Apple, Lenovo, HP, Microsoft – Rolling Stone
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Work from home and distance learning have become a reality for millions of people this year, which means in-person meetings and classes are being conducted virtually over services like Zoom or Skype.
If you want the freedom to attend these meetings anywhere, your best bet is getting a laptop with a built-in webcam. You’ll sacrifice some video quality — laptop webcams have to be extremely thin, so there’s no room for a lot of camera hardware — but won’t have to worry about accidentally leaving your camera behind whenever you leave a room.
The laptops in our guide are ideal for workers or students, and are powerful enough to handle more than just video conferencing. We’ve made sure to find computers suited for younger students, high school or college age students, or adults.
What Are the Best Laptops With Webcams?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best laptops with webcams; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Webcam: All of the laptops we’re recommending have an HP webcam built into their lid. These webcams can be used with any video conferencing app, and require no additional software to run.
Operating System: The computers in this guide run one of the three major operating systems: Windows, MacOS, and ChromeOS. Each operating system is capable of running a distinct set of apps, but all of them work with popular software like Microsoft Office.
Screen Size: The computers in this guide have screens between 11 and 15 inches wide. Larger screens are better if you intend to watch a lot of media, but smaller ones are easier to take with you.
Screen Resolution: A laptop’s screen resolution will determine how sharp text, photos, and videos look. Every laptop below has an HD screen, but some of our picks edge closer to 4K.
Processor: All of our recommendations have a new Intel or AMD processor inside, and are capable of running many power-hungry apps without slowing down significantly.
RAM: The laptops we’re recommending have either 4GB (Gigabytes) or 8GB of RAM (memory). Computers with more RAM can run apps more smoothly, and allows you to run more apps simultaneously.
Storage: We’re recommending laptops with between 32GB and 256GB of storage. Having less storage is fine if you steam your media, and prefer to keep most of your files in the cloud. If you have a large local media library, or will be working with large files on a regular basis, you should opt for a laptop with extra space.
Inputs: A computer’s inputs (known more commonly as ports), are what allow you to connect accessories to your machine. Each of our picks has a different assortment of ports, which you should strongly consider depending on how you intend to use your machine. All of them support WiFi and Bluetooth, though, so you have a range of wireless connectivity options, too.
Battery Life: The laptops below all get between seven and 12 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is more than enough to get you through a standard day of use.
1. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 is a light, powerful Windows laptop with a great HD camera.
The machine has a 13.5-inch touch screen with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 (better than HD), Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. This laptop is powerful enough to handle anything you throw at it, though its graphics chip isn’t designed for gaming. Microsoft says it can get up to 11.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, so you can easily make it through a full day of school or work.
Because it runs Windows you shouldn’t run into any issues running any apps you need on this laptop. The ability to use this laptop for professional programming, image editing, media management, or audio production makes it a great all-around laptop for students and workers from any discipline.
The Surface Laptop 3 is thin, but Microsoft outfitted it with a USB-A port in addition to a USB-C port and headphone jack, so you can plug older accessories into the laptop without an adapter. It’s getting harder to find USB-A ports in ultra thin and light laptops, so this is a very welcome feature.
If you need a new laptop with an HD webcam, and want a Windows, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 is the one to get.
Buy Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 $899.99
2. Apple MacBook Air
The new MacBook Air has a 720P webcam, and it’s the most well-rounded laptop Apple makes.
The MacBook Air has a 13.3-Inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 (higher than HD). This high resolution screen is complemented by Apple’s custom M1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The chip inside this new MacBook Air offers a quantum leap in performance over the previous version, and allows it to handle tasks like 4K video editing with ease.
This laptop runs MacOS, an Apple developed operating system with a vibrant app ecosystem. You can find software for any type of work, which makes the MacBook Air an excellent laptop for students or workers who prefer Apple tech.
Apple equipped the MacBook Air with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which also work with USB-C accessories (the ports are the same shape). It doesn’t have any other ports, though, so you’ll need an adapter to connect older accessories to this machine.
The company says you can get up to 18 hours of use from this laptop on a single charge, but that will vary a lot depending on the apps you run, and your brightness settings. In our experience, Apple’s battery claims on MacBooks running an M1 chip have been pretty accurate.
If you’re committed to the Mac, and want a modern Apple laptop with a built-in Webcam, the MacBook Air is the way to go.
Buy Apple MacBook Air $749.99
3. HP Chromebook X360
This model in HP’s Chromebook X360 line is an excellent webcam-equipped laptop for younger students.
