LAPTOP MAKER Toshiba is to release a "huge update" to its Satellite A665 laptop.
Faster processor? Bigger screen? New pink fascia? No, the not so hotly anticipated update is in fact "a software tweak" that will allow 2D images to be converted into 3D. Please try to temper your enthusiasm.
The software update will turn the Satellite A665's Blu-ray drive into a Blu-ray 3D drive. You can almost hear the "oohs" among the audience. The Nvidia graphics chip inside the A665 already supports 3D and allows users to use shutter glasses to experience the pain of watching 3D videos and games.
Toshiba says that through the A665's HDMI port the laptop can output 3D signals to televisions, which the firm claims causes the A665 - now with a '3D' suffix attached to its model number - to have "the makings of a bargain". It even rather patronisingly points out the advantage of using a laptop as your 3D Blu-ray player by saying you can take movies you haven't finished viewing with you to watch later.
The marketing team at Toshiba moves on to describe what it labels as an "eye-tingling" 2D to 3D conversion capability. The literary mastery doesn't stop there, with the firm further saying that the software is an "entrancing bit of technical wizardry". Quite.
Sadly Toshiba gives this technical wizardry a rather bland name, Toshiba Video Player 3D, and it essentially does what it says on the tin. The only problem is that in most cases the effect of 2D to 3D conversion is hardly worth the effort to don a pair of tacky plastic shutter glasses.
We're not sure if the author of Toshiba's press release was being entirely serious or whether it was a tongue-in-cheek take on the usefulness of 3D video. Either way it was good entertainment, better perhaps than watching a 3D movie on a laptop.
It is a sad state of affairs that a company such as Toshiba is resorting to packaging software updates as major upgrades to a product. What does Toshiba think it is, Apple? µ
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