Sunday, May 22, 2022

HP has a Center Stage clone in one of its monitors

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HP’s upcoming 23.8-inch Z24m monitor is aimed at creative professionals and comes with a webcam that tracks your movements to keep you in view during video calls, much like Apple’s Center Stage feature in its Studio Display and some iPads (via Ars Technica† The Z24m’s 5MP tilting webcam sits on the top of the monitor, which, like Ars Technica is supposed to focus on you, even if other people are in the background of the shot.

An HP spokesperson also told: Ars Technica that you can adjust the webcam’s settings so that it can track you faster. And while you can’t remove the webcam from the monitor, you can push it down to hide it from view. The Z24m also has dual noise-cancelling microphones and dual speakers that eliminate the need for external headphones and a microphone. As for the display itself, the Z24m has an IPS panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, a fairly fast refresh rate of 90 Hz, a response time of 5 ms and support for HDR.

The monitor supports HP’s Automatically lock and wake up functionality too. This feature uses a built-in proximity sensor — not the webcam — to detect when you are in front of the screen. If you enable the feature, the monitor should automatically lock itself when you walk away and turn itself back on when you return.

It’s unclear how HP’s webcam tracking feature compares to Apple’s Centerpiece, which uses machine learning technology to keep you (and everyone in your frame) in the center of the screen. The 27-inch Studio Display comes with the iPhone 11’s A13 Bionic chip to support the Center Stage functionality of the 12 MP webcam, among other things. However, there have been some issues with the webcam’s image quality – Apple pushed a software update to address this, but it’s still not fully fixed.

The Z24m is scheduled for release in July and no pricing information is available yet. HP is also releasing the Z24q this month for $347, a monitor with very similar specs but no video conferencing features. If that’s any indication of the Z24m’s price, it’ll likely be well below the Studio Display’s $1,599 price tag, possibly as a more affordable alternative.

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