Logitech ConferenceCam Connect
The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect is a portable, mid-range video conferencing device. On it, you’ll not only find a high quality webcam, but a panel of controls, a remote control, and built-in microphones - all packed into a portable 304.2mm cylinder. Since it’s built for small businesses and on-the-fly meetings, the form factor is desirable - carrying it is relatively easier than hauling around your meeting notes, and it takes up very little real estate on a table. It’s helpful how Logitech chose to have it designed to fit into office décor with its machined aluminum surface, so it looks inconspicuous in any setting.
Most of the controls on the ConferenceCam Connect can be found on the top of the device. The remaining controls are the camera tilt wheel below the lens, and the detachable remote control for volume, zoom, and mute. Each button located on top the device is a non-tactile touch button, and it consists of four options - the power on/ oﬀ button, the Bluetooth connection button, the USB Video Conferencing button, and the Wireless Screen Mirror mode. The USB and HDMI port are located at the bottom rung of the device, resting just above the indicator LED ring.
Each of these options serve diﬀerent purposes - the USB Video Conferencing mode makes the ConferenceCam Connect act like a typical desktop webcam, which means unlike expensive telepresence solutions, the ConferenceCam Connect will work with standard apps like Skype and it will remains on standby for your Windows or Mac, CPU or laptop. Bluetooth connection is for Android smartphones and tablets, and it enables Screen Mirroring mode - the camera mirrors content on your phone to your desktop monitor via HDMI. We tried it with a Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone, and got the phone’s contents onto our desktop simply by tapping “Screen Mirroring” found in the smartphone’s Settings app. Since iOS uses AirPlay, it didn’t work for iPhones.
The camera supports Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution) video calls - it’s remarkably clear, and far surpasses entry-level oﬀ-the-shelf webcams. The 90-degree field-of-view allows you to fit at least four people comfortably within its sight, which is great for small meeting rooms. Even if you’re alone, the wide-angle view also makes the lone caller look impressive, lording over a table with an expansive backdrop. You can make minor angling adjustments with the tilt wheel on the device, and the pan/tilt buttons on the remote.
We’ve not forgotten about the remote control for the ConferenceCam Connect. On it, you will find options to digitally pan, tilt, and zoom up to 4x. Volume is also adjustable, with an instant-mute button, and it comes pair of accept/reject call buttons. It has a maximum range of 3m, making it ideal for controlling the camera without having to step towards your computer or the Logitech webcam. These options help to push it towards the business segment. Our only gripe is how the remote control uses a CR203 battery for watches, so having a standby stash is pretty crucial before an important meeting.
The integrated omni-directional microphones also help distinguish the ConferenceCam Connect from a typical webcam. They are located on opposite ends of the device, and they support 360-degree wideband audio up to a range of 3.6m in diameter, and it has built-in echo and noise-cancellation. Generally, our test calls showed no issues, but mic volume leans a little on the soft side. The three-hour long battery life is sufficient for a single videoconference meeting, and it can also recharge itself through the USB port, if a wall socket isn’t available. We find the battery life acceptable, since meetings beyond an hour are unproductive, and no one in the right mind likes them.
In summary, this is a souped-up webcam for small businesses, and it works extremely well for what it oﬀers. Perhaps it could use some iOS compatibility through an app, and the remote control can be rechargeable, instead of using disposable batteries, but these are minor concerns. At $849, it’s definitely not something you’d buy as a personal webcam upgrade, but comes at an excellent price point for businesses that want a mobile, versatile and app agnostic conferencing tool without having to invest in costly telepresence solutions.
AT A GLANCE
Windows 7.1 or later
Mac OS X 10.7 or later
Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution) video-calling
H.264 UVC 1.5 with Scalable Video Coding (SVC) 90-degree field of view with autofocus 4X digital zoom in Full HD
USB, Bluetooth and NFC, HDMI for screen-mirroring
304.2 x 75 x 75mm