It runs ChromeOS, which can run fewer apps than Windows or MacOS, but is far less prone to viruses. This laptop was designed with students in mind, so it can run popular web software like Google’s GSuite and the Microsoft Office Suite just fine.
The laptop has a 12-inch, 720P (HD) screen, which can be rotated 180-degrees, so the keyboard and display are parallel. This tablet mode can be useful for art projects. HP’s Chromebook has an Intel Celeron Processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 32GB SSD. These specs are excellent for word processing, creating slideshows, working with spreadsheets, or video conferencing.
The X360 has two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, a MicroSD Card reader, and a headphone jack, so it’s fully equipped for any accessories you may need to plug in. It may not be a gaming machine, but this entry in HP’s Chromebook X360 line is the right choice for any grade school student who needs to run Zoom and get homework done.
Buy HP Chromebook X360 12b-ca0010nr $349.00
4. Lenovo Ideapad 3
BEST BUDGET PICK
If you need a Windows computer with an HD webcam, but have a strict budget, Lenovo’s new Ideapad 3 is your best choice under $400.
The laptop has a 14-inch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768, Intel Premium Gold processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. These tech specs are a little lackluster compared to our premium picks, but very impressive given the Ideapad 3’s price. This laptop is perfect for web browsing, writing, creating slide decks, editing spreadsheets, and communicating over Zoom.
The IdeaPad 3 has three USB-A ports, one HDMI port, an SD Card reader, and a headphone jack. You won’t need an adapter to plug in accessories, or connect the laptop to a projector during presentations. Lenovo says the IdeaPad 3 will last up to six hours per charge, which is average for a Windows laptop.
The Lenovo Ideapad 3 is a great budget-friendly laptop that’s an especially good picks for students studying remotely.
Buy Lenovo Ideapad 3 $799.00
5. Razer Blade 15
BEST GAMING LAPTOP
The latest version of Razer’s Blade 15 Gaming Laptop is built for graphically demanding tasks, but is outfitted with a 720P webcam for when you need to get work done.
The Windows machine has a 15.6-inch 1080P HD display, 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, 256GB of storage, and 16GB of RAM. These tech specs are rounded out by its NVIDIA GTX 1660 TI, a graphics card with 6GB of dedicated graphics memory. This laptop will run smoothly whether you’re playing Call of Duty, or editing photos and videos using apps like Adobe Photoshop.
Razer outfitted the Blade 15 with three USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, a dedicated charging port, one Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. The laptop’s level of performance and array of ports are impressive, but contribute to its hefty weight of eight pounds. This is a portable machine that feels a little more at home on a desk rather than your backpack.
That said, if you want to play PC games on the go, but rely on video calls to get your work done, Razer’s Blade 15 is the laptop we recommend.
Buy Razer Blade 15
Staples® Official Online Store
Back to school made easy
This back-to-school season, the right supplies can help you start the year on a positive note. Whether you’re a teacher looking to stock your classroom, a parent hoping to set your child up for a successful year, or a student yourself, Staples has all the school supplies you need to be successful. Shop our wide variety of back-to-school supplies, from learning games and toys to school tech.
Shopping for your classroom
At Staples, we know that a well-equipped classroom can help empower educators to keep students engaged. From school binders to lesson planners, we have all the classroom essentials you need to create a safe and fun learning environment for your students. Shopping for an elementary school classroom? Check out our selection of crayons, school glue and safety scissors, which are perfect for young learners. Need supplies for older students? Our study tools like index cards and smart notebooks are great for students in middle school, high school or college with more complex studies.
Preparing for the school year
Whether you’re shopping for the first year of elementary school or the first year of college, you can find everything you need to thrive at Staples. For young learners, shop our fun yet practical selection of back-to-school essentials. A high-quality lunch box can help them stay fueled and take on their busy day of learning, while tools like colorful notebooks and school pencils ensure they’re prepared for whatever lessons their teacher has planned. Going off to college can be an overwhelming experience, but the right supplies can ease the transition. In addition to what you or your student needs to succeed in class, remember to stock up on dorm room essentials like storage bins and laundry supplies.
Take a seat
Whether you’re working from home or outfitting a space for gaming, your comfort is dependent on finding the best chair. At Staples, we provide a broad range of office chairs and seating, so you can find the right fit for you. Select from multifunctional task chairs, computer & desk chairs, drafting stools and more. If you will be using your new chair for multiple hours a day, make sure to get an ergonomic office chair to prevent unnecessary strain.
