The laptop* I'm currently considering buying is only available with a 3D screen. I plan to use this machine for nothing more than software development and some web browsing.

My question is, is there any reason why I should shy away from a 3D screen? Will it look weird at all when I'm staring at my IDE writing code? Are there any other things I should be aware of with a 3D laptop screen?

*It's a Dell XPS 17. I basically want a 17" screen with a ton of RAM, and that seems to be the only home system that's reasonably priced that has up to 16GB available.


2 Answers 2


I assume we are talking about a screen capable of 120 Hz refresh (instead of the standard 60 Hz), making it "3D-capable." For standard viewing, I find that this type of screen is actually better than regular screens because it is:

  • brighter
  • smoother video, animations etc. due to higher refresh rate
  • Increased sharpness (in some scenarios), helped by higher refresh rate

Obviously this varies by screen, but in general I find 3D screens to be excellent compared to standard LCD's.

  • I guess that's really the only answer that would make sense - I can't imagine anybody ever buying a laptop that was less than ideal in 2D mode simply because it supported some cool 3D capabilities Mar 6, 2012 at 18:34
  • I agree with this based on similar situation with TVs. Stop by your local tv sales place and look at 3D enabled TVs. In order to show a 3D video signal, the screen has to have better capabilities than a normal tv monitor. But when you study them side by side, in normal 2d video, they look 100% normal (or even 110% normal because of the better resolution :-) ).
    – jdh
    Mar 6, 2012 at 20:38

It does not look like the laptop screen itself can do 3D, it is that the video card can drive a 3D TV though it's HDMI port. See the "Movies, Games and 3D Videos Come to Life" section of the laptop's description page.

Correction: The screen is like Josh said, is just a screen that can run at 120Hz that syncs with a pair of active shutter glasses, I also think it has the built in IR transmitter for the active shutter glasses to use for sync. However if the 3D is not turned on, it will just act as a normal screen.

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