Microsoft Lifecam NX-3000
- Good sound quality, sleek and functional design, affordable price
- Below average in dim lighting, certain features only work with Windows Live Messenger
The Lifecam NX-3000 performs its primary function -- and little else -- to middling effect. If your notebook is already equipped with an inbuilt camera there's very little reason to consider this purchase.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
These days, a webcam needs to be pretty damn special if it hopes to find permanent residence on your notebook. After all, most portable computers now come equipped with inbuilt cameras of their own, rendering most webcam peripherals completely superfluous. So what does Microsoft's Lifecam NX-3000 offer to make it worthy of your hard-earned cash? Apart from an injection of 'added integration' for specific Microsoft applications, we're afraid the answer is next to nothing.
In stark contrast to the bloated, feature-logged LifeCam VX-7000 , the NX-3000 is a fairly basic webcam that keeps the bells and whistles to a minimum. On the basis of these two offerings, it would seem that Microsoft has a Jekyll-and-Hyde attitude when it comes to balancing its products, but we won't hold that against them.
Setting up the device is a relatively straightforward process; involving the installation of the Lifecam software and -- in the unlikely event that it isn't already installed -- Windows Live Messenger. The webcam connects to your computer via USB, with a spring-loaded clip specifically designed for notebook lids. The head of the cigar-shaped device can also be swivelled through 45 degrees to achieve an optimum angle. All up, we have very few qualms about the design of this webcam, which is small, stylish and functional. Our only reservation concerns the oversized video call button, which we frequently pressed without intention while repositioning the device.
In terms of video quality, the NX-3000 performed averagely for a webcam in this price range. The 1.3-megapixel sensor can capture video up to a resolution of 640x480. It can also be used to capture still images at 1280x960 pixels. While this is below other models we've looked at recently, such as the QuickCam Pro for Notebooks, it should be noted that the NX-3000 is slightly cheaper. Colours remained sharp and accurate in bright environments, but degraded quickly in dim lighting, with noise quickly coming to the fore.
Diving into the Lifecam software uncovers a variety of sliders for picture optimisation; offering marginal improvements when tweaked. (The program also allows you to capture video, audio or picture stills and then send your recordings via e-mail.) Basically, while the NX-3000 provides decent enough video, most in-built notebook cams will be able to match it in the quality stakes, which doesn't exactly make it essential.
On the plus side, we were quite impressed by the noise-cancelling microphone, which filtered out background noise with considerable success. The assortment of fancy video effects will also provide a tickle for people who like that sort of thing.
While the NX-3000 is compatible with most instant-messaging programs, Microsoft would naturally prefer you to use its Windows Live service. As such, several tools and features are tailor-made exclusively for Live users, such as the dedicated call button and photo-swap options. This renders the NX-3000 a lot less desirable if you happen to prefer a different IM application.
Join the newsletter!
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
cloudandco Smart Cane
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Apple iPhone X
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Toys for Boys
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Bose SoundLink Micro
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Lego Mindstorms EV3
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Xbox One X
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Keep Watch Day and Night with Uniden’s Two-In-One Camera and Spotlight
- Sony make shooting in HDR easy with new 4K camcorders
- Sony announces Australian availability for new waterproof RX0 action-camera
- Microsoft's Beam becomes Mixer, adds four person split-screen streaming to battle Twitch
- Microsoft's Story Remix uses machine learning and mixed reality to make your movies awesome
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSecurity Cleared Network EngineerACT
- CCBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- FTDomain Architect - AWS / AzureOther
- FTIT Audit & BCM AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Siebel DeveloperOther
- FTSenior Procurement Manager- Government BackgroundOther
- CCITSM OR iTIL Business AnalystNSW
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FT.Net Technical / Team LeadOther
- FTETL DeveloperOther
- CCJunior to Mid Level Tester - BrisbaneACT
- FTInsights AnalystOther
- TPWeb Communications OfficerACT
- FTSales ManagerVIC
- FTSenior BI ManagerNSW
- FTBlockchain DeveloperOther
- FTTechnical Integration LeadOther
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Data -Other
- FTAPI Developer | Back EndOther
- CCTechnical Business Analyst-GenesysNSW
- FTPart-time Project Administrator (Agile) - TelecommunicationsOther
- FTFunctional AnalystVIC
- CCProject ManagerACT