Logitech already makes a healthy range of webcams for the home consumer but their business division is even more specialized in scale for enterprise and corporate needs. That’s why products like the ConferenceCam Connect exists and can be utilized with ease when a computer webcam isn’t up to task.
The immediately surprising thing about the Connect is its exterior shape. No matter what, there’s no denying that cylindrical look is contemporary and defies the expected boredom associated with ‘anything office’; at least perfectly mimicking a 800 ml. bottle of Voss water, with a contrasting fabric bottom that houses the speakerphone.
The main controls that sit on top (power, Bluetooth, and screen mirroring), and volume options up front are laid out and integrated into the unit for touch feedback while an adjustable 90-degree Zeiss lens with pan, tilting, and zoom is added for good measure. Of course, you don’t initially realize it because it’s concealed by a docked slim remote that offers much of the same control along with call buttons. Which is useful in a productivity roundtable and conveniently slick as magnetization keeps everything neat, orderly, and tastefully private when not in use.
Connectivity in the rear includes MicroUSB, HDMI, and tap-friendly NFC functionality (hence the logo). For that extra piece of mind you also get a power supply, USB cable, and for security’s sake a Kensington lock slot. And to keep things as fun as ‘Casual Friday’ the ConferenceCam comes equipped with playful chimes whenever you power the unit on or activate one of its many features.
The ConferenceCam does exactly what you expect, optimized for plug-and-play setups and office environments rather than a personal clip webcam. For all that hardware it is a few steps above with 1080p H.264 UVC 1.5 scalable video encoding and seamless compatibility for Microsoft Lync, Skype, Cisco Jabber, and WebEx – other applications like Google Hangouts will work fine too.
For testing we used Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 with everything working without a hitch. The image is clean for certified programs, although the native presets and automatic lighting adjustment doesn’t do much favors with shadows and dimmer rooms. In reality, most probably won’t be conducting business in the dark anyway so the ConferenceCam really does (figuratively) shine where fluorescent ceilings and bright ambiance is abundant; by default the colors are fairly appropriate but not excessively rich in tone.
The recognizable nitpicks we had involved the remote pan and tilt features moving at a leisurely pace, and anything iOS with AirPlay technology is a no-go as only PCs, Chromebooks, and traditional Macs are invited to hook up for synergistic pow-wows.
Despite the implementation of noise cancelling speakers and duplex omni-directional microphones with a 12-ft diameter range, the sound output can occasionally come in muddled during conversations. It’s not a deal breaker as I was able to hold a lengthy phone call for 20 minutes with above adequate reception, more than enough clarity to properly convey messages with a decent internet connection. But, it’s a fair consolation if you’re also serious about screen mirroring your quarterly reports from your smartphone to any monitor and/or TV (HDMI) through Miracast.
Logitech has made the ConferenceCam Connect sophisticated for the professionals and not just another webcam. It has the purpose and portability needed for the business casual, but is unintentionally attractive to those graduating from regular clip cams – I can imagine people who actively do YouTube uploads and Twitch feeds. Ultimately, it doesn’t come cheap, but you do get a smart solution with a whole lot of hardware behind it.