There was a time when having a webcam was only for the wealthy. Those days are long gone. Today almost every household in the U.S. is able to connect to the Internet. With the boom of the Internet came social networking, online dating, instant messaging, and even online business meetings. No longer do we have to worry about the low quality, blurry, spherical webcams provided in the past. The future is here, and webcam quality has risen so much in such a short time it’s astonishing, with Logitech leading the way. They released their Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 not too long ago, and we’re lucky enough to be able to give you a quick overview of it.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the camera is the Carl Zeiss lens located on the left side of its uniquely horizontal body. The microphone is located on the right, and you’ll also find a button beside the lens that allows you to take pictures. Around the Logitech logo is an indicatory illuminated circle that lets you know when the QuickCam Pro 9000 is on. It has a very unique, two-hinged support structure that bends in different shapes so that you have the versatility to either secure the webcam to a CRT or LCD monitor or stand it on a table.
Regardless of the features a webcam has, it must be able to transmit great image and sound for it to be a worthy solution. With a 2 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens, Logitech’s new QuickCam quickly put all our other webcams to shame. Everyone that we had a video chat with via instant messaging said the image transmitted was extremely sharp and of astonishingly high quality. Using the high resolution setting on the QuickCam, we were able to enjoy full screen video chat with contacts without image noise. One of the best features of the camera is HD recording, which allows you to record in HD, for those who love to make high quality videos and host them on your PC or online.
The QuickCam Pro can be purchased for about $113, which is affordable for the quality provided. You definitely won’t need another webcam for awhile if you purchase the new Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000.
Most people use laptops to gain freedom from wires and portability. While it’s true that everything is packed into a small, self-contained machine with a notebook, once you start connecting other devices, your battery life runs low, requiring the power cable, etc., sometimes it feels like we’re back to square one. Logitech recently brought out its Z-500 speakers that help clear the clutter by providing wireless enhanced audio. The Z-500 uses high-performance wireless technology so that you can place the speaker just about anywhere in the vicinity and still enjoy quality music, movies, and other multimedia. Utilizing Stereo XL technology, the Z-500 speakers automatically optimize acoustic levels to provide you a fuller, richer sound. The speakers are connected to your PC in the exact same fashion that you connect a wireless mouse – basically all you’re doing is connecting the Z-500 speakers to the computer using the wireless USB dongle that came with in the package.
If you feel like wiring the speakers up, feel free to use the included USB cable. It also comes with an auxiliary input in the form of a 3.5mm stereo jack so you can connect your iPod or other favorite MP3 player to the device. Inside the speakers is a rechargeable battery that can provide up to 12 hours of playing time from a single charge. No software is required, which makes for a ready-to-go solution out of the box. The unit comes with a protective travel case to help keep the speakers safe, whether you’re walking over to a neighbor’s or on a business flight to France.
As we utilize more and more electronic devices in the digital home, controlling them becomes an important issue. No one wants to keep up with or sort through a dozen different remotes for various devices in a home entertainment system and surrounding electronic equipment. The Logitech Harmony Universal Remote Control is the perfect solution. After reviewing numerous different remote control options and actually using Logitech Harmony remote controls for years, I can whole-heartedly recommend the Logitech Harmony remote control to anyone seeking a solution. I prefer the 880 model’s buttons and additional display items, while others prefer the touch-screen and interface upgrades of the Harmony One. However, both remotes use the same intelligent system, making either an excellent choice.
Both models support 15 or more devices. The device database is extensive, and is perfect if you have lost a remote control or have a damaged remote. Otherwise, you can also program a device from an existing remote control. The setup wizards are intuitive and enable easy setup of devices.
One-touch operation is provided for operation, including turning on a device and any other component(s) that may be required to use it (such as turning on a TV also when playing a DVD). Buttons can be customized for specific tasks. Backlighting is provided for the buttons as well as the LCD display. The remotes are also rechargeable via the charging station, with low battery notification available when in use.
The device compatibility for the Harmony remotes is incredible. You can control a televisions, satellite or cable box, DVD player, video recorder, digital media player, TiVo or other PVR, game console, amplifier, stereo, or even a PC or home automation setup. More than 5,000 brands and 225,000 devices are supported.
Logitech is no stranger to the PC peripheral sector. Their mouse, keyboard, and other peripheral offerings are very popular. While numerous gaming keyboards have been released that feature backlighting, the average user did not have many options until now. Logitech claims that the new Illuminated Keyboard is their thinnest design ever. It features the Logitech PerfectStroke key system, which provides longer key travel (3.2 mm) to enhance the typing experience.
According to Logitech, “The Logitech Illuminated Keyboard makes typing easy – even in the dark. To optimize existing backlight technology, Logitech combined microlens reflectors, a multilayer painting process and laser etching – creating a backlight experience that is brighter, sharper and easier to read. Whether you’re typing an e-mail or chatting with a friend, the adjustable backlight gives you just the right amount of light. With its transparent frame, the ultra-thin Illuminated Keyboard (.37 inches or 9.3 mm from base to frame) adds an elegant touch to any desk. Balancing form and function, the keyboard offers a full-size key layout (including a number pad), soft-touch palm rest and a full row of F-keys, as well as media- and volume-control keys for instant command of your entertainment.
The Logitech Illuminated Keyboard will soon be available for purchase direct for $79.99.
The Logitech V550 Nano is an innovative new mouse that offers a few significant features that would be useful to anyone that uses an external mouse with a notebook.
Most significantly is the 18+ month battery life, which is very handy for any wireless mouse. The battery is also USB-rechargeable. The mouse can be turned off to further conserve battery life, and boasts an auto-shutoff feature.
Another important feature is the small "Plug-and-Forget Nano-Receiver". The receiver is so small that it barely protrudes from the notebook, making it practical and convenient to always leave in place, ready for use.
The mouse features an easy to attach/remove dock that can clip to the notebook for hassle-free transport. With the mouse attached to a notebook, less time is required to pack-up and go since the mouse is already connected and ready.
The Logitech V550 Nano provides a 2.4 GHz wireless connection between the PC and mouse and new laser technology for smooth operation and ultra-fast scrolling on nearly any surface.
The Logitech V550 Nano cordless mouse for notebooks will soon be available for purchase from the Logitech site for around $59.99.