With us today is the Touchcam N1 from Facevsion. This a Skype Certified 720p webcam with an impressive specification sheet, but how does it perform in real life?
Another swish box; sleek black packaging with compartments seems to be a winning combination. Inside the box we have the camera itself, a CD, some leaflets and a mini-USB cable. Fairly standard package for a webcam; the mini-USB cable could be a little short if your monitor is a long way from your computer.
The camera itself adopts a non-traditional rectangular shape. This allows its dual microphones and 78 degree wide angled lens. The audio quality created by these microphones is very good, especially compared to a laptop’s integrated mic. It does a good job of eliminating background noise and voices sound realistic rather than tinny.
The wide angle lens of the Touchcam allows a wide image allowing multiple people to be in shot at once. The video quality is obviously what it is all about. The N1 promises crystal clear 720p video and it’s true to its word. The depth-of field and colour reproduction is fantastic. The N1 offers very sharp pictures both in screenshots and videos. The built in autofocus works very well, working very quickly and choosing the correct area to focus on.
But won’t HD encoding use up my CPU? Nope, the N1 has a built in H.264 encoding chip meaning it won’t affect your PC’s processor allowing you to complete intensive tasks while video calling. However, to be able to broadcast the HD video you will need a good broadband connection with fast upload speeds.
As for mounting the camera, it uses a two hinged lever. This is lined with rubber to prevent it from slipping and it is easy to secure on both a monitor and a laptop. However if you don’t sit straight on to your monitor if is hard to adjust the view. The hinge also has no horizontal swivel meaning you can’t easily adjust it while in a call or when mounting it.
Being Skype certified you can just plug it in and go video call crazy, but be warned the webcam doesn’t come with its own recording software.
Weighing in at about £75 this isn’t a cheap webcam and you yourself are not going to see the results it is your callers who will be receiving the upgrade. That said webcam does have a lot going for it; the video and audio quality are superb in comparison with the standard ones integrated in a laptop. Just plug in to your computer and stream. The included autofocus and H.264 chip make it even easier for you especially if using a low powered notebook on the move. Overall this is a great camera only let down by the hinge and the hefty price tag.