Logitech QuickCam for Notebooks Pro

For the laptop or TFT monitor user the conventional web cam doesn't work. Designed originally to sit atop your monitor, the lack or surface on both the aforementioned products causes a problem. Since the popularity of both devices has grown, manufactures like Logitech and Creative now offer a “laptop” range as well as the traditional desktop range.

The QuickCam for Notebooks Pro sits firmly as the name suggests in the notebook arena. Encased in a gun metal grey housing that is no bigger than pack of 10 cigarettes, the camera features a focus ring for a obtaining a sharp image, a protective cover for the lens and two adjustable arms so you can hang the device from the top of your laptop or monitor screen. The web cam itself connects via a USB socket (with fairly long cable) making the whole thing a fairly simple operation to get up and started.

Drivers, Logitech's video companion software and Yahoo Instant Messenger are included in the box, as well as, version 4 of both MGI's Videowave and Photosuite packages.

Once installed the camera offers to captures footage in three settings 160x120, 320x240 and 640x 480. Delving deeper into the cameras setting reveals the ability to change brightness, contrast, gamma, saturation and exposure settings. Those looking to broadcast in black and white can do so, although we are not sure why you'd want to and the camera also offers horizontal and vertical flipping if your latest webcast is back-to-front and upside down.

Understandably laptop users are sometimes in different locations and Logitech has included five different white balance settings in an attempt to correct everything from incandescent to fluorescent and daylight settings. Selecting the auto option sets up the best settings and for the ardent traveller saves a lot of hassle.

In testing we tried it out in a number of different situations and the webcam fared well in virtually all of them, coping with working in the garden to a dark room with poor lighting. As an aside to the main component, Logitech has included a small plastic case which has been specifically designed to house both the camera and the cable, while this is a simple add-on, it's very welcome for the road warrior.

Verdict

The QuickCam for Notebooks Pro offers a sleek design and good quality video capture idea for those having to report back in person when on the road. The extra customisation that you can do to improve the quality of the capture is very both helpful and easy to access and change. With so many instant messaging services such as MSN, AOL and Yahoo making it easier to talk in person this webcam will help you be apart of the bigger picture.