Review: AUKEY 1080p webcam

It's fair to say that, while most AUKEY products sent over for review blow my socks off (e.g. the SK-S1 speaker and the Halo charger, not to mention the Solar Light), some of their gear impresses me a lot less.

And I have to say that the 'AUKEY 1080p webcam' falls into this camp. It's not a bad webcam - it just doesn't stand out for anything other than the ability to capture with stereo audio.

Now, 1080p is quite high resolution as webcams go, so I shouldn't be too hard on it. And in decent light the quality is indeed top notch. But the marketing talks specifically about 'Good performance even in more dimly lit rooms' and this isn't really borne out.

For example, here's a grab from the webcam in my study in the evening, light levels aren't particularly low, though the main light is from a 60W bulb, plus my face is lit by my Mac:

Looks OK, doesn't it? And it's fine for everyday Skype chat, but just don't expect absolute top quality video performance under such conditions. Here's a crop from the original of the frame above:

You can clearly see the noise and artefacts on my face and hair, plus the shelves behind me are a mess, even though fixed focus means that they should really be OK.

Am I expecting too much? Well, not really. The webcam built into my Mac isn't touted as anything special, yet doing the same grab and crop as for the AUKEY unit results in:

I've had to upsample the Mac cam result a little (to match framing) because it is of lower resolution, but it's clearly a higher quality picture in terms of noise handling.

Don't take this the wrong way though - the AUKEY 1080p webcam otherwise does exactly what it says 'on the tin'. The double hinge design means that (perhaps with some Blutac or a sticky pad) it should be home-able on any computer with ease.

The glossy black plastic looks stylish (though a bit of a fingerprint magnet if you touch it!) and my only comment on design would be that it's all plastic - a little metal trim wouldn't have hurt!

The only deviation from plastic is on the webcam's underside, where a rubber strip allows for yet another way of mounting this webcam, propped on the vertical edge of a thin screen, i.e. under gravity.

I did like that the webcam comes with a long lead, meaning that even under-desk PCs (etc) can be used, with the camera still mountable on top of a monitor. And full credit to AUKEY for the webcam being recognisable immediately on Windows and Mac - the latter has had issues with webcams in the past and this was available within seconds of connection.

At £25 this is about par for the course for a 1080p webcam and this is AUKEY delivering as expected. Just don't expect the earth in terms of image quality when used indoors - noise and glitching start to come in on top of your video frames!


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