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Maximum PC Staff Mar 30, 2011

Microsoft LifeCam Studio

At A Glance

LOSSLESS COMPRESSION

Very flexible and thoughtful design; excellent omnidirectional mic.

LOVELESS DEJECTION

Autofocus doesnt work well in low light situations; vestigial button.

Beautifully designed cam with very good performance

Microsoft’s LifeCam Studio looks almost identical to HP’s HD-4110, from the cylindrical shape to the flexible base. In our view, though, Microsoft’s got the upper hand. For one thing, the omnidirectional microphone produced some of the most natural, noise-free audio of any cam we tested. For another, the LifeCam Studio is unique in this roundup for including threading for a tripod—a feature you may not use every day, but when you need it, it makes all the difference.

Video quality was very good, though the cam suffered from the same problem as Microsoft’s lower-end HD-5000: difficulty with autofocus in low light. Otherwise, the unit performed well, though the included software bundle lacks some of the extras offered by competitors.

This very thoughtfully designed cam offers good video and audio features and is one of our favorites for desktop videoconferencing.

$100, www.microsoft.com

THE VERDICT

Microsoft LifeCam Studio

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