Lenovo unveils the most powerful webcam ever - but it won’t come cheap

The Lenovo ThinkSmart One conferencing bar
(Image credit: Lenovo)

Lenovo has released what is probably the most powerful webcam to date, the ThinkSmart One. 

The processor that powers Lenovo’s newest smart collaboration bar is more powerful than the Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, which resides inside the Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ and the Surface Laptop 4.

Announced at InfoComm 2022 in Las Vegas, Lenovo’s first collaboration bar won’t be available till October 2022 with a price tag of $2,599 (about £2,100, AU$3,600, Eur2,400). Fittingly, it is covered by a three-year warranty and benefits from 365x24x7 support. Additional features like ThinkSmart Professional Services and ThinkSmart Manager Premium are available for free for the first year.

Hybrid working at the forefront

The all-in-one device is far more than just a glorified video conferencing camera though as it comes with a (physically separate) 10.1-inch tablet, is powered by Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and has enough memory and storage to rival most mainstream business laptops (8GB/256GB).

That sort of firepower is needed to handle the eight microphones, two speakers and full HD camera that are located on the bar itself. When it comes to sheer connectivity, it has two LAN ports (one of which is PoE-compatible), three HDMI ports and four USB ones.

The target market for the ThinkSmart One is unsurprisingly small and medium businesses that look for an easy-to-deploy, integrated solution for hybrid working use cases; for small to medium meeting rooms or dedicated home office areass

“Addressing hybrid collaboration challenges isn’t simply a matter of seeing and hearing more clearly. Technology must bring more natural, in-person experiences to virtual engagements and deliver that experience equally for all participants,” added Shannon MacKay, Lenovo’s General Manager of Worldwide Smart Collaboration Business.

ThinkSmart One is compatible with Microsoft Teams and Zoom Rooms and will face tough competition in a crowded market. Yealink, Poly (with its Studio X range), Prestigio, Epos, Audiocodes, Jabra and Qnap have all released products over the past two years to make the most out of the nascent Collaboration Bar category.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.