Philips SPC1330NC

90f/s webcam anyone?

Where the SPC1330 scores particularly well is audio performance. The stereo microphones do an excellent job of relaying speech in a clear, coherent manner and cancel out background noise and echo too.

Philips SPC1330NC

Picture perfect: Arcsoft's control panel offers plenty of tweaks

The bundled ArcSoft software lets you adjust near enough all the camera's settings, as well as do all the usual webcammy things like capturing still and moving images. You can also set the camera to detect and record motion, launch popular IM applications and perform very basic image editing. Images can be decorated too, with a host of amusing backgrounds, frames and filters.

Philips SPC1330NC

Visible difference: beats built-in webcams hands down

While Philips makes no mention of Mac or Linux support – the software bundle is Windows only – the SPC1330 worked out of the box with Skype on both a MacBook Pro and an old Advent laptop running Ubuntu. Certainly, the MacBook's iSight camera performed better than the Dell's, but it was still left in the dust by the SPC1330.

Verdict

As a device for video chatting the SPC1330 has a lot going for it. The basic design is extremely adaptable and the twin microphones do a great job. The camera gives a consistently fine performance with good colour balance, excellent light handling properties and a very effective – if sometimes slow - autofocus. Yet, truth be told, recording the advertised 90f/s at a decent resolution, simply won't be in the frame for most users. ®

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Philips SPC1330NC

Philips SPC1330NC

A well-specified webcam, that suffers more from extreme marketing claims than in overall performance
Price: £70 RRP