological oddity these days.

          • PeterD
          • 9 years ago

          Well, at least tha’s a relieve: morons don’t have money anymore to buy such a lot of stuff they push moron standards on us. 🙂

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