Ok, if I am told to review a webcam built in to a laptop, the people asking the question must think something of it.
Well, in the bluntest form, it is really not that great. The humble 640x480 resolution is disappointing; it takes me back to when mobile phones first had integrated cameras.
The HP webcam software does include a load of different customisations and features, so you can take photos of yourself wearing ridiculous hats, or in front of the Eiffel Tower. This is a fun feature to see, however I am no longer a 12 year old and I rarely use a webcam anyway.
I recorded the following picture of myself so you can see the image quality:
I also took a video and spoke over it. The audio sounded pretty good, until I started typing. The microphone picked up the sound of typing and so it sounds as if I’m typing really heavily and covers the voice a bit., but nothing to different to other laptops.
HP DM1 Summary
Ok, and now to sum up how the netbook has been over the last few weeks.
First of all, I generally use my desktop with dual screens for raw power while I do have a 15” Dell laptop which I take in to uni but don’t use that much.
The keyboard was really easy to type on, I was surprised. The screen resolution was decent too but the touchpad was quite difficult to use.
The battery has lasted about 5 hours each charge. It is nice knowing I don’t need to always carry the charger around with me unlike a laptop. Furthermore, I’ve given out the laptop for other people to use, from just having a nosy around and browsing to shooting tethered in a photography studio hooked up to an external monitor.
Yes, netbooks have moved on and I was surprised how well it coped with HD videos and rendering photos. But I still don’t think I would get a netbook myself. It doesn’t quite have the power to remain fast all of the time, unlike a laptop but it does have the portability and battery life advantage. Also, at £350 it is quite a lot. You could pick up a half decent laptop for £400, for example.
Therefore, if I were to purchase a new portable device, I would probably look away from a 15” laptop to an ultraportable, maybe something around 13”.