Logitech WebCam Review: Logitech QuickCam Communicate STX

Every time my buddy list pops up on my computer screen I notice that next to some of the screen names there’s a small icon that looks like a video camera. Curious, one day I clicked it and was sent a message that I was trying to engage in a video talk session with one of my buddies. I knew this would not work since I didnn’t have a webcam, but it did give me a great idea. With so many friends spread all over the country, buying a webcam would be a great method of communication. Sure phones are great, but sometimes you just like face-to-face interaction. So on went my search for an affordable, yet quality webcam.

With a few brands to choose from including Logitech, Creative Labs, Labtech, and Dynex, I was faced with deciding on the appropriate one for me. I ended up deciding on Logitech because I have a Logitech mouse that I am very happy with. Logitech also has a helpful website that provides a lot of useful information including troubleshooting, explicit instructions on how to install the webcam, and downloads for their latest video software.

After researching a few different models I settled on the Logitech QuickCam Communicate STX to use with my Toshiba laptop. Since I would be using my webcam mostly during Instant Messaging sessions I had to make sure it was compatible with the messenger programs I use. The Communicate STX works with MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AOL, AOL Instant Messenger, and Skype VoIP. The camera features in an internal microphone so there’s no need to hook up an external mic to your computer. Just point the camera at you and speak normally, and your voice will be picked up.

As far as the picture quality goes, I have had no complaints from friends. In fact I wish that more of my friends would get this camera because the feed I get from them doesn’t compare to what they see from the Logitech STX. Even late at night when I have just a desk lamp on, the picture is still good. The STX also picks up my movements well. While I don’t dance around in front of the camera, I still move around once in awhile and the camera has had no problem handling my movements, more specifically it doesn’t freeze.

Some people find that setting up new electronic products can be a confusing task. This was not the case with the Logitech QuickCam Communicate STX. Within five minutes of me unwrapping the box I was online and ready to converse with friends. The webcam does not need to be plugged into a power source, just hook it up to your computer through a USB port and you are ready to go. Even if you do run into a problem, as stated before, Logitech has support available on its website.

If I have one gripe with the Logitech STX it’s with the stands that camera sits on. I wanted the camera to sit right atop my laptop but the stands don’t really allow for it. Instead, I placed the camera on top of my external speakers right next to the computer. This isn’t a huge problem, but it does prevent me from looking right into the camera since it’s off to the side (and I like to look at the screen to see who I am talking to).

I happened to get the Logitech STX onsale for $34.00 but it usually retails for anywhere between $40.-$50. depending on where you go. I could not stress anymore that this is absolutely worth the money spent. Rarely am I as satisfied with a product as I am with my Logitech STX. I would recommend this webcam to anyone, a high school kid who’s just making home videos, a college student wanting to keep in touch with hometown friends, or even businesses needing a camera for conferences.

Technical specs:
Live video: True 640 x 480 pixels
Still image capture: 1.3 megapixel
Built-in audio
Up to 30 frames per second live video
USB 2.0 compatible
6 foot USB cable for easy placement
2 year limited hardware warranty
2 stands included
QuickCapture photos and videos software for Windows

Minimum System Requirements for Windows:
Intel Pentium III 700 Mhz or equivalent
Windows 98SE, 2000, Me, XP
USB port
CD-Rom Drive
64 MB Ram
200 MB free hard drive space
16-bit color display adapter
Windows compatible sound card and speakers

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