New Microsoft Webcam VX-5000 Review

My Review: 7

So I got a new webcam.  When I’m at home using my desktop (that I put together myself, with Jeff’s help) I don’t have built-in access to a webcam.  Since I love 12seconds.tv, and I don’t have a phone that does video (stupid iPhone) I am forced to always use my macbook in order to update my video status.  I thought it would be convenient to be able to make videos from my PC desktop as well as my macbook – hence, this review.

What I got is the Microsoft Lifecam VX-5000.  It’s a small USB webcam, with built-in microphone.  Here are some images:








The good:

  • It’s attractive – the black with green/yellow piping looks nice (hey, it matters)
  • The foot / base is pretty cool, flexible and sturdy – makes it easy to stand on a desktop or curl over the top of a monitor
  • cable length is pretty good, long enough to reach a machine that’s on the ground or off to the side of the desktop
  • built-in microphone works well – used it for Skype calls and to record video – has had no problem picking up my voice, no need to speak at an ABNORMAL VOLUME!  🙂

The less good:

  • I wish it was wireless (that would be killer, no stupid cord to deal with)
  • Be nice if it was smaller, and could mount more or less permanently

My primary uses for a webcam are these: Skype video calls, 12seconds.tv, and Facebook videos.  For all three of those purposes, this webcam works very well.  Although I wish it had a few more features, I do think this is a quality webcam and works quite well.

MS is trying to push it as an integrative tool for their MS Live network of products, and they include a CD in the box chock-full of software to that effect.  However, I tried using it without any CD’s or downloaded drivers, and it worked great right out of the box.  No issues or recognition problems.  (I am running XP Pro with SP2.)  The camera goes for between $40-$50 right now, and is available at several locations (though  it does not seem to be on Amazon, Newegg, or Buy.com.)  😦

Gizmodo put up a nifty review of this webcam as well, with an embedded press release from MS.  If you are looking for an attractive USB webcam with built-in microphone, I think this is a solid, cool product.  7 out of 10.


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