Sep 27, 2013

    Enjoy 3-D effects on this slate

    The New York Times

    THE Neo3do tablet is designed for people who like 3-D but hate the glasses. It plays 3-D videos - and converts standard videos into 3-D - that you can see without the goofy spectacles.

    The 3-D effect is sometimes excellent but, at other times, not so.

    The most impressive demonstration I saw involved a clip from the 3-D Blu-ray version of the movie Predator. It also worked very well with games like Angry Birds Rio and Fruit Ninja.

    Using Google Earth, you can zoom into a city and then move the image with your finger, making it look as if you're flying a helicopter over the city.

    Streaming videos from the Web was less predictable. While some videos looked quite good, others (even some produced for 3-D) had little depth and a ghostly edge floating around some images. You also have to hold the tablet just right to get the most out of the effect.

    Using the 3-D features takes a couple of steps, because you have to go through some intermediary software.

    For games, you have to start a 3-D games app first. To watch streaming videos, you have to start the included jetVD app, choose the video quality and then the 3-D player.

    When the video is running, select 3-D, then pick the correct format: side-by-side or over-and-under. It's not as bad as it may sound, but it certainly makes the effect seem less magical.

    There were other issues too. The processing required to turn 2-D video into 3-D is very demanding, and I experienced repeated freezes and errors that required me to restart the tablet.

    Aside from the 3-D effects, it is a competent little tablet with an 8-inch screen and Android operating system 4.0.4 (better known as Ice Cream Sandwich).

    It has all the familiar Google services, like Gmail, Maps, Messenger and YouTube.

    The cameras at the front and back are adequate, but there is no 3-D camera. The tablet comes with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, which can be expanded with a MicroSD card of up to 32GB.

    The US$350 (S$440) tablet is available only online, through and