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HP's 'Elite'--a steroidal Webcam

It may look odd, but it's got loads of features.

Everything USB

For awhile it seemed that Webcams were destined to become a standard built-in for many monitors and laptop screens, not unlike the way Wi-Fi cards eventually were replaced by integrated technologies in portables. But one way to ensure that a product stays independent is to load up on features--which is exactly what a new model from HP has done.

The "Elite" Webcam has a 3-megapixel resolution for live feeds, 12 megapixels for still shots, autofocus, stereo mic, and an "Instant Chat" button. Everything USB notes a few shortcomings in its frames per second, but you can't have everything.

Besides, it has one feature that we might value above all others: a sliding "privacy cover" with a colored shade that indicates the camera is indeed turned off. Because leaving a Webcam on by mistake could be disastrous.