Plantronics is a name some will know as they produced headsets and Bluetooth earpieces for many years. Then there was another company that did things in larger office environment, just over two years ago the two companies’ combined to produce Poly. Like so many things then went on hold through Covid and now we see what they combined to produce.
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This is a very small full HD video conferencing camera and microphone that is true ‘plug and play’ as it is USB, a few seconds after plugging it in you can join a Zoom – or any other type online meeting – by simply hanging the unit over the top of your monitor or notebook screen and plugging it in.
The unit is 6cm from lens to its rear; at the front it is round at 3cm. It swivels on a fitment that give a firm but gentle hold. If you are short of USB ports this has one hidden behind the back of the cover so no loss of ports when the Poly P5 camera is connected.
The USB lead is 1.2metres long and so should be plenty for most PC’s and certainly enough if you are using a notebook.
Not many years ago every screen sold had a web cam built in, now a lot of them do not, most notebooks still do but some do not. Fitting to the PC/notebook is an action of only seconds. There is no danger of damage to your screen as its fitment rests on the back with only a tiny lip on the screen side and both the lip and back areas are rubber coated to prevent slippage and damage.
One reason pre Covid that manufacturers stopped putting web cams into screens was privacy and if you need that just twist the front of the camera and you’re private. Another of course was that screens are getting thinner and thinner. Then Covid arrived and everyone was working from home so cameras were needed again for all those meetings.
While the P5 is not the cheapest camera around the quality of the images is excellent and speech is also clear and still has depth with no tininess for the sound.
Perhaps best of all everything is in the one connection so all down the one USB lead.
The camera compensates for low light conditions and the microphone also works well and is better than a lot of standalone offerings. The cameras field of view is 80degrees.
At the time of publication the Poly P5 is available from Amazon for £102.53.