I don’t think video calls will ever fully replace regular phone calls, but there are indeed times when it’s nice to see a face at the other end. And all you need to make that happen is a program like Skype and a Webcam.
If you’re not happy with the low-resolution Webcam that came with your laptop or your computer just doesn’t have one, here’s a deal you’re sure to like: Today only, Cowboom has a Creative Live Cam VF0415 1.3-megapixel Webcam for $4.99, plus $5 for shipping.
Unlike a lot of Cowboom stuff, this is new, not refurbished. Thus, it comes with a full one-year warranty.
The Live Cam can capture video at 1.3 megapixels at up to 30 frames per second and still photos at 5 megapixels (though in my experience, most Webcams take terrible snapshots, regardless of resolution).
It features a built-in noise-canceling microphone, various image-enhancing technologies, and even face-tracking software that follows you as you move.
It’s compatible with
Windows 7 and works with all manner of messaging programs, from AOL to Skype to Yahoo.
I don’t have any hands-on experience with this exact model, but I’ve used other Creative Live Cams in the past–and they worked quite nicely. And, hey, it’s 10 bucks! Consequently, it may sell out quickly, as Cowboom deals often do.
Update: Son of a…sorry, everyone, but it’s already sold out. Curse you, Cowboom! Well, here some worthy alternatives: Buy.com has a 1.3-megapixel Webcam with LEDs for $11.97 shipped. And CompUSA has the 1.3-megapixel Logitech C250 for $14.99 (plus $2 for shipping).
Bonus deal: Mercury Magazines is offering a free one-year subscription to PC World in exchange for filling out a short business-related survey. (Nepotism alert: I’m a columnist for the magazine.) I’m not sure how many freebies they have available (deals like this often expire quickly), so if you want in, get clicking!