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 newsletter!
Modern workplaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes including the traditional cubicle, the open-plan office, and even the family home.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei FreeBuds review: Solid as a value-add, less so standalone
- 2 Oppo Find X review: Damn.
- 3 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 4 HAVIT G1W True Wireless Earbuds review: Budget buds with a wireless edge
- 5 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
Latest News Articles
- Swann launches Voice Control via Google Assistant for 4K DVR Series
- D-Link Launches new Wi-Fi cameras and enhanced Mydlink App
- Swann launches voice integrations via Google Assistant for multi-camera wired systems
- Swann refine their smart security solution with new solar panel
- Logitech Rally sets new standard for USB-connected conference cams
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?