Comfort, all day long
Office furniture that is the proper size and height makes a big difference. When shopping for chairs, the height of the seat should be adjustable so that the user’s feet can sit flat on the floor with their knees at right angles. Likewise, the accompanying office desk should be at a height where the users’ elbows can sit comfortably at right angles at their sides while typing or writing. Browse our selection to find the combination that’s right for you. If size if a concern, check out our big & tall chairs which can support up to 500lbs.
If you’re a gamer, you know that a single gaming session can last all day or night. For the best and most comfortable gaming setup, Staples has gaming chairs in colors and styles for everyone. Make sure to match your new chair to an ergonomic gaming desk, the perfect complement for the high-tech gaming computer and accessories you’ve invested in.
Tech accessories for work or play
Whether you’re shopping for tech essentials for school, work or anywhere in between, Staples has all the latest products to keep you up to date. Browse our selection of laptops and Chromebooks to find the perfect on-the-go computer for schoolwork, homework, hybrid work, and play. If you’re a gamer, streamer, or work with large files, a gaming laptop or desktop PC might be the best option for you. With installed RAM up to 64GB and up to 2TB SSD, gaming laptops can handle everything from the newest online games to editing audio, films and more. Need more file storage? Increase capacity with an external hard drive.
Shop NXT Technologies wide assortment of tech accessories including chargers, power banks, headsets and more. Staples range of audio accessories can help you create the best audio experience. From headsets for focused work time to headphones and Bluetooth speakers for music and entertainment, find the latest audio technology at Staples.
Show seasonal allergies who’s boss
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, now is when they are at their worst. Stock up on allergy season’s most important products to keep your home, classroom, and office allergen-free. Start with an air purifier to strip the air of allergens like pollen and pet dander and replace existing air filters for improved air quality. Frequently dust, wipe down hard surfaces, and vacuum carpets and furniture to help eliminate pollen tracked in from outside and dander left behind by pets. When leaving the house, check the pollen count and bring a face mask to help filter the air you breath outside.
No matter what you do, it’s unlikely that the symptoms of seasonal allergies can be avoided entirely. Make sure to have over-the-counter cold and allergy medications on hand to battle symptoms, and stock up on facial tissues so you’ll always have one available when you need them.
Spring (Cleaning) is in the air
Spring cleaning and decluttering is a tradition meant to refresh our spaces for the year ahead. Staples has everything you need to clear out the clutter, store and organize your belongings, and all the right cleaning supplies.
Clear out the clutter
Start by preparing a checklist and make sure you have all the necessary supplies. Use storage bins and a label maker to make sorting and organizing easier. Prepare extra boxes for donations and trash bags for the things you no longer need. Look for decorative boxes & baskets that will compliment your home’s décor and use them to organize. You can also use closet organizers and storage drawers anywhere they are needed.
Start with the basics
An all-purpose cleaner, cleaning brush and microfiber cloths will clean most surfaces. Use a duster to remove unwanted dirt and furniture polish to revitalize wood surfaces. Upgrade your broom, dustpan, wet mop, and vacuum to make cleaning any type of flooring a breeze.
The nitty gritty
Spring cleaning doesn’t stop there. There’s so much you can do to reset your home:
- Improve air quality and eliminate pollen and pet dander with a new air purifier and an air freshener with a scent you love.
- On a sunny day, take the opportunity to clean your windows – you’ll need glass cleaner, a bucket, a squeegee, and paper towels.
- Have a step stool or ladder on hand to access hard-to-reach places like the tops of cabinets and overhead lighting.
- Replace broken light bulbs and check the batteries in your smoke detectors.
- Use drain cleaner to clear up sink and bathtub drains.
Up your printing game with a Supertank Printer
Looking for a printer with more print capacity that’s better for the environment and your wallet? Shop Staples selection of Supertank Printers for all the benefits of an inkjet printer with the convenience and savings of replacement ink bottles that last longer and cost less per page than standard inkjet printer cartridges.
Find a Supertank printer from your favorite top printer brand including:
- HP Smart Tank & Neverstop Printers
- Brother INKVestment Tank Printers
- Canon MegaTank Printers
- Epson EcoTank Printers
And don’t forget to browse Staples Ink and Toner Finder to find the right replacement ink for your new printer. No matter what printer you have, enter the brand, cartridge or printer model into the easy-to-use Ink and Toner Finder, and browse for compatible ink.
