Creative Labs Live! Ultra for Notebooks
- 76º camera angle; Compact yet highly durable construction.
- Inaccuracy of “Face tracking” feature, Software needs a few refinements.
The Creative Ultra! Live for Notebooks is a well-built, durable webcam aimed at style-conscious laptop users. However, we look forward to future, more refined releases of the Creative software.
Price$ 169.95 (AUD)
The Creative Live! Ultra for Notebooks holds a lot of potential, boasting excellent construction, portable design, adequate 'extras', and two unique features - a wide 76º camera angle, and 'face tracking' technology. However, this little webcam just needs a few small refinements to make it a five star product.
The Live! Ultra for Notebooks is equipped with a 640x480 pixel CCD sensor, allowing for high quality imaging in a range of lighting conditions. Owing to its USB2 capabilities, video may be captured at up to 30fps at the CCD's maximum resolution easily providing for broadband videoconferences. Still shots may be taken at up to 1280x960 through software enhancement. Of course, these specs are complemented by the impressive 76º camera-angle, which capably captures a standard-sized room in luscious detail.
Physical construction is similarly comprehensive - a solid clip attaches the camera to an LCD screen (or anything under approximately 13mm), and the lens rotates firmly through 180º, allowing easy repositioning without the fear of being broken. A boom-based microphone headset is also included. The Live! Ultra for Notebooks was built with an on-the-go user in mind, yet - just in case this wasn't enough - a soft draw-string bag is provided for safe storage of this impressive little unit and its headset.
The software bundle includes ArcSoft video and image editing/compilation programs, webcam drivers and Creative's "Webcam Center" (sic). The Creative software offers a complete set of features, such as remote monitoring (via FTP or saving appropriate files to disk), time-lapse recording and motion detection. Overall, these work effectively and as expected, despite occasional instability and a few unintuitive workings. Finally, the camera drivers tie cleanly into popular instant messaging programs, with its advanced options available from within the IM.
We were was keen to try the 'face tracking' feature - quite a selling point in our opinion. However, we were disappointed to find it appears to have a mind of its own and was intent on broadcasting a close-up of the ceiling lights. The documentation promises a solution through careful adjustment of settings, however the latest software update (available online) has curiously removed menu-access to this feature (as well as the still-image editing capabilities). Ultimately, the software is quite capable and feature-filled; simply not quite as refined as some available alternatives.
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A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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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.
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