Microsoft LifeCam VX-7000

Microsoft LifeCam VX-7000
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-7000
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-7000
  • Microsoft LifeCam VX-7000
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Arresting design, easy setup, can be mounted on a variety of surfaces

Cons

  • 2Mp video lags badly, certain features only work with Windows Live Messenger

Bottom Line

The Lifecam VX-7000 offers a reasonable performance in most areas, but $150 is a pretty big ask for a webcam; particularly when some of its premium features don't work properly. Only consider buying if you're a Windows Live fan.

Would you buy this?

When it comes to its hardware peripherals, Microsoft is a firm believer in enthusiastic overkill. The minions under Bill Gate's whip love nothing more than to cram as many superfluous features into a product as humanly possible -- after all, the more stuff you throw at a gadget, the more likely some of it will stick with consumers, right? In reality, this philosophy tends to compromise the overall quality of a device and has led to a swathe of electronic overachievers that fail to deliver on their lofty promises (step up, the Sidewinder gaming mouse). Unfortunately, Microsoft's latest periphery offering, the Lifecam VX-7000, falls squarely into this category of mixed bags.

At first glance, the VX-7000 appears to have a lot going for it. It sports a high-definition 2-megapixel sensor (up from the LifeCam VX-6000's 1.3Mp), a 4x digital zoom, an integrated microphone with noise-cancellation, fancy video effects and a wide-angle lens. It is also handsomely crafted, with a sleek and intelligent design that will sit equally well on a desktop, monitor or notebook. On further inspection however, it turns out that a few of the VX-7000's finer selling-points aren't exactly what they're cracked up to be.

For instance, the camera's video performance is almost unwatchable at its highest resolution; with lethargic, choppy frame rates and fluctuating light levels. This effectively trumps the VX-7000's main calling card as a 2Mp webcam. As you'd expect, lower resolutions produced smoother results at the expense of picture quality. We found the 640x480 setting to work best, as it struck a reasonable balance between picture and video, although images still appeared grainy in dim lighting.

Another feature that failed to impress us was the glass element wide-angle lens. While fine in theory, the rectangular frame reveals too much of your background surroundings, with your face and shoulders 'dwarfed' somewhere in the middle. On the plus side, if you regularly surf the Internet with a friend in tow, the added space should accommodate both your mugs simultaneously.

Otherwise, the VX-7000 fared quite well in the majority of areas. Setting up the device couldn't be easier -- simply pop the installation CD into your drive and follow the prompts. Curiously, during our first installation attempt the program abruptly shut down our computer, without so much as a by-your-leave. We have no idea what caused this, but for the record, our second attempt ran without a hitch.

We were also quite impressed by the VX-7000's noise-cancelling microphone, which picked up voices over environmental noise with considerable aplomb. Likewise, its audio performance remained impressively clear throughout our testing.

Although it is compatible with most instant-messaging services, the Lifecam VX-7000 has clearly been designed with Microsoft's Windows Live in mind. Subsequently, certain Live-specific features, such as the dedicated call button and photo-swap feature, only work with this application. If you're a Yahoo user or ICQ stalwart, we'd recommend giving this webcam a miss in favour of the more versatile Logitech QuickCam Pro for Notebooks.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?