Macally IceCam2 webcam

While your MacBook comes with a webcam built-in, where do you turn if you want to opt for something different? Macally believes it has the answer with the IceCam2. We get video calling to find out the facts.

The white webcam sits atop your computer or laptop screen, clipping into place via its spring loaded base catch. It's all fairly straightforward and you'll be positioned in seconds rather than minutes. It's certainly not a consult the manual moment.

Out the back shoots the USB 2.0 cable - all 5m of it - and that plugs into your computer. There is no software to install and on connecting it Skype popped-up asking if we wanted to select the new camera device we had attached.

With no software install, it is easy to get started. You can use the camera with all the IM services and there is little to it.

Resolution is VGA 640 x 480 - suitable for video conferencing and the colour balance of the £20 webcam was surprisingly good. People we video called through Skype said the image was better than the built-in webcam on our MacBook Pro (the one before the uni-body design).

Making sure you are in the picture, you get a two-axle swivel allowing you 360 degree horizontal and 135 degree tilt back and forth. There is also a manual focus ring so you can make sure you are pin sharp.

So all good? Not so fast. The Macally IceCube2 comes with a built-in microphone, which is rather shocking. It's nowhere near as good as the one built-in to our MacBook and one of the people we called described the performance as "tinny".

Luckily you are able to split the two through the Mac OS software so you can use another more useful microphone in your video conferencing.

For those interested, you can run the webcam on a PC too.

Verdict

At £20 it’s not going to break the bank if you aren’t happy with the performance once you get it out of the box. The colour balance and video capabilities against the MacBook Pro's built-in camera is better, shame the sound isn't.