NOVEMBER 1, 2007
Genius Look 313 Media Speakers/Webcam/USB Hub
This is a great looking piece of equipment. It installed easily and worked right out of the box. If looks and an easy install were all you need this would be a great product. I have to say I was not very happy with the performance of the video portion of the camera. The Quick Guide was only helpful for installation. Its three pages in English were cryptic to say the least. The English Manual on the CD was much more detailed. If you purchase this product you will need to refer to it often.
In the Box
Look 313 Media WebCam
Multi-language user’s manuals
This silver module comes with an array of plugs and included software. They are a multifunctional 5-in-1 function USB WebCam, Speaker at each end, USB 2.0 HUB, Headset slot, and Microphone slot. It is like a Swiss Army Knife in a WebCam enclosure. It does not include a built-in microphone. The ability to act as a USB hub could come in handy when traveling. The included USB cable also has an additional USB connector in a Y configuration at the computer end for another USB device. The speakers seem to be monaural. They can be turned toward your or in many other configurations to improve your sound experience.
The manual focus lens caused me some pain as it was hard adjust while attempting to hold the camera still and watching Lenovo Thinkpad the screen for the perfect focus point. The lens can be moved up and down by hand or while using the included software. Snapping photos was easy as was creating short videos. I have included some photos here and a video in my YouTube area. I found the still shots were pretty good. You can check out the video and make your own decision. The unit does not come with a clamp or stand to insure stability so my video shook when I was panning around. The motion detecting surveillance option saves video to the hard drive. There are a number of audio files that can be used as alarms should movement be detected.
The actual software that interfaces with the Look 313 Media is simple and self-explanatory. Moving from camera, to video to surveillance mode takes just a click of your mouse. Setting camera controls was no problem. With all the possible settings available the 25 page manual that is on the CD was very helpful if not a necessity.
Available still image sizes are:
-VGA: 640 x 480
-SVGA: 800 x 600
-XGA: 1024 x 768
-SXGA1280 x 960
There are a number of software programs included in the box that could add some fun for those who are so inclined. They include frames and effects.
The “make it Zoom” check box in the software seemed to be locked (Grayed Out) and, even after reading the documentation, I was unable to make it work in either the setup or the control panel.
Overall the entire product is pretty good for the price. Their website has a list price of $75.00 but they discounting them at $59.00. The video was not as clear as other more expensive Webcams but it did the job. If you like the ideal of a Swiss Army Knife configuration in a webcam take a look at this one.
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