Acer’s SpatialLabs technology is designed to let you view 3D content on a 2D screen without the need to put on a special pair of glasses. Last year the company launched a high-end content creation laptop with support for the feature. Now Acer is bringing SpatialLabs to gaming laptops and portable displays.
The new Acer Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition is a premium gaming laptop with a 15.6 inch, glasses-free 3D display, while the SpatialLabs View and SpatialLabs View Pro are portable monitors that offer a similar experience without the need to spend $3,400 or more on a new laptop (although the portable displays aren’t exactly cheap either).
Acer says its SpatialLabs system involves bonding a liquid crystal lenticular lens on top of a high-resolution display panel, allowing you to toggle between 2D and stereoscopic 3D views. The system also involves eye-tracking cameras above the display that will help adjust the 3D imagery depending on your eye position. And if you look away from the screen, the 3D effects go away altogether.
The idea is to let you view 3D graphics in games, videos, or other experiences without the need for a headset, or to allow graphic designers to get a better look at 3D objects by moving their head in front of a 2D screen, no glasses required.
Folks who’ve had a chance to use the displays in person report that the effect can be impressive when it works. But it can also strain your eyes with prolonged use, and you may need to adjust your posture to keep the effect from disappearing while you play… which can be uncomfortable during extended game sessions.
You also sacrifice some screen resolution when using 3D mode: a display that can show 3840 x 2160 pixels in 2D becomes a dual 1920 x 2160 pixel display in 3D.
Another down side? At a time when other gaming laptops ship with displays that can handle 120Hz or higher screen refresh rates, the Acer Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition has a 60 Hz screen.
You’ll also only be able to experience 3D effects in supported games. Acer says there are more than 50 titles that work with SpatialLabs technology, and you’ll be able to launch the games using the company’s SpatialLabs TrueGame app.
The laptop’s other features are largely what you’d expect from a premium notebook though, including support for up to a 12th-gen Intel Core i9 processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics, 32GB of DDR5-4800 memory, and PCie Gen 4 NVMe RAID 0 SSD storage plus Intel Killer E2600 wireless and Killer 1675i wired connectivity.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition will be available in the fourth quarter of 2022 for $3400 and up.
Acer’s new SpatialLabs View, meanwhile, is a 15.6 inch, 3840 x 2160 anti-glare portable monitors with up to 323 nits brightness, 100% Adobe RGB color gamut, HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, and a 56 Wh built-in battery. It weighs 3.3 pounds and will sell for $1100 when it hits the streets this summer.
The Acer SpatialLabs View Pro has nearly identical effects, but Acer says it’s designed for content creation and includes out-of-the-box support for 3D file formats used by tools including Datasmith, Revit, Solidworks, Cinema 4D, and Sketchfab.