How to install a webcam on a computer
Buying a brand new webcam for your PC, each user wants to experience its capabilities as soon as possible. True, this is not easily possible, alas, not for everyone, because either the cord is not included in the kit, or Windows, as luck would have it, does not want to recognize the connected device. As a result, you sit over it and think about how to install the purchased webcam on your computer. Of course, nothing can be done about the cord: without it, the installation process is unthinkable. But if there is no disk with drivers or the device is simply not detected, it is easy to do without additional costs. Do you want to know how?
- Step #1: Read the manual
- Step 2: Connect and install the software
- Option #1: Search for drivers manually
- Option #2: Debugging via DriverPack Solution
9 0016 Step #1: Familiarize yourself with instructions
When wondering how to install a webcam on a computer, you should first carefully read the instructions that came with it. The fact is that different manufacturers recommend installing a web-cam in different ways: for some, you first need to connect it to a computer and then install the software; others recommend doing just the opposite. Therefore, in order not to risk the performance of the device, it is better to take a few minutes to read the instructions that come with it.
Step 2: Connecting and Installing the Software
To install a webcam, you often need to connect it to your computer first. In principle, difficulties rarely arise with this, because to connect it is enough to connect the cable that comes with it to the web-ke, and then insert it into the appropriate working USB connector on the PC.
As for driver installation, if you have the appropriate installation disk, you just need to insert it into the drive and follow the prompts of the setup wizard until the webcam program files are copied to the computer. However, if such a disk is not available / the drive does not work / after the installation is completed, the device is not detected or is defined as unknown, it is worth trying to revive it manually. You can accomplish this “hard” task in 2 different ways.
Option number 1. Search for drivers manually
In order to determine what software is suitable for the webcam, after connecting it to the computer, you will have to visit the “Device Manager”. To do this, you just need to drive the appropriate value into the search bar of the Start menu, and then press Enter.
Next, after the “Device Manager” window appears, we find an unknown device in it, marked with a yellow triangle with a black question mark, right-click on its label, and then select “Update driver software”. Next, we give Windows the opportunity to independently find drivers for the webcam via the Internet:0003
If it was not possible to find the software in this way, we return to the “Device Manager”, select unknown equipment and right-click in the menu that appears, click “Properties”. After that, click on the “Details” tab in the window that opens and check the “Hardware ID” parameter in the “Properties” panel:
Now copy the data displayed in the “Value” field, go to the devid.info website, paste them into the search bar and click “Find”. As a result, in a matter of seconds, the online service will detect the equipment as a webcam and offer to download drivers for it. We press the button in the form of a floppy disk opposite the appropriate option and download the webki software to your computer.
Further steps in the principles are similar to those performed during a standard device driver installation:
In this case, however, it may be necessary to disable signature verification of the driver being installed. How to do it, read here.
Option No. 2. Debugging via DriverPack Solution
If you can’t determine the device ID or just don’t want to spend your time on it, you can use a program such as DriverPack. It is quite easy to install:0003
One way or another, after the installation of the utility is complete, you only need to run it and select the Online tab in it. As a result, the program will automatically determine which drivers need to be installed. We find the webcam data, set the parameters for downloading the software in the menu on the left and after clicking on the corresponding web button, click OK:
start the long-awaited use of the webcam.
youtube.com/embed/PpoVQU6aVKQ?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen=””>
The best webcam for PC and laptop – what to choose in 2023
External webcams for PC or laptop are an essential accessory to improve the audio-video quality of your calls.
The first feature that distinguishes external webcams from those built into laptops is the maximum resolution at which recording is possible; Currently, Full HD 1080p webcams are the standard, ideal and versatile for both video calls and streaming, as well as for distance learning.
On the market, you can also find webcams with up to 4K resolution , while the cheaper have only 720p resolution, perfect for those who need to make sporadic video calls.
Other important features to consider when choosing the best webcam are: the angle of view of the webcam, the type of lens lens, the presence of an autofocus function, automatic brightness control, which allows you to take great pictures even in low light conditions, the number and type of microphones, preferably with a background noise suppression function that guarantees a more intelligible sound from the other side.
If your goal is streaming video on YouTube or Twitch , it is recommended to check frame rate , preferring webcams that support high resolution at 60 fps and are compatible with streaming software.
