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MICROSOFT LIFECAM HD 5000



Webcams are built into pretty much every laptop today, so one would have to be pretty special to get people to spend extra money. The Lifecam HD-5000 does drastically improve the experience for anyone who’s been frustrated by the poor quality of video chats.

The camera’s base twists like a fi nger to curl around an LCD monitor frame, but the bulky body sticks out about an inch, and there’s no physical zoom control. Setup is a breeze even without the bundled software, but don’t expect this cam to work on a Mac. During tests with a high-speed connection, both Skype and Google chat partners  were pleasantly surprised by the clarityof the video, but slight movements caused the autofocus to constantly recalibrate. Users can encode 720p 16:9 video in real time, which video bloggers and podcast makers will love.

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