It’s no secret that most laptop webcams are terrible, with low resolutions and poor handling of all but the most perfect lighting conditions. That’s a bad thing today given the reliance on videoconferencing due to the surge in remote working.
Dell recognizes this and has announced the UltraSharp webcam as a solution — and a very high-end one at that. For $200 — yes, it’s pricey — you get what Dell characterizes as the world’s best video image and the world’s most intelligent 4K webcam.
There’s no doubt that the UltraSharp checks all the relevant boxes to compete with the very best webcams you can currently buy. There’s 4K (3,840 x 2,160) support, high dynamic range (HDR), and a number of automatic adjustments to ensure a high-quality image. It all starts with the Sony STARVIS 4K sensor, which promises brighter images and better lowlight performance. This same sensor was used in the recently launched Razer Kiyo Pro as well.
The multi-element lens produces clearer, undistorted images compared to simpler designs. The UltraSharp is capable of 30 frames per second (fps) at 4K and 60 fps at Full HD (1,920 x 1,080).
The UltraSharp also incorporates a variety of intelligent technologies that further enhance the image. Temporal Noise Reduction (3DNR) and Spatial Noise Reduction (2DNR) reduce video noise to a level so far unprecedented in a webcam. The HDR support further refines the image, ensuring accurate colors when the subject is oversaturated due to a bright source of light. The benefit to the user is a crisp and clear image even in low light, with automatic adjustments as lighting conditions change.
Dell didn’t stop with image quality, though. It also incorporated A.I.-based autoframing that works to keep the user in the center of the picture and in focus, no matter how the user moves in the frame. The UltraSharp can also adjust angles from a close-up 65 degrees, through a mid-range 78 degrees, to a wide-angle 90 degrees. The webcam is certified for Microsoft Teams and Zoom and compatible with a wide range of platforms, meaning these features will be fully available in most applications.
Finally, the UltraSharp incorporates a proximity sensor for user presence detection and faster login and logoff, as well as an infrared camera for Windows 10 Hello support. That means users can log into their PCs merely by sitting down in front of the webcam. Privacy features include facial recognition and a cap that can be placed over the lens to block the view.
The UltraSharp can be mounted to the top of a display or used with the high-quality tripod included in the kit.
The Dell UltraSharp 4K webcam will be available starting June 29 for $200.
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