Select webcam streaming models also include a trial version of ‘s most popular live streaming software, , which supports webcam effects to make your videos more professional.
The brand is also important, the top professional webcam brands are Jabra and Logitech , while Microsoft’s and Genius offer models with different features depending on the available budget. For gamers who need a webcam for live streaming, the Razer production models are recommended.
Below are the best PC webcams on the market for 2023 , sorted by specifications, usage type and price range.
Quality Webcams – Broadcast & Communication
Insta360 Link – 4K webcam with the best quality and features
Insta360 Link is a high quality webcam with a crisp 4K sensor that looks absolutely fantastic and also has a built-in gimbal that can rotate and tilt to keep you in line of sight. With AI-powered tracking, gesture control and special viewing modes is the best all-round webcam at the moment .
What we love :
- Crystal clear video quality with large ½-inch 4K sensor
- Pan/tilt/zoom functions make it easy to stay in the frame
- Desktop and whiteboard modes are great for presenters
What disappointed us :
- AI tracking is not always perfect
We’ve seen a resurgence in webcam quality over the past few years and the Insta360 Link is the best webcam money can buy right now . It’s an absolutely phenomenal webcam in every way, offering excellent video quality and AI features to make things even better.
Insta360 Link has a ½-inch 4K sensor, which is way better than the vast majority of webcams. The lens also has an f/1.8 aperture and as a result the image quality from this camera is fantastic. In our review, we found the images to be impressively crisp and clear, and the white balance better than most webcams. A wide aperture also means that the plane of focus is relatively small, which creates soft bokeh for the background and helps you achieve more.
What makes Insta360 Link special is the built-in gimbal that allows it to swivel sideways, tilt up or down, and even rotate vertically. The camera also supports zooming, both manually and automatically, with the AI zoom feature. This is because the Insta360 Link supports face tracking, so as you move around the camera can follow your face almost anywhere thanks to this gimbal, and it can also zoom in on your face to keep you in view.
To protect privacy, the webcam automatically points downwards and turns off when not in use.
To top it all off, Insta360 Link comes with special features such as desktop view mode and whiteboard mode, making it ideal for speakers and educators, for example. You can easily focus on documents or text that you want to show others, making this webcam extremely versatile.
The price might be a little high for some, but it’s the best webcam on the market if price doesn’t matter.
Logitech 4K Pro is a fantastic webcam from trusted brand
Logitech 4K Pro Webcam, also known as the Brio 4K , is still one of the best webcams you can buy even though it has been around for a while. With crisp 4K video and HDR support, it offers fantastic quality and even has built-in support for Windows Hello.
What we liked :
- 4K and HDR video support
- Windows Hello Infrared Camera
- Video support up to 90 fps (720p only)
- Privacy shutter
What disappointed us :
- She is now several years old
- Not many driving options after installing
Logitech is one of the most famous brands of peripherals in the world and webcam 9The 0067 Logitech 4K Pro , which is basically a rebadged version of the Brio 4K, is still a great webcam for just about everyone. The original Brio 4K is now many years old, but back then it was the cream of the crop and it still holds up great.
First, of course, it supports 4K video at 30fps, so you get fantastic video quality for meetings and calls. If you’re streaming, you can also select 1080p video at 60 fps or even 720p video at 90 fps. The camera also supports HDR and boasts Logitech’s RightLight 3 technology, which ensures you’re clearly visible even in less favorable lighting conditions. The glass lens and autofocus support help ensure excellent quality. The webcam also includes two microphones for high quality audio capture.
One of the highlights of the Logitech 4K Pro webcam is that it’s larger than a standard webcam, it also has an infrared sensor, meaning it can be used to log into your computer with Windows Hello. Indeed, the webcam has advanced facial recognition support, so you can get started faster as soon as you sit down at your computer.
In terms of security and privacy, the webcam also comes with a protective cover that you can easily cover the lens with if you don’t want to be seen.
With the Logi Tune software, you can change all the parameters of your Logitech 4K Pro webcam, including the camera’s field of view (from 65 to 90 degrees) and various image settings, to get the right view in any situation.
Logitech StreamCam – Great quality USB-C webcam
Logitech StreamCam is a modern webcam with flexible design and easy connection. It uses a USB Type-C port, making it ideal for use with laptops, and supports 1080p video at 60fps for streamers and content creators. In addition, it can record vertical video.
