September 2010 Paul McCollum
Microsoft has unveiled a mostly upgraded version of its Cinema, the full HD-capable LifeCam Studio. They’ve replaced the single megapixel sensor with a 2 megapixel for a max video output of up to 1080p. You’ll need a robust PC to make use of this level of video. While the webcam does support 1080p, you will need at least quad-core CPU running at 3Ghz or faster with 4GB RAM to handle the load.
Video conferencing software such as Skype 4 and the upcoming Windows Live Messenger 2011 will only support up to 720p at their highest. Having said that, this additionally assumes that you have the bandwidth available to you to support 1080p upload. MS recommends a dual core 3Ghz or better processor just to handle 720p recording. The truly glaring omission from this high bandwidth peripheral is that it’s limited to USB 2.0. Not making this webcam USB 3.0 is mind-boggling. One can only assume that they afraid of getting mistakenly overlooked due to misconceptions of USB 3.0 devices not being compatible with USB 2.0 computers. So please continue to tell your friends so we can get out from under the USB 2.0 yoke and start getting better toys.