On the day when Skype upgrades to much acclaim it seems only apt to cover the first ‘Skype certified’ webcam to take advantage of the new video calling.
Named the ‘Webcam Instant Skype Edition’, the CMOS sensor in this fella is capable of sending 352 x 288 pixel video at 30fps, which should survive a fair amount of Window stretching (or shrinking, depending on whose mug is on view). In for a little Leibovitz action? Tough, but a snapshot button will capture stills at 640 x 480.
A stand alone microphone is bundled with the cam for multi user conference calls and for those more ‘personal’ moments Creative has rather generously included a headset. I say generously because the Webcam Instant costs just £24.99 including VAT and for that price I’m surprised much more than the box!
Showing its bargain roots, however, is the USB1.1 interface, though this doesn’t matter particularly at the available resolutions and you do get a two year warranty. Celebrating its partnership with Skype, Creative (or Skype, who knows?) has thrown in a free voucher for 30 minutes of SkypeOut (PC to landline) call time. It’s available immediately and for those on a budget, you could do a lot worse.