What we liked :
- 1080p video at 60 fps
- Easy USB-C connection for modern laptops
- Vertical video support by simply rotating the camera
What disappointed us :
- A bit expensive
- No 4K support
As USB Type-C becomes more common, some laptops are starting to ship without USB Type-A ports, and finding a compatible webcam can be difficult if you don’t want to buy any adapters. Whether you have a MacBook or a Dell XPS laptop, you will need a USB Type-C webcam, and Logitech StreamCam is the easy choice .
Logitech StreamCam is not only easy to use, it also has many great features for streaming. It starts with support for Full HD 1080p video at 60 frames per second, which guarantees sharp images and smooth movements.
The camera uses a glass lens and supports autofocus so you always look as clear as possible. In addition, it supports auto-tracking, and the smart exposure function helps ensure that your face looks natural and well-lit in various lighting conditions. If you’re focused on live streaming, you’ll also love that the camera is specifically optimized for apps like Streamlabs and OBS.
One of the biggest advantages of the Logitech StreamCam is the ability to record vertical video because the camera can physically rotate 90 degrees without moving the mount.
As with other Logitech webcams, you can also count on support for the Logitech Capture app, which gives you all sorts of webcam controls on both Windows and macOS. Logitech Capture lets you toggle features such as auto-framing and image stabilization, choose to prioritize frame rate or exposure, and apply all sorts of effects and filters.
Logitech StreamCam is a little pricey, but it’s a great webcam from a well-known brand and easy to recommend.
Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra – Incredible Low Light Performance
If you’re streaming in relatively low light and want to look your best, it’s hard to beat the Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra. The large 1/1.2″ sensor supports uncompressed 4K video at 24fps and captures a lot of light, making it ideal for lower light conditions.
What we like :
- Low light image quality is fantastic thanks to the
- Supports uncompressed 4K video
- Auto face tracking and focusing
- Built-in safety shutter
‘s large sensor
What disappointed us :
- Very expensive
- No Windows Hello or other fancy features
Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra features one of the largest camera sensors we’ve seen on a webcam – a large 1/1. 2″ Sony sensor – and has a wide f/1.7 aperture. This large sensor means the camera captures much more light to keep the image looking sharp and clear even in low light conditions. It’s also helped by HDR support, which helps compensate for uneven lighting scenarios so you’re always visible.
A wide aperture helps achieve natural bokeh, so backgrounds are softly blurred without any software tricks. What’s more, the Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra supports fully uncompressed 4K video streaming at 24 frames per second for the highest possible image quality. For streamers using soft or dim indoor lighting, this webcam’s image quality is hard to beat.
camera also has useful features such as face-tracking autofocus, which ensures that your face is always clearly displayed on the camera. While the camera cannot physically move to follow you, it detects your face and ensures that you stay in focus whenever possible. It also has some useful privacy features, such as a shutter that you can activate by rotating the camera’s faceplate, and a matching camera cover for transport.
Like most Razer peripherals, the camera also supports Razer Synapse, which means you get all types of camera control built into the software. You can change things like exposure, focus and zoom, settings, and more.
Yes, it costs the same as the Insta360 Link and lacks some features like AI-based tracking or even Windows Hello like the Logitech 4K Pro webcam. But, if you need the best quality for live streaming, this webcam is for you.
Dell UltraSharp 4K – great webcam with macOS support
Dell UltraSharp 4K is one of the best webcams around, and despite being made by Dell, it supports most of its features on macOS. With a large 4K sensor, it performs great in low light and the overall quality is fantastic. It also supports features like AI auto framing and more.
What we liked :
- 4K video and excellent picture quality
- Sony STARVIS sensor and HDR support for low light scenarios
- Magnetic lens cap
- Full software support on macOS
What disappointed us :
- A bit too big for a laptop
- Requires USB-C adapter
- No microphone
Most of the webcams on this list will work on macOS to some extent, and many of them, including the Insta360 Link webcam and the Logitech 4K Pro, have dedicated software for macOS. But if you want another alternative, Dell UltraSharp is another fantastic option for Mac users, especially desktop Macs like the Mac Mini or Mac Studio.
This is because it’s a relatively large camera, so mounting it on a MacBook won’t always be perfect, but in exchange for that size, you get fantastic image quality. The Dell UltraSharp 4K Webcam, as the name suggests, is equipped with a 4K sensor, specifically the Sony STARVIS sensor, optimized for low light conditions, which means you should be clearly visible even in less favorable conditions. What’s more, it supports HDR to compensate for uneven lighting, and autofocus should ensure you always look sharp.
