MSI StarCam 370i review
MSI’s StarCam is one of the most interesting designs on test. It doesn’t clip to a monitor or notebook, but instead sits on the desk or a shelf. This means it isn’t ideal for notebook use and, if you don’t have a suitable shelf, take care not to point the StarCam at ceiling lights.
Fortunately, it still picks out detail even with harsh backlighting, and overall quality from the VGA sensor is great. Thanks to adjustable focus and a glass lens, images are sharp and few in the group matched the MSI for detail. At default settings, colours are washed out, but you can increase saturation in the driver. Our only real gripe is that audio quality from the built-in microphone is middling; the Philips’ was noticeably clearer, but the 900NC costs almost £39 more.
Under the StarCam’s lens are six LEDs. Three are white and illuminate your desktop or keyboard – they can be switched on or off as you like. The other three are forward-facing infrared LEDs for better quality in low-light conditions.
You can take 1,280 x 960 snapshots, and MSI supplies VideoSecurity for motion detection. Besides capturing video evidence and sending emails, VideoSecurity has customisable movement zones to avoid capturing, say, an electric fan moving side to side.
Ultimately, the Philips webcam has better audio quality and software, but it’s poor value by comparison. When you can pick up the StarCam (which matches the Philips for image quality) for just £13, you’ll be able to buy a separate headset or even a microphone and still have plenty of change from £30. It’s the clear winner among the group.