Date: October 17th, 2006
Article by: Mike Carter (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Logitech
<--SHOP FOR A LOGITECH QUICKCAM FUSION HERE
PRODUCT PICTORAL AND WALKTHROUGH
Attached to the camera side of the webcam is what Logitech calls a “privacy cover”. Personally, I call it a lens cover……but, I suppose, if you run your own 24 hour webcam show, sometimes you want a little quiet time. Personally, I wouldn't know. But for $19.95 a mon………….nevermind.
In the middle of the webcam is a small, oval grid that holds the built-in mic. Logitech says the mic is echo free, which it is, mostly. I did a quick test, and the echo-free part really depends on where your speakers are set. Logitech recommends pointing them away from your monitor, which makes sense. On the plus side, the mic is very effective at picking up your voice, even from a distance of about 18”. I would still recommend using the included headset for any serious conversations, though.
Speaking of the headset, it's one of Logitech's standard, behind-the-head designs. To my ears, voice conversations sound very good, but not high-quality. The mic is also decent quality, and more than adequate for a late-night chat. I would not, however, use these as your primary gaming or music headset. Low end frequencies are definitely lacking, and since the headset is designed primarily for voice conversations, the midrange is rather harsh.
Before you can use the Fusion, you have to install the software. Logitech gives you a few options here. The first installs the full suite of software, which I'll get into in a little bit. The option allows you to change the language of the software, while the third allows you to install the webcam drivers, without the bundled application software. This option would be useful to corporate users, or in the odd event that the rest of the software conflicts with your system somehow. The last option is for a mobile install, which allows you to view your webcam on a mobile phone. Unfortunately, this feature is only available to Verizon customers, which I am not.
Installation goes quickly, installing the necessary drivers for the camera and the bundled software in a few quick minutes. Midway through, you are prompted to restart your computer. Once restarted, you then are prompted to plug in the Fusion, and begin configuring.
The first screen you see is the general startup menu. Along with the settings menu option, you are given various quick-launch buttons for the three major IM programs, as well as Logitech's own VideoCall program.
Digging into the settings, you'll find a well laid-out system of menus.
The first controls the basic video, audio, and zoom settings, via the usual system of tabs. You can play with these to your heart's content, as Logitech has kindly given a “default” button to fix any glaring mistakes you might have made. I'll touch on the third tab in a little bit.