Unfortunately Mac users can’t take advantage of Window Hello support, one of Dell UltraSharp’s best features, but it’s there in case you ever switch to Windows. However, Dell supports macOS quite well thanks to the Dell Display app. This allows you to change all sorts of settings, including changing the camera’s field of view so you can crop your surroundings or fit more into the frame, turn AI framing on or off, and adjust general image settings like brightness, contrast, etc. . All of this should help you look the way you want on calls, and it’s great that Dell goes above and beyond to support macOS despite being a big player in the Windows space.
A potential downside to this webcam is that it doesn’t have a built-in microphone, but if you’re serious about the quality of your meeting, you’re probably wearing a headset anyway, so it might not matter much. Plus, the Dell UltraSharp remains one of the best webcams on the market, and it’s always nice to see macOS support.
Microsoft Modern Webcam – Good Enough for Most People
For those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a webcam, Microsoft’s Modern Webcam delivers consistent 1080p HDR video quality. It also includes a privacy cover if you’re worried about being spied on.
What we liked :
- Pretty cheap, especially considering the frequent discounts
- 1080p video resolution and HDR support
- Built-in microphone and privacy shutter
What disappointed us :
- No integration with Windows Hello
- Still using USB Type-A
All the webcams we’ve reviewed so far are fantastic, but most of them are also quite expensive. Of course, if you’re looking for the absolute best quality, they’re worth it, but if you’re just looking to upgrade your camera on an old laptop or need something to get you started, Microsoft Modern Webcam is for you.
This is a relatively basic webcam compared to others on this list, but it’s still good value for money. It offers support for 1080p video at 30fps, which is enough to keep you looking great during video calls and meetings. The camera also supports HDR to keep you clearly visible in less favorable lighting conditions. On top of that, if you want to look your best, True Look can apply some face retouches to help you do just that.
webcam includes a microphone for your audio needs, though the quality won’t be exceptional, and there’s also a privacy shutter. If you’re worried that your camera will be on when you’re not using it, this is very useful to have, and the camera actually integrates with Teams. This means that when you put a lens cap on, the camera in Teams turns off instead of just showing a black image. The reverse also happens when you open up the lens, so you’re always ready to work faster.
Considering this is a modern webcam, we’d like to see features like Windows Hello integration, or at least a USB Type-C-to-C cable to make it easier to connect to modern laptops. However, the price for this camera is great, and what’s even better is that you can often find it on sale.
Razer Kiyo – Webcam with Built-in Light
The Razer Kiyo
is a powerful streaming webcam with a built-in ring light, making it ideal if you enjoy streaming in dark rooms or at night. You can customize various settings with Razer Synapse to always look your best.
What we like :
- Adjustable ring light ideal for low light scenarios
- 1080p video with autofocus
- Compact design
What disappointed us :
- 60 FPS only supported in 720p
If you’re used to live streaming in dark rooms, it can be difficult to find a webcam that captures you well in the dark. Many of the best webcams we’ve mentioned have large sensors to compensate, but the Razer Kiyo is a more practical solution. It solves this problem by using a ring light around the camera that illuminates your face so you look good no matter the lighting conditions around you. Light intensity can be easily adjusted by rotating the dial on the camera, so you can adjust it to suit your settings and feel comfortable without too much light.
In addition to light, the Razer Kiyo is equipped with a Full HD 1080p sensor that supports 30fps recording. Also, you can use it to record in 720p at 60fps if you’re more into high frame rates than resolution.
The camera also supports autofocus, and in combination with the built-in backlight, this should provide a sharp image in almost any conditions, and at the same time it is much cheaper than cameras with large sensors.
Webcam also includes a microphone that you can use as a last resort and has a compact, foldable design that’s pretty easy to store or carry around when you need it.
You can adjust various picture settings using Razer Synapse and using the app is highly recommended. You can switch between auto and manual focus, color balance and more. It also allows you to receive firmware updates released by Razer to improve image quality and add more options.
How to choose the right webcam
What is a webcam?
In general, the webcam has the same structure as a digital camera, but without internal memory. The data is transferred to a computer via a USB cable and stored there.
In most cases, users attach devices to a computer monitor using a bracket. Mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, or smartphones usually have small built-in webcams by default. Compared to them, external webcams usually have has better and more powerful optics, pickups, and arguably a better microphone than the due to their design and size. This affects image quality, frame clarity, and especially image quality in low light conditions.
