The Microsoft LifeCam HD 6000 webcam is the laptop version of the company’s LifeCam HD 5000 webcam which is a simplified desktop version. The HD 6000 has some minor differences when comparing it with its desktop version. This latest notebook oriented webcam is capable of capturing HD 720 pixel videos at 30 frames per second. This is major improvement when comparing it with the standard cameras that are in built with the notebooks. The auto focus experiences slight problems but this is not a very big issue. The HD 6000 is available for a cost of $60 and is recommended for customers who are seeking a high definition webcam for their laptops.
The HD 6000 webcam can capture color still images and videos both having a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The focus of the lens of the webcam can be adjusted automatically. It has a 4 pin hi-speed USB port of USB Type A in order to enable the connection with a notebook. It is certified to work with the Windows Vista by Microsoft. It is compatible with the notebooks running with Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or higher and Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems. It requires an Intel dual core processor with at least 1.6 GHz clock speed and a RAM capacity of 1 GB. It is also included with software such as TrueColor compatibility and Progressive Scanning.
The LifeCam HD 6000 webcam has the same shape and size as the LifeCam HD 5000. It measures around 1.1 inches in width and 2.44 inches in length. It has a glossy black housing and there is a Windows Messenger button that is integrated on to the top. There are some minor differences between these two webcams and they can be distinguished very easily. The laptop version is slightly smaller than the desktop version. The included USB cable of the HD 6000 is shorter than the one provided with the HD 5000 by 2 feet. This extra length of cable is provided with the latter in order to enable the connection to the computer on the top of a table from the tower that is placed on the floor.
The major and significant difference in the physical construction of these two webcams is in the base connection. The HD 5000 features a rubber foot which is highly flexible in order to fit a full sized display. This is entirely different from the one found on the HD 6000 which has a tiny clip that unfolds in order to enable the easy mounting on to the top of the laptop’s display. The other difference is that the desktop version is static while the laptop version can swivel to an angle of 360 degrees around its base.
Setup and System Requirements
The installation of the HD 6000 first requires the installation of the software CD that is provided in the package. Microsoft intermittently tends to update the versions of the driver. It is therefore recommended that the users check for the updates of the driver that are available on the Microsoft website before using it. The HD 6000 recommends some very strict system requirements. It requires the system to run on Windows 7/XP(SP2)/Vista operating system. It also requires an Intel dual core processor with 1.6 GHz clock speed minimum. It also requires the system to use a RAM of 1 GB.
The specifications can extend to an Intel dual core processor with 3 GHz clock speed and 2 GB of RAM. The hard disk space must be at least 1.5 GB. The main reason behind these strict requirements is that the HD 6000 consumes a vast amount of the system’s resources in order to encode the high definition video. Usually, this resource consumption is moderate for a moderately configured system and it increases when used with the slower and older systems. The performance of the PC is not of much concern when using only the webcam but a well performing PC will be a must when performing multiple tasks. The webcam software of the HD 6000 cannot work on a Mac OS system just like the other Microsoft webcams.
After the completion of the installation process, the LifeCam software behaves like a central hub and provides options for modifying the settings like the image quality, microphone volume, image adjustments and video resolution. The resolution can range from 160 x 120 pixels to the maximum wide screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. There is an option in the software in order to toggle the TrueColor feature. This feature is an auto brightness assistant feature that helps in optimizing the shot that is captured in the poor lighting conditions. When this option is checked, it brings out the fine details that will never go unnoticed. The un-checking of this option allows the user to manually adjust the settings such as the backlight compensation, white balance, power line frequency, saturation, sharpness, contrast and brightness respectively.
The software of the kitschy 3D overlays applies some visual effects to the pictures that are captured and to the videos that involve the motion. The auto focus feature is also very nice. The software is quite intelligent as it can detect the face of the person and automatically adjust the focus when the person is in motion. The sensor of the HD 6000 is very delicate that it refocuses often even with the slight movements. The usage of the webcam is very easy and straight forward with all its proper settings. It produces a smooth experience of video chatting and the users on the opposite end can notice only some rare hiccups in the video. There is some grainy effect when it is used at low resolutions. The audio recording is made by the built in microphone. It is good in its performance as it can pick even the minute sound and it can filter the background noise.