Cheap Gadgets: The $1.40 USB Webcam

You may be accustom to Engadget’s crapgadget feature, a series that highlights cheap and often poorly manufactured electronic devices.   I recently took a gamble on what could have turned out to be a crapgadget as I purchased a backup webcam for my desktop PC on eBay for a cheap $1.40.   The cheapest I could find a name-brand webcam in stores was $19.   After reading through the sellers feedback and seeing positive results, I decided to take the risk and buy a bargain webcam from Hong Kong.

The seller I purchased from, states.electronics, has his own eBay store that features many other discount electronics.   Shipping was an additional five dollars, but I was impressed with the overall build quality and performance.   It’s not a professional-grade webcam, but it gets the job done.   The webcam has the following specs:

  • 6 LED lights to illuminate
  • Manual focus lens
  • Built in unidirectional microphones
  • Built in CMOS sensor
  • Compatible with Skype, MSN, YAHOO
  • 1.3 Mega Pixels Digital Camera CMOS Sensor
  • Up to 5.0 Mega Pixel window capture resolution supported
  • Video format: 24-bit RGB
  • Camera supports 180 degree rotation
  • Frame rate: 640×480 – 30f/s; 1280×960 = 10-15f/s
  • 1.3 Mega Pixels Digital Camera CMOS Sensor
  • Up to 5.0 Mega Pixels window capture resolution supported
  • Video format: 24-bit RGB
  • Camera supports 180 degree rotation
  • Frame rate: (640 x 480) 30 f/s; (1280 x 960) 10 -15 f/s
  • Compatible with USB 2.0/1.1
  • Focus Range: 3 cm to infinity
  • Easily mount to your desktop/laptop monitor with clip
  • XP, Vista supported

After my webcam arrived, I decided to buy one for a frugal family member so that we could Skype.   We walked through the installation instructions over the phone, and we were video conferencing in under a half hour.

Although I don’t encourage people to seek out cheap electronics for everyday, dependable use, there is certainly a place for cheap gadgets.   What cheap or discounted electronics have you purchased?

  

Comments

  1. Electronics Guru says

    I recently purchased one of these webcams and I honestly wasn't expecting too much. I was sure surprised when I started using it to find that it is actually a very high quality webcam. Great product!

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