Where webcams are used
The classic application of webcams is video chat. Friends and relatives who live far apart use video chat to keep in touch with each other and, unlike a phone call, enjoy the visual experience. The webcam ensures communication with loved ones even on vacation.
- Meetings and conferences. Companies use webcams to bring together colleagues or business partners who are geographically separated from each other. Webcams make meetings and conferences more lively than just phone calls. In addition, they avoid long trips that are costly for the company.
- Weather cameras. Tour operators often use webcams to offer local weather and panoramas to interested parties. Users can see live images of beaches or ski areas and, for example, get a first impression of the weather on a beach or the quality of snow on a ski slope.
- Modern baby monitor. In private life, webcams can serve as a baby monitor option, with the help of which parents ensure the safety of their baby during sleep.
- Monitoring. A wide range of applications for webcams is monitoring in public places, such as squares, buses and trains. Other possible applications are workplace monitoring, for example in offices or construction sites.
In addition to the “classic” webcam for video chatting, specialized models are available to consumers to meet a variety of requirements.
Depending on requirements, purpose and location, the cameras have features that enable them to perform specific tasks efficiently.
The HD webcams are the ones that provide particularly high resolution. Usually these are 720p, 1080p and even 4K devices.
Appropriate software allows you to encode the video stream to an acceptable size. Users should be aware that smooth transmission of HD video signals still requires an appropriately fast Internet connection.
The Conference Webcams are devices that offer particularly high resolution and a particularly wide viewing angle for the best image quality even at large conference tables.
Most devices have a field of view between 54 and 78 degrees. On some models, the field of view is up to 180 degrees. In most cases, devices have a tilt, pan, and zoom function. Therefore, they are intended for corporate clients.
Gamer’s Webcams are gamer’s face cameras, devices that use software to record current game events and the player’s face during the game.
This type of webcam is relatively new. But is especially popular with esports athletes and gamers as they can use them to showcase video games on platforms like YouTube and comment on split screen. During the game, you can comfortably answer users’ questions without interrupting the game.
The IP webcams are devices that do not need to be connected to a computer, that is, they already have the necessary equipment on board and transmit data directly to the Internet via a network cable or WLAN. Depending on the design, they are also labeled “network camera”, “Wi-Fi camera” or “WLAN camera”.
Because they don’t need a computer as an intermediary to access the Internet, IP webcams are often used for surveillance tasks. Due to the additional equipment, they are slightly larger and slightly more expensive than the classic models. But they allow 24-hour video surveillance. With a network connection, images can be viewed over the Internet from anywhere in the world.
Video resolution and bit rate
A high resolution is more visually appealing than a resolution with a smaller pixel value, which the user perceives as grainy. Stakeholders should always keep in mind that a certain amount of internet speed is required to produce a smooth, high-resolution image. HD-ready signal transmission without interference requires a minimum speed of 3 megabits per second. For Full HD broadcasts, the channel must be at least twice as large.
When it comes to live video, users need to make sure they have access to the Internet at a fixed price. Otherwise, video streaming can be a costly trap to pay your data consumption bills.
Resolution and data compression
For many applications, such as game streaming, a low resolution is sufficient because the Face Cam video is displayed as a split screen in a small window in the corner.
Video compression should not be too heavy on hardware resources, as they must be available to smoothly display the game itself.
Additional decision criteria
Another important criterion is the quality of autofocus. Autofocus affects the focus of photographed objects and is therefore a decisive factor for the quality of photos and videos.
Well-functioning exposure compensation is also important. This determines how quickly the webcam can respond to changes in light (sunlight, light source on or off) and adjust settings.
High resolution must be achieved on the hardware side – that is, through the optics. Some, especially cheaper models, extrapolate resolution using software. As a result, quality suffers.
A common accessory for webcams are brackets for attaching them to a computer monitor. In most cases, these are clamp or screw systems to fix the camera and align it with the object, usually the user in front of the screen. Some cameras also have a desktop tripod that you can safely mount your webcam on.
Some models have a folding mechanism so that the lens is not aimed at the face when not needed. Other systems have a slip system so that the lenses can be closed when not in use. These systems follow the desire of the user to ensure data security.
Other webcam accessories
Other accessories include USB connection cables , software for operating or capturing photos and videos, and dedicated software for streaming PC games.
Optional webcam microphone
If desired, the user can combine the webcam with a separate microphone.