Video conferencing is becoming a regular part of daily life during a global pandemic, and PC makers are starting to take notice and ship laptops with better webcams than the truly awful ones that have been the norm in the past. But the easiest way to upgrade your side of a video call without buying a new computer is to invest in a USB webcam.
While there are plenty of companies making 1080p or higher resolution webcams, the upcoming AnkerWork B600 Video Bar manages to stand out by packing a lot more than a camera into an accessory that sits atop your laptop or desktop display.
First up, the B600 Video Bar has a 2K video camera that can record at 30 frames per section and which includes support for autofocus, automatic image enhancement, and field of view adjustments.
Second, it has a 4-microphone array with support for AI-enhanced noise reduction to help pick up the sound of your voice while suppressing background noise.
Third, there’s an LED light panel above the camera, which shines diffused light to help illuminate your face (or anything else that’s directly in the frame). One of the biggest problems with most video conference calls isn’t so much the camera itself as the poorly lit subject (you), as most cameras will do a better job of capturing well-lit imagery.
You can adjust the brightness of the light by swiping your finger across a touch-based control to the right of the camera to keep from blinding yourself.
Finally, the AnkerWork B600 Video Bar also has built-in stereo 2-watt speakers, which could come in handy if you’re using it with a laptop that or tablet that has lousy speakers.
I first spotted the video bar on the CES Innovation Awards website earlier this week, but now Anker has officially announced the device. According to Gizmodo, it will sell for $220 when it goes on sale on January 25, 2022. But folks who pay $1 to reserve one before then can get an early bird coupon code good for $35 off.
I understand why webcams would find it hard to do 4k60 but 2k really ought to have a 60fps option…
Especially at this price range.
Honestly, it tells me it’s likely just the same cheap sensor in some of the 50 dollars webcams on Amazon. Could be wrong. But for that price I expect 4k.
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