Microsoft LifeCam VX-7000
- Arresting design, easy setup, can be mounted on a variety of surfaces
- 2Mp video lags badly, certain features only work with Windows Live Messenger
The Lifecam VX-7000 offers a reasonable performance in most areas, but $150 is a pretty big ask for a webcam; particularly when some of its premium features don't work properly. Only consider buying if you're a Windows Live fan.
Price$ 149.95 (AUD)
When it comes to its hardware peripherals, Microsoft is a firm believer in enthusiastic overkill. The minions under Bill Gate's whip love nothing more than to cram as many superfluous features into a product as humanly possible -- after all, the more stuff you throw at a gadget, the more likely some of it will stick with consumers, right? In reality, this philosophy tends to compromise the overall quality of a device and has led to a swathe of electronic overachievers that fail to deliver on their lofty promises (step up, the Sidewinder gaming mouse). Unfortunately, Microsoft's latest periphery offering, the Lifecam VX-7000, falls squarely into this category of mixed bags.
At first glance, the VX-7000 appears to have a lot going for it. It sports a high-definition 2-megapixel sensor (up from the LifeCam VX-6000's 1.3Mp), a 4x digital zoom, an integrated microphone with noise-cancellation, fancy video effects and a wide-angle lens. It is also handsomely crafted, with a sleek and intelligent design that will sit equally well on a desktop, monitor or notebook. On further inspection however, it turns out that a few of the VX-7000's finer selling-points aren't exactly what they're cracked up to be.
For instance, the camera's video performance is almost unwatchable at its highest resolution; with lethargic, choppy frame rates and fluctuating light levels. This effectively trumps the VX-7000's main calling card as a 2Mp webcam. As you'd expect, lower resolutions produced smoother results at the expense of picture quality. We found the 640x480 setting to work best, as it struck a reasonable balance between picture and video, although images still appeared grainy in dim lighting.
Another feature that failed to impress us was the glass element wide-angle lens. While fine in theory, the rectangular frame reveals too much of your background surroundings, with your face and shoulders 'dwarfed' somewhere in the middle. On the plus side, if you regularly surf the Internet with a friend in tow, the added space should accommodate both your mugs simultaneously.
Otherwise, the VX-7000 fared quite well in the majority of areas. Setting up the device couldn't be easier -- simply pop the installation CD into your drive and follow the prompts. Curiously, during our first installation attempt the program abruptly shut down our computer, without so much as a by-your-leave. We have no idea what caused this, but for the record, our second attempt ran without a hitch.
We were also quite impressed by the VX-7000's noise-cancelling microphone, which picked up voices over environmental noise with considerable aplomb. Likewise, its audio performance remained impressively clear throughout our testing.
Although it is compatible with most instant-messaging services, the Lifecam VX-7000 has clearly been designed with Microsoft's Windows Live in mind. Subsequently, certain Live-specific features, such as the dedicated call button and photo-swap feature, only work with this application. If you're a Yahoo user or ICQ stalwart, we'd recommend giving this webcam a miss in favour of the more versatile Logitech QuickCam Pro for Notebooks.
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Apple iPhone X
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Toys for Boys
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Bose SoundLink Micro
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Xbox One X
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Sony make shooting in HDR easy with new 4K camcorders
- Sony announces Australian availability for new waterproof RX0 action-camera
- Microsoft's Beam becomes Mixer, adds four person split-screen streaming to battle Twitch
- Microsoft's Story Remix uses machine learning and mixed reality to make your movies awesome
- New IoT malware targets 100,000 IP cameras via known flaw
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Western Digital My Cloud Home review: Take back the cloud
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCProject ManagerQLD
- CCSCCM Deployment TechnicianACT
- TPProject OfficerACT
- CCGeospatial Project ManagerNSW
- CCAxway DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Program CoordinatorNSW
- FTField Service TechnicianOther
- FTRobotic Process Automation DeveloperOther
- FTSolution Architect - Desktop ArchitectureSA
- FTBig Data EngineerOther
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTTechnical Integration LeadOther
- FTEnterprise Architect - ApplicationsOther
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- TPProject ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst- Windows 10 SOE rollout projectOther
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- FTApplication Support Technical LeadQLD
- CC.Net DeveloperWA
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPInformation Security ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Developer - Node.js - APINSW
- FTSolution Architect - Feasibility/ImpactSA
- FTSQL DeveloperQLD
- TPSenior Business Analyst - ieMR - Digital Health ProgramQLD