Cheap Gadgets: The $1.40 USB Webcam Matthew Dillon11/07/2008 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:Advertisement 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?