Compact and petite
With a compact, egg-shaped design, the QuickCam for Notebooks literally hangs on your laptop's screen by its spider-leg tripod, and you adjust the direction of the camera with the tilt mount. While the rear leg has a rubber disk that doubles as the lens cap when folded up, the camera tends to slide and wobble if you move your computer. The tripod can also stand on a tabletop, although it's not particularly sturdy. On the bright side, the tilt mount and the focusing ring are tight enough to stay in place when set, and the short, lightweight cable does not get in the way.
Webcam basics for the road
The QuickCam for Notebooks shares a software package with the rest of the Logitech Webcam line. Interestingly, the program customizes itself to present a different feature set for each camera. Installation is easy and requires little user interaction. The Logitech software is activity-based and offers the user several options, such as building a Web page, creating a picture gallery, or transmitting live video. It's designed to be easy for people with any level of experience to use. The Create Pictures and Videos activity does just that and stores the results in your gallery.
When you select a still image, the Logitech software gives you simple tools for adding text, adjusting colors, cropping, and rotating. With video, you can add only a title or credits to the beginning or the end of a clip. You can record clips as AVI or Windows Media (WMV) files to send in video e-mail. A free 30-day account with SpotLife lets you create an online picture album, upload video clips, or schedule live video broadcasts. If you enjoy using SpotLife, you can upgrade online.
The QuickCam itself provides few features other than manual focus. The Logitech software controls everything, providing acceptable exposure and color with its default settings. Advanced users can manually override settings such as hue, white balance, and exposure, as well as adjust gamma, contrast, backlight compensation, or sharpness. There are also color and low-light boost settings that let you punch up dull colors or dimly lit scenes. The low-light boost does a good job of increasing exposure but also adds a considerable amount of noise to the image.