Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 review: Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0

Average User Rating

1.5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good 720p HD video quality at 30 frames per second, 360-degree rotation; inexpensive; LifeCam desktop software offers fun 3D video effects.

The Bad 4MP photo resolution; jumpy autofocus; not compatible with Mac OS.

The Bottom Line The Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 for notebooks offers impressive HD video output quality and excellent sound definition over previous models for an overall smooth video-chatting experience, but the continual autofocus feature can be distracting to your chat partner. Nevertheless, we recommend the Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000, if you have the proper system requirements.

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Microsoft's earlier efforts in the LifeCam Webcam series certainly missed the mark, but the latest LifeCam HD-6000 for notebooks introduces 720p HD video at up to 30 frames per second, an improvement over the standard cameras built into almost all current notebooks. The Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 played smoothly with Google Chat, Skype, and Windows Live Messenger in our testing, but the experience is marred by constant autofocusing that even happens during slight movements. Minor irritations aside, we recommend the $60 Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 to any laptop owner shopping for a high-definition Webcam.

Design and features
Measuring just 1.1 inch wide and 2.44 inches long, the Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 is purposefully small and features a thin plastic clip on the bottom that situates it on top of your laptop screen while you chat. The wide-angle lens rotates up and down on a small axis and the entire camera swivels 360 degrees to allow for a full rotation point of view. Finally, a small button on top activates Windows Live Messenger, although the camera also works with other chat programs like Google Chat, AIM, and Skype.

That said, you do have to install the Microsoft LifeCam software in the box before your computer will recognize the camera, but we recommend checking for driver updates on the Microsoft Web site prior to using it. We should also note that Microsoft gives stringent system requirements for OS (Windows 7, Vista, XP SP2 or higher), processor (Intel Dual-Core 1.6GHz higher with 1GB of RAM or Intel Dual-Core 3.0GHz with 2GB of RAM), and hard-drive capacity (at least 1.5GB free). As is always the case with Microsoft Webcams, the HD-6000 won't work with a system running Mac OS.

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Where to Buy See All

Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000

Part Number: 7PD-00001
MSRP: $59.95 Low Price: $39.59 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Camera Type notebook web camera
  • Cables Included 1 x USB cable
  • Type Drivers & Utilities
About The Author

Justin Yu covers headphones and peripherals for CNET. When he's not wading through Web gulch or challenging colleagues to typing tests, you can find him making fun of technology with Jeff Bakalar every afternoon on The 404 show.