Review of Hercules Dualpix HD720p for Notebooks

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Today for review I’ve got an HD webcam, yes it’s a high definition web camera that can do 720P HD resolution. It’s called the Dualpix 720p for Notebooks and it’s from Hercules. Most portable computers these days come with webcams built-in, but let’s face it a lot of them just aren’t very good, so an easy upgrade would be to get something like that that just clips right on your display. This camera sells for between $30 and $40 depending where you look, and there’s a saying ‘you what you pay for’ which truly applies here, let’s just say you’re not going to get a decent HD webcam for that price.. Read on..


We’ll start off with the unboxing video:

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Included in the box is the camera, software/drive disc and instructions.

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The camera itself is unique in the fact that it can be rotated which is nice as you can use it and it won’t obstruct your view of the screen. it does feel well made overall, and the cord is nice and long.

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Specifications:

Hercules Dualpix HD720p for Notebooks

* The first 720p high-definition webcam for PC
* At last – a design truly suited to laptop PCs!
* Wide-angle, autofocus lens
* Exceptional image quality, even in low-light conditions
* Multi-position webcam, automatic live image rotation during chat sessions

Technical specifications:
* 1 megapixel CMOS sensor (1280×800 pixels) for perfect image quality, even in low-light conditions
* Photo resolution: 5 megapixels! (interpolated mode)
* Video resolution: HD720p (1280×720), up to 30 frames/second for perfectly fluid 16/9 HD videos
* USB 2.0 Video Class (UVC) interface for high-speed transfers and ultra-simple driverless installation (in Windows® XP SP2, Vista® and Windows® 7)
* Autofocus lens with a wide viewing angle. Awesome! Now you can be seen from head to toe!
* High-quality built-in microphone

Innovative attachment system specifically designed for laptop PCs
* Simple and quick setup: just position and fasten!
* Two rotation axes suited to all conditions of use: on the side or on top of the laptop’s screen.
**Depending on the webcam’s position (vertical or horizontal), the image instantly and automatically rotates 90° during your chat sessions. A truly innovative feature!
* Captures images as close as possible to the laptop’s screen, allowing you to really “look your contact in the eye” during chat sessions (which standard webcams can’t do).

Price: $31.99 (from Amazon at time of review)


My little Asus EEE PC 900a does not have a webcam built into it, so I figured the Hercules Dualpix would work with that.

There’s really nothing to the installation process, just set it on the edge of the monitor and twist the screw on the back to tighten it.

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It’s nice that the Dualpix can be rotated because if not it would cover the screen a little bit.

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Here’s a few other shots of the Dualpix installed from different angles:

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Now using it requires installing the software, but it actually install two programs, which I can’t figure out why since they kind of do the same basic things. The main program is more for just using the camera as a camera, while the Xtra Controller Pro program can be used to add enhancements to the video like morphing or frames, other than that they’re pretty much the same.

Here’s the Xtra Controller Pro screen shots with some of the options expanded:

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It does have what they call a travelling zoom option where you can zoom in on certain parts of the screen if you want.

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Here’s some examples of the enhancements:

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The main program is more in-depth really, but it’s essentially the same as I mentioned. You can adjust video option along with audio as well. You can pick from different formats to save video in, including uncompressed. I shot a short video, about 45 secs, and it was about 1.5gigs in size for the uncompressed version at 720P.

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This is a 720P camera but you can actually select higher resolutions, but they’re just upscaled.

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Now I really can’t show you a live stream of the camera in action, but it does seems relatively smooth when using it as a live cam.

I do however have a quick video for you to demonstrate the camera, and some still pics. The video and the pictures were done at 720P.

So here’s a bunch of still pictures, and honestly they’re not that good at all, about the quality of a cheap camera phone. You’ve got to really keep the camera still, and you can’t get very close.

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Here’s a short sample video as well:

There’s a lot of hiss to the audio as you can hear, and it sounds rather muffled as well. You can also see that the video sort of stutters as well and like the still pictures you can’t get very close. It apparently doesn’t like bright backgrounds either, as you cna see it’s very washed out and bright at certain times.

Overall the colors are not that good, they’re very washed out.


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Conclusion:
The Hercules Dualpix 720P webcam is one of the first 720p webcams out there, so we can’t exactly expect perfection can we?

Considering the price as well, we can’t really expect that much out of an HD camera that costs about $30.

I do like the design of the camera, and how it can be rotated, but it could be made of solid gold and that wouldn’t negate the fact that it’s an overall poor performing camera.

The quality is just bad overall, the colors are very washed out, and recording is virtually impossible as the video just isn’t smooth at all. You can’t use it for still pictures either, but you can use it as a regular webcam, but why would you want to?

4

Pros:
+Small and portable
+Does 720P
+Easy to use

Cons:
-Lots of hiss in audio
-Colors not that good for video and stills
-Overall video quality not that great

Grades:
Overall score-4-10
Design score-6-10
Performance score-3-10

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