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HP Webcam HD 5210 review

'High definition' webcam, for a high price

HP Webcam HD 5210
Good quality for a webcam - but it's not the best

For

  • Pretty good image quality
  • Great recording quality via dual microphones
  • Widescreen
  • Good software

Against

  • Not amazing image quality
  • Expensive
  • Weak base

Pros

  • + Pretty good image quality
  • + Great recording quality via dual microphones
  • + Widescreen
  • + Good software

Cons

  • - Not amazing image quality
  • - Expensive
  • - Weak base

If you have friends, family and loved ones spread across every corner of the world, then getting a decent webcam is pretty essential. While budget and built-in webcams do the trick, spending a little extra on a better webcam can make all the difference to those you're talking to.

At around £90 in the UK or $99 in the US, the HP Webcam HD 5210 is not a minor purchase, sitting firmly at the higher price end of the webcam market. It's also a rather altruistic expenditure - after all, those who will benefit the most out of your investment in a decent webcam are other people.

The HP Webcam HD 5210 is a very good webcam, although £90 is still a lot to ask for it.

Image quality is alright, bur don't let the declarations of 'Full HD 1080p' make you think that you'll be getting Blu-ray-quality footage from this camera. Details are OK, but not great, and the image is a little blocky.

Still, it's good for a webcam, and considering the strain that higher quality footage would put yours and your contact's broadband bandwidth under.

The dual-noise cancelling microphones are much better at convincing us that the HP Webcam HD 5210 is worth the money with effective elimination of ambient noises - even in busy environments.

Buttons on the top of the camera enable you to quickly load up instant messaging programs, or the video effects software that comes with the camera.

A nice touch, but the flimsy stand means that when you push the button, you end up moving the camera, which could be annoying if you've spent a while setting it to point just where you want it to.

Matt Hanson

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.