Hercules Dualpix HD720p for Notebooks

Blog Andy Shaw Feb 18, 2011

A state-of-the-art webcam that offers high-definition video capture.

Pros and Cons

Product Pros: + High-quality webcam at a very competitive price
Product Cons: - Needs a screen to hook on

As broadband gets faster, so the things you can do with it improve. If you last tried hooking a webcam up to your computer and video chatting to friends a few years ago, it's worth having another pop. The technology has come a long way and, although the quality of the connection at the other end will be a factor in the quality of video you receive, one area where you certainly don't have to compromise any more is with the webcam.

This decently priced model from Hercules, for example, is about as good as it gets. Featuring high-definition video capture, up to 1,280 x 800 pixels, it lets you record with a very high level of detail. It comes with a microphone built-in, which captured our voice very well when we tested it.

Usually, if your webcam is situated in a room that's not very well-lit, the picture quality can suffer. However, we found the Hercules capable of making the most of fairly feeble lighting conditions - especially if you're willing to jump in and tweak the webcam's settings manually. Most options can be individually set to operate automatically or manually.

The software that comes with the device is simple to use and has advanced functions for creating special effects and the like, should you want them. You can pipe your video straight to your instant messenger and internet telephony software, and you can record video to disk. The camera will also format the videos correctly if you want to send them straight to YouTube, put them on your blog or send them to your iPod.

The only thing it won't do is stand up on its own - you've got to clip it to a flat screen. However, this won't be an issue for most computer users and certainly not for the laptop-owners it's aimed at.