The QuickCam Pro for Notebooks more than makes up for its clunky design with its stellar image quality. For starters, its 2.0-megapixel sensor is larger than the 1.3-megapixel sensors typically found on Webcams. Further, Logitech's RightLight 2 software does an amazing job of providing a great image under a variety of light conditions, including in low light where most Webcams struggle. We tested under bright lights, low light, and outdoors, and in each scenario, the QuickCam Pro for Notebooks provided the best image. Colors were vivid, and flesh tones were accurate. You can capture video at as fast as 30 frames per second and at one of three resolutions: 320x240, 640x480, and 960x720. You can take still pictures at 1.3-megapixel and 2.0-megapixel resolutions. With software interpolation, you can take 3-, 4-, and 8-megapixel pictures at the expense of image clarity.
The Webcam's auto-focus feature does an admirable job of keeping you focused, but the face-tracking feature was a bit hit-or-miss. The Logitech cam does a better job than the Creative Live Cam Notebook Ultra at keeping a bobbing head in the frame, but the amount of swivel and tilt in the lens is limited. The integrated microphone did an average job at capturing audio; it was no better or worse than the Creative Live Cam Notebook Ultra in delivering clean audio. Extras include an assortment of avatars ("hey, look--I'm a talking alien!") and other video effects ("hey, look--I'm wearing a funny hat!" to "hey, look--I'm in a room with bubbles!") to jazz up your Webcam chats. Handfuls of each are included on the CD, with many more available on Logitech's site. A travel pouch is also included, which helps protect the lens when stashed in your laptop bag.
The bundled QuickCam software features a pleasing interface and is very easy to navigate. Large buttons are provided for recording video or snapping a picture, and changing the resolution of each is dead simple. Your recorded videos and photos are listed as thumbnails at the bottom of the QuickCam window. Videos are recorded as WMV files and are played back using Windows Media Player. While Macs will recognize this plug-and-play USB device (not tested), you'll be left without the services of the video (RightLight 2) and audio (RightSound) optimization apps, as well as the video effects and filters.
Logitech doesn't bundle a video-messaging app, but it works with all the popular IM clients, including those from AOL, Windows, and Yahoo, plus Skype, which I used for testing. The QuickCam Pro for Notebooks worked seamlessly with Skype--once I realized I needed to close the QuickCam software. Sadly, the image quality degrades considerably when operating outside the QuickCam interface.
Logitech backs the QuickCam Pro for Notebooks with a two-year warranty.