Saturday, September 30, 2023

Logitech’s new webcam has a neat built-in privacy shutter

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Shreya Christina
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Logitech’s Brio 500 is a new webcam with a compact design with a neatly integrated physical privacy shutter and a “Show Mode” designed to broadcast what’s on your desk. It’s 1080p instead of 4K, the same as Logitech’s classic C920 webcam. It goes on sale this month for $129, alongside a new Bluetooth headset, the Zone Vibe 100, which costs $99.99.

The Brio 500 has a cylindrical design, with its 4-megapixel camera flanked by a pair of beam-forming microphones designed to reduce background noise during calls. The privacy shutter design is quite slick and can be lowered by turning a dial on the right side of the webcam. Showing off your desk is accomplished by “tilting the camera angle toward the desk,” according to Logitech.

In terms of image quality, the Brio 500 is a 1080p webcam and you’ll need to drop the resolution to 720p if you want 60fps instead of 30fps. While that’s the same as the C920 on paper, Logitech spokesperson Wendy Spander tells me it has an improved sensor, which should hopefully provide better image quality. (I saw the webcam briefly in person, but not long enough to make a definitive judgment on image quality.) The field of view is 90 degrees, but the webcam can digitally crop to 78 or 60 degrees for a better view. Logitech advertises that it is able to automatically center the camera on the person speaking and adjust the lighting if you’re in a dimly lit or backlit environment.

Finally, the Brio 500 has an interesting magnetized mounting mechanism for monitors. It consists of two parts. There’s the standard plastic mount that is designed to clip onto the top of your monitor as normal, then the webcam itself attaches magnetically to this plastic mount. It’s a design that means you can rotate the webcam 360 degrees if you want to. If you’re not into magnets, you can unscrew the magnetic mount on the bottom of the webcam to reveal a standard tripod mount.

A person using the Zone Vibe 100 headset.

The Logitech Zone Vibe 100 headset.
Image: Logitech

In addition to the Brio 500, Logitech is also announcing a new headset today, the Zone Vibe 100. It’s a Bluetooth-only version of the previously released Zone Vibe 125 headset, which can also connect via a USB-A wireless receiver. The new Vibe 100 has a battery life of up to 20 hours while listening to music, or 18 hours when using it for calls. The microphone boom is flip-to-mute and the headset is available in gray, off-white and light pink (same as the Brio 500).

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