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Logitech Pocket Digital 130 review: Logitech Pocket Digital 130

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MSRP: $149.95
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The Good Sleek, portable design; speedy; easy to use; built-in flash; USB connection charges battery.

The Bad No preview or playback on LCD; bare-bones controls; no expandable memory slot; below-average image quality; flash tends to blow out details.

The Bottom Line We wouldn't rely on this camera to document special occasions, but it'll do in a pinch.

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6.0 Overall

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Logitech's first Pocket Digital camera, introduced in 2002, was little more than a toy; it captured shoddy VGA images interpolated to 1 megapixel and didn't have a flash. The second model in this series doesn't exactly elevate the line to competitive camera status, but the Pocket Digital 130 bests its predecessor in the specs department, with a 1.3-megapixel sensor and a built-in flash. Unlike your $1,000 dSLR, this cheap snapshot gadget can accompany you into the trenches. But niftiness aside, the Logitech Pocket Digital 130 may not have much of a shelf life, especially considering that more 1-megapixel-plus camera phones are hitting the market.

If you aim to travel light, the Logitech Pocket Digital 130 won't cramp your style. This 3.6-ounce model is eminently pocketable, and while small, it's nicely built--props to the company for endowing the 130 with a sturdy, good-looking stainless-steel body. The design is stealthy; to turn on the camera, pull on either side to expose the viewfinder, the fixed-focus lens, and the flash. Alas, you can't use the LCD as a viewfinder or to review your photos; instead, the tiny monochrome screen displays the number of shots you have left, a battery-life gauge, and a couple of current settings. The camera body hosts only four controls: the shutter release, a flash-mode selector (on, off, or auto), one button for selecting image resolution (1,280x1,024 or 640x480) or deleting photos, and another for activating the self-timer or stopping the camera from beeping every time you change a setting. Overall, the design is clean and easy to use.

Slide the Pocket Digital 130 open, and you'll be ready to shoot in no time; we averaged less than 1.5 seconds from start-up to the first shot. Shot-to-shot time hovered around 2 seconds, and it was slightly longer when the flash was on. At a bit more than 0.5 second, the shutter lag is minimal. Those numbers go down by only a small amount with the flash on.

We really wish the camera had an expandable memory slot; you're limited to a mere 16MB of storage. We were able to save about 40 shots at 1,280x1,024 resolution or 130 images at 640x480 before downloading and clearing the memory. Logitech makes downloading one-click simple, and by plugging your camera into your computer via the supplied USB cable, you also charge the battery--a convenient arrangement. Logitech claims you can shoot hundreds of photos on one charge, and our tests confirmed that.

Our test images suffered from several problems. They tended to be too contrasty and laden with artifacts. The flash is especially problematic, blowing out details with wild abandon. Compared to images generated by other cameras in this class, the Logitech's are at the lower end. Its photos are best suited for casual e-mail and Web display. Whatever you do, we advise against making large prints.

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