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Live! Cam 73VF070000000 Webcam - 30 fps - USB 2.0 (1280 x 720 Video)

IntelliRating: 4.5 stars
Pros: 720p video capture, Works with major OSs and IM programs, Noise-cancelling Microphoe built in
Cons: Average low-light compensation, Loose stand clip

Review: If you frequently use the video chatting feature of IM programs for teleconferencing, then you would know that webcams are not known for having exceptional image quality. More often than not, most off-the-shelf webcams only have a working image resolution of 640 X 480 pixels, and perform quite poorly when it comes to low-light conditions. If you have such a device and are looking to get an upgrade, then you may want to take a look at the Live! Cam Chat HD Webcam from Creative. The uniquely-punctuated name aside, the Creative Live! Cam Chat is capable of delivering high-resolution video of up to 720p with its 5.7 Megapixel lens, and butter-smooth video playback at 30 FPS. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and even Linux, and integrates easily with IM programs like Skype and Windows Live Messenger. Using software that you download off their site, you can capture video and share it on different networking sites at the click of a button. If your bandwidth can support it, you can even stream directly in HD using the webcam. Non-techies will love the plug-and-play aspect of this webcam. Simply connect the Live! Cam Chat to an available USB port on your computer using the extra-long cable, and the device will automatically install itself to your system. This is great news for people who will be using this webcam on notebook computers, a majority of which do not come with optical drives to install drivers with. The stand that comes with this model also doubles as a clip which you attach to the bezel of your monitor. The Creative Live! Cam Chat also comes with a built-in noise-cancelling microphone, dramatically improving the sound quality that people you are talking with will receive. As good as the overall performance of the Creative Live! Cam Chat is, it still finds itself needing a bit of improvement in some areas. For example, although the webcam captures video in HD, it still does need a fair amount of light for the image to show up clearly, though not as much as the amount of light needed by ordinary webcams. Another thing to consider is the insufficient amount of tension in the stand clip, which may lead to the webcam falling off, especially if attached to a smooth monitor bezel. Still, for its capabilities and the good price point that this webcam is going for, the Creative Live! Cam Chat webcam is a solid choice for a computer peripheral.

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