Laptop Web Cams

Written by James McLean
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Laptop web cams are among the hottest new features on this season's wave of notebook computers. Countless piecemeal solutions have arisen over the years to place web cams in or around a mobile platform, but it wasn't until recently that the technology had shrunk enough to make it a hard-wired add-on. Today many of the best manufacturers in the world are including these goodies standard.

What is a web cam? If you have never used one, these little devices are usually low-resolution digital cameras designed to integrate seamlessly with chat software such as AOL Instant Messenger or MSN Messenger. Depending on your processing power and bandwidth, you can approximate streaming video at high frame-rates with anyone around the world.

Why on a Notebook?

Of course until the wi-fi revolution, there was simply no practical use for a camera on a notebook. That all changed when broadband began pouring out of doorways and public nodes coast to coast. Today it's not unusual to find video chats being conducted in coffee houses, airports and everywhere in between.

Only a few of the major manufacturers carry laptop web cams, but a number of smaller builders are jumping in early. If you want a notebook that reads and streams media like your hardwired home desktop, you may want to look at manufacturers like Sager for fresh options. Inexpensive and clever design lets these manufacturers keep costs down for pretty high-quality integrated cameras.

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