Review Price free/subscription
Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000
It's not something that you might have noticed but webcams are an area of technology that have collectively really improved over the past few years. Having experienced poor quality, stuttering images in the past, many people have dismissed the whole concept, but since PCs and the broadband connections have got faster, and since webcams are now pretty decent too, video conferencing or webcaming, a word I have just made up, is now pretty great. There are now also a variety of free video services to choose from, such as Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Yahoo and AOL - which is a lot better than it used to be when you just had Netmeeting, buried somewhere in Windows 98.
Now if you've got a laptop, there's a chance that you'll have a webcam built in, which is certainly preferable in terms of convenience and absence of cable clutter. However, many laptops and virtually all monitors don't have one so an external one it needs to be. Logitech has a huge range of PC peripherals and has long been a champion of the webcam, and we've seen some excellent examples from it such as the Quickcam Ultra Vision.
The highlights of the Ultra Vision were glass lens elements, a 1.3 megapixel sensor, and Rightlight and RightSound - light optimisation, and noise cancelling technologies. Both of the latter are present on the newer Quickcam Pro 9000. The long rest at the back means that it's not really smaller than the Ultra Vision, but it is lighter and less bulky making it more suitable for taking it with you if you're carrying a laptop. However, should you need to take your webcam with you regularly, there's a specific version of it for notebooks with a clip.
As it was, I found getting the rest at the back to fit snugly to the back of the laptop I wrote this review to be a bit of a dark art, but I got there in the end. As it happens the webcam isn't sitting correctly on the display on the pictures, but actually there's a small plastic lip under the main body of the webcam, which you rest on the edge and you then bend the stand so it rests on the back of the screen. You can then angle the webcam up but not down. It's not quite as flexible as the rotating lens on the Ultra Vision, but it's close.