Microsoft announces LifeCam VX-5000

Microsoft announces LifeCam VX-5000

The LifeCam VX-5000 features a flexible, rubber stand. Matt Elliott/CNET Networks

Microsoft introduced a new Webcam today. The LifeCam VX-5000 might have made a thoughtful $50 Mother's Day gift had Microsoft released it last week. Instead, it won't be out until June--perhaps in time for Father's Day. With integrated Webcams showing up in an increasing number of laptops and LCD monitors, who is buying a separate Webcam these days? The only person I know who has purchased a Webcam in the recent past is me--for my folks so they can Skype with the grandkids.

Should you be in the market for a Webcam, you should know that the VX-5000 is very similar to the LifeCam NX-3000 I looked at last year but with an improved design that features a bendable, Gumby-like base that lets you easily affix the camera to the top of your laptop or LCD, or position it directly on your desk. Like last year's model, the VX-5000 is compact and features VGA resolution. The bundled LifeCam software has an updated look, but the underlying functionality is the same, with the same annoying quirks and limitations I encountered last year. Microsoft told me that a new version of its LifeCam software will hit this fall when it releases a follow-up to its VX-7000 Webcam.

Microsoft also announced the LifeCam VX-500, a low-end $16.95 Webcam, and the LifeChat LX-2000, a $29.95 headset. Both of these products will be available later this month, according to Microsoft.

I'm currently testing the LifeCam VX-5000. After I test its low-light performance this evening, look for the full review tomorrow.

Featured Video

Tim Cook's blurry iPhone picture takes world by storm

What is the iPhone 6's "Error 53"? The new Apple tvOS brings new features and Tim Cook takes bad pictures.

by Brian Tong