Sony Personal 3D Viewer (HMZ-T1) head-mounted display
Strap this visor on your head to watch 3D movies or games close-up
- Excellent 3D effect
- Great colour and black levels
- Uncomfortable after half an hour
- Low resolution (720p)
- It’s hard to get the whole image in focus
Sony’s Personal 3D Viewer is definitely a niche product. We can’t see many units selling -- it’s not a very sociable product, it can be uncomfortable and it really only appeals to 3D fans -- but if you can get it set up correctly it’s able to produce a good picture with excellent 3D depth.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
Sony Personal 3D Viewer (HMZ-T1): Image quality and performance
We took some time to adjust the Personal 3D Viewer to suit the right head size, and then tried to get the best possible picture out of the 3D OLED setup. There is an under-side slider that moves the OLED screens apart or together, with each viewer theoretically able to find an optimal setting that merges the two screens into a single 3D image.
We were quickly able to find the best setting, but anyone with glasses or any eye conditions may find it more difficult. Even at the best possible setting with the Sony Personal 3D Viewer headset strapped on tightly and the sliders at their best, we did still notice a small amount of blurring at the extreme edges of the 3D image. We had worn the Personal 3D Viewer at a Sony exhibition before with no blurriness, though, so it may be a case of some sample variation in our review unit.
Otherwise the Personal 3D Viewer does an excellent job of displaying video. The OLED screens are able to display excellent black levels while also creating colourful and well-saturated visuals with great dynamic range. We’ve always liked OLED technology and we’re keen to see what LG and Samsung are able to produce in larger screen sizes.
The 3D effect created by the Sony HMZ-T1 is excellent — it’s amongst the best 3D we’ve seen from any source, 3D TV or projector or full-blown movie theatre. Because the displays are so close to the viewer’s eyes (and because there’s two of them, so the images are combined by your brain) the depth of a well-produced 3D movie is very obvious. The relative size of the displayed image also contributes to the impressive stereoscopic effect.
One potential stumbling block for the Sony headset is its native display resolution, which is only 720p — each OLED panel’s resolution is 1280x720pixels. This does mean that it’s possible to pick out each individual pixel in the displays if you look closely, and the HMZ-T1’s on-screen menu does look a little low-resolution. Once you’re watching a Blu-ray movie or playing a game via Xbox, PC or Playstation 3 the lower-than-Full HD resolution is less obvious, though — the system’s scaling works well and retains generally good levels of detail.
The headphones built into the sides of the Sony Personal 3D Viewer are well padded and comfortable, and have decent but unspectacular sound quality. Sitting on rather than around the wearer’s ears they leak a small amount of sound, but otherwise have good treble and reasonable mid-range response. Their value is in the extensive sound-stage they produce, with a good surround sound effect that complements movies and games alike.
One effect that’s largely restricted to 3D gameplay is, in our experience, a strange tendency to turn your head while playing. When we played Gran Turismo 5 in 3D we found ourselves turning while driving around corners — this has an unsettling dizzying effect if the light blockers are not in place, as it’s possible to see the outside world move around you. It’s possible to avoid this by holding your head rigidly, but we found this added another minor aspect of fatigue to the headset wearing experience.
Sony Personal 3D Viewer (HMZ-T1): Conclusion
Sony’s Personal 3D Viewer is a novelty, but it’s able to deliver a good picture and great 3D effect once it’s properly set up — although for us this came at the cost of a little discomfort. If you love 3D, don’t mind shutting yourself off from anyone around you, and have some cash to burn, try one out in-store.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
- Samsung wave makes a splash at Mobile World Congress
- Sony returns to profit, cuts full-year loss forecast
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCFullstack .Net DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- CCDevops EngineerNSW
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTInfrastructure Solution ArchitectSA
- CCMidrange ProvisioningNSW
- TPUI/UX ConsultantWA
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- CCSecurity AnalystACT
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - SQLACT
- TPAgile Project Manager. Sharepoint / PeoplesoftNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - Tivoli Storage SpecialistNSW
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPInsights ManagerWA
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- TPDesktop Support OfficerQLD
- TPSolution Architect - Real-Time Tracking SystemVIC
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCTest Planner - Infrastructure/Data CentreACT
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerNSW
- CCPMO ManagerNSW
- FTPerformance TesterACT