Do you need to spend a fortune on a webcam to get the chance to talk to others over the web? Hercules don't think so and have created the Hercules Dualpix Exchange webcam. At £24.99 does it compete with the big boys? We get filming to find out.
Understandably basic by nature, the Dualpix Exchange offers a 1 megapixel sensor, manual focus and a stand that is fully tiltable so positioning on the desk or off a monitor is easy.
The built quality isn't as good as a £50 model, but then lets face it, you wouldn't expect it to be and overall its design isn't offensive or problematical.
Plug the camera in (it too suffers the same problem that most webcams do, that the cable isn't nearly long enough) and after installing the software you are up and running.
The software is incredibly basic, offering the option to capture a video or snap a picture and little else. Resolution restrictions are placed on some functions meaning you'll be able to only achieve certain resolutions in certain modes and overall the software is so lacking that you'll probably ignore it all together.
Luckily you can use the webcam with all variants of video conferencing apps like Skype and it our tests the quality was good but not fantastic.
Without a wide angle lens the camera does lose out to other webcam models on the market that allow you to include more of your office, room and therefore family in the picture and if you are looking to get anyone else beyond you in the frame then you'll struggle with this model.
It is worth bearing in mind that the quality of the video received is dependent on your web connection not only at your end, but at the end they were receiving the video. In our tests depending on how our ISP was performing quality at the receiving end was either amazing or just about okay. What also made a difference was making the call (via Skype) over a wireless or wired connection and this is something you should bear in mind if you are looking to make lots of video calls.
The Hercules Dualpix Exchange offers enough for the webcam user on a budget if you aren't looking for a package that offers anything more than just that.
You aren't buying this for its quality, its bundled software or its design, you're buying this because it's cheap and if you're alright with that, then you won't go far wrong.