Creative Vado Pocket Video Cam (pink)
Cool but mediocre
- Highly affordable (especially after $50 cash-back), user-friendly interface, attractive design
- Low grade components affect video quality, no external microphone jack, no memory card slot
If you need an ultra-cheap way to make movies for the Web, the Vado Pocket Video Cam is probably the best option on the market. Having said that, we're not entirely 'sold' on the Net-cam concept. For most users, an entry-level camcorder would be a better bet.
Price$ 149.95 (AUD)
YouTube has a lot to answer for. In addition to bastardising the English language with its odious comment pages ("OMG u r teh Suxxor!"), and championing good old-fashioned piracy, the video-sharing Web site has substantially lowered the bar for camcorder quality. What was once considered too rubbish for consumers has been cynically repackaged as 'the Net-cam' — cheap, low-grade camcorders geared towards Internet bloggers and their loathsome ilk.
The underlying principle behind these gadgets is that you don't need oodles of resolution to broadcast stuff on the Web. Practically anything will look acceptable on a small browser window, which allows vendors to cut down on component costs. High-definition is naturally out the window, along with the majority of modes and features you'd normally expect to find. What you're left with is a bare-bones parody of a video camera; a camcorder-lite, if you will. (That whirring sound is the Lumiere brothers spinning in their graves. Sacre bleu!)
The main advantage offered by these rudimentary models is that they cost a lot less than a proper video camera. This brings us rather neatly to Creative's Vado Pocket Video Cam, which is currently the cheapest low-grade camcorder on the market. With an RRP of just $150, it's certainly a lot more affordable than a fully fledged camcorder — and boy does it show! Still, when compared to other Net-cam efforts, we suppose it's not too shabby.
Creative has crafted a very handsome device with the Vado. It looks markedly better than the other Net-flavoured cams we've looked at, including Sony's monolithic NSC-GC1 Net-Sharing Cam and the garish, boxy Flip Digital Video Camera. Although billed as 'mobile phone–sized', a more accurate likeness would be a multimedia player. In any event, it remains attractively slim and lightweight for a camcorder, measuring just 100x5x16mm and weighing 84g. It will easily fit into a jacket pocket (or a jeans pocket for that matter), which makes it ideal for bloggers-on-the-move. It also comes equipped with a tripod mount, which is a nice touch — particularly for friendless bloggers who have nobody to man the camera.
Anyone who has used a camera phone before will be at home with the Vado — simply point the device at your subject and press record. There are no fiddly controls to master, with the simplistic directional pad doubling as a 2x digital zoom. This is pretty much the only control on offer. In terms of image quality, the most charitable thing to be said of the Vado is that you get what you pay for. Don't even think about screening your footage on a widescreen TV: the results may scar and terrify you. This is strictly designed for video podcasts and playback on small, portable devices.
As you can probably imagine, the tiny inbuilt microphone is hard pressed when it comes to capturing clear sound; particularly from more than a few feet away. Unfortunately, there are no external audio options either. This pretty much limits your YouTube creations to close-ups of talking heads in quiet rooms. While this might suit the average blog, more ambitious videographers will be out of luck.
Getting your movies onto YouTube is as easy as recording videos. The Vado's on-board media-management software will automatically launch when you plug in the device, allowing you to upload clips in a few easy mouse clicks — a boon for novices and Luddites.
The Vado comes with 2GB of inbuilt memory, which will net you around an hour of video at the highest quality setting. While this might sound reasonable, we would have liked to see some form of removable flash memory included. As it stands, you're stuck with the onboard storage, with no options to swap and replace media.
Instead of taking AA batteries like the Firebox Flip, the Vado is equipped with a Li-ion battery that must be charged via USB. For most users, this will be less than ideal, as it means you always need a computer handy to charge up the device and you can't readily swap batteries. The inbuilt USB cable is also far too short for our liking. On the plus side, the reduced battery size has kept down the Vado's overall weight and dimensions.
At the time of writing, Creative is offering a $50 cash-back deal for customers who order the Vado from the Creative e-store (www.au.creative.com), which brings the RRP to $100. At this price, we have no hesitation recommending this product.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPAnalyst Programmer (Adabas)SA
- FTHead of ApplicationsVIC
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedNSW
- FTSenior Learning Specialist - Global OrganisationQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)VIC
- CCProject Support SpecialistVIC
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- TPSolution Architect - Real-Time Tracking SystemVIC
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- CCTechnical Team LeadSA
- CCLevel 2 IT Service DeskQLD
- FTSenior Project Manager - PERMANENTACT
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)WA
- CCSenior Project Manager - Regulatory/Compliance - BankingNSW
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - Wealth AdviceNSW
- TPDesktop Support OfficerQLD
- CCService ManagerACT
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- TPOrganisational Change Manager - ICT Services TransformationQLD
- FTClient Delivery ManagerSA
- CCSecurity AnalystACT
- TPProject Manager to manage two concurrent ProjectsQLD
- FTOracle Forms PL/SQL Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW