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Zalman ZM-M215W 3D Monitor

Darksaber

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#1
The ZM-M215W is the part of the newest line-up of 3D monitors by Zalman. Instead of plucking down hundreds of dollars on NVIDIA shutter glasses and being bound to NVIDIA GPUs, you can pluck down hundreds over a normal 2D monitor of the similar size, but be free from the shackles, allowed to use any GPU of your choice. Is that still worth it? We put on the glasses and take a really close look.

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#2
Decent review there, you seem to have picked up on most of the issues i've found with the monitor in the month and a bit that i've had it.

One thing you did completely miss out though is that the tridef media player can convert 2d video content to a 3d effect. It is not as good as a proper 3d movie, but the effect is pretty damned good and works very well once you have it tuned right for your preferences (just adjust the scene depth and the pop out/in sliders and you're set). The tridef drivers can convert most video file formats and dvds to 3d. Blurays are another issue i will now cover.

Also powerdvd10 will be getting a patch this summer enabling it to convert 2d Blurays to 3d in the same way the tridef media player does, which is a nice feature. It will also have full 3d bluray support and so will be able to play 3d blurays through this monitor with no problem.

I find using the monitor in a darkened room helps improve the viewing experience as you get less reflections from the screen. I also find that depending on the colour palette used in the content i'm viewing that the real-d cinema glasses do better than the zalman ones - the zalmans do a lot better with preventing cross-talk on high-contrast images (black objects next to white objetcs) but the real-d glasses seem to give more vibrant colours, but i guess it is a minor preference thing.
 
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#3
I find it hard to see an 8.0 given to a monitor which can't live up to its main advertisement point without using (trial) third-party software. Somehow, all hardware that I've seen hitting the market in this underdeveloped stage never makes it to the real world.

The monitor itself isn't that much either: bleeding backlight, a TN panel and ultra-mega-glossy.

Instead of "approving" an unfinished product, I feel the urgent need to tell Zalman they should polish their product in a less literal manner, and in a more R&D-favored manner, before they put it on the market. Zalman simply does not deliver with this product.

My verdict after reading the same review:
- 2D, this monitor is around budget-level quality
- 3D takes unfathomable effort
- 3D experience is still quite limited once you get it to work

Zalman gets a 4.0 for producing a budget 2D monitor with hidden 3D features.
 

Darksaber

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#4
I find it hard to see an 8.0 given to a monitor which can't live up to its main advertisement point without using (trial) third-party software. Somehow, all hardware that I've seen hitting the market in this underdeveloped stage never makes it to the real world.

The monitor itself isn't that much either: bleeding backlight, a TN panel and ultra-mega-glossy.

Instead of "approving" an unfinished product, I feel the urgent need to tell Zalman they should polish their product in a less literal manner, and in a more R&D-favored manner, before they put it on the market. Zalman simply does not deliver with this product.

My verdict after reading the same review:
- 2D, this monitor is around budget-level quality
- 3D takes unfathomable effort
- 3D experience is still quite limited once you get it to work

Zalman gets a 4.0 for producing a budget 2D monitor with hidden 3D features.
Well look at it this way:

What can you do if you want to game in 3D:

Buy an NVIDIA GPU + 3D VISION Glasses (150 - 200 USD) + 120 Hz Monitor (price premium over normal LCDs).

Or you grab something like the Zalman Monitor for 150 - 200 USD price premium, can use any GPU. Games are starting to put native 3D montior support in in the near future...

You really do not have a lot of options if you want to game in 3D. Simple as that. And with the Zalman monitor you *can* game in 3D...with a few drawbacks, but still usable.

Every new emerging technologies has issues and can be improved. Fact is, the 3D monitor is usable and fun once set up and viewed correctly...sure it carries a price premium, but so do all new technologies...
 
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#5
Well look at it this way:

What can you do if you want to game in 3D:

Buy an NVIDIA GPU + 3D VISION Glasses (150 - 200 USD) + 120 Hz Monitor (price premium over normal LCDs).

Or you grab something like the Zalman Monitor for 150 - 200 USD price premium, can use any GPU. Games are starting to put native 3D montior support in in the near future...

You really do not have a lot of options if you want to game in 3D. Simple as that. And with the Zalman monitor you *can* game in 3D...with a few drawbacks, but still usable.

Every new emerging technologies has issues and can be improved. Fact is, the 3D monitor is usable and fun once set up and viewed correctly...sure it carries a price premium, but so do all new technologies...
Okay, I can respect that point of view, and comparing this monitor only to a normal 2D monitor is a little short I admit.

I also feel that with any new technology, there is a very small line between when it is, and when it is not worth your money to step into the playing field.
Having made the error of buying an OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator, which was full of potential, but simply had too much issues to actually get it to work correctly in an ordinary home, and having had driver problems from October till March on my HD5850, I've had enough of products that cannot deliver what they are supposed to deliver, according to the advertisements.

Yes, this is up to the level of a rant :D but I honestly believe, that when you're playing with new technology, you should either inform the buying user that the technology is immature, so the product experience can be really quirky, or not sell the product at all.

Now, if Zalman had the benefit of iZ3D being famous for their quick updates and great support, I would be able to see where this 8.0 came from. Unfortunately, they haven't improved jack since I've heard about them half a year ago.
 
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#6
Now, if Zalman had the benefit of iZ3D being famous for their quick updates and great support, I would be able to see where this 8.0 came from. Unfortunately, they haven't improved jack since I've heard about them half a year ago.
Umm iz3d launched a new driver set last month with dx10/11 support (a pretty significant improvement over only supporting dx9 titles, and they had dx11 support ready at about the same time nvidia did, so they aren't exactly slow) and used the new triple buffering 3d support section of the ati drivers which was just recently introduced. Yes you don't get monthly releases but they do give good updates at a decent rate.

As for the issues with new tech all new tech has issues- it just depends on how critical they are which determines if the technology can take off or not. As an owner of a pre-mass production OCZ NIA i know your pain, but as an early adopter of this screen i can say i am quite happy as the product is very usable. I just don't use it as my primary monitor and use it only for 3d content so the low-standard 2d performance doesn't bother me in the least.
 
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#7
Micropolarization technique is my favorite 3D solution. :)

I like this monitor!
Great review ;)
 
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#8
What a coincidence, these days I'm promoting 3d tvs in a sony style shop. In the training I received they named the system as active polarized glasses, at least this is how in Spain they named it, don't really know if active polarized glasses and shutter glasses are the same method, but it would fit in shutter glasses description. If someone knows, please tell me.

Back in topic, I have tried the lx900 and its shutter/active polarized glasses and is by far the best 3d tv I tried (not tried sharp yet, but samsung and lg). Why they don't drop the passive polarized glasses system? Image quality is quite worse with that system, of course cheaper, but the ones who buy a 3d monitor/tv nowadays most of them wants the best image quality. Why they use this method having better options?