The webcam business is booming thanks to the pandemic pushing so many of us to work from home, and now Anker is launching a new competitor to category leaders like the Logitech C920.
This week Anker announced the PowerConf C300 Smart HD Webcam, a $130 1080p webcam with multiple field-of-view options and onboard AI designed to automatically keep the camera centered on the user. The PowerConf C300 is part of Anker's new AnkerWork family of home office products, and if it performs well, it could offer stiff competition against some of the best webcams on the market.
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But that means going up against the likes of Logitech and Microsoft, the latter of which just unveiled its own 1080p Microsoft Modern Webcam for a cool $70.
Anker PowerConf C300: Pricing and availability
Anker's new Powerconf C300 is available now for $130 via some of your favorite online retailers or Anker's own website.
This is Anker's first webcam, and it looks like a premium piece of kit that may have a hard time competing against lower-priced 1080p competitors like the $70 Microsoft Modern Webcam (which hits stores in June) or the $80 Logitech C920.
Anker PowerConf C300: Specs
The Anker PowerConf C300 sports a 2MP CMOS sensor that can capture 1080p video at either 60 or 30 frames per second. It has three field-of-view options: 115 degrees, 90 degrees, and 78 degrees, affording you the option to show off a whole room or narrow things down to keep people, pets, and unsightly accoutrements out of frame.
The PowerConf C300 also sports dual stereo microphones, giving it a leg up over the Microsoft Modern Camera (which has just one microphone) and makes it a strong competitor against the dual-mic-wielding Logitech C920.
Anker also includes an optional privacy cover you can install to cover up the PowerConf C300's camera, though, the cover does nothing to cover the microphones or the webcam's LED light.
Anker PowerConf C300: Special features
The PowerConf C300's big special feature is something Anker calls "smart framing." It essentially means the webcam uses a built-in AI chipset to recognize faces and automatically track the movements of whoever's onscreen, keeping them centered in the frame.
Anker claims the smart framing algorithm can recognize insignificant movements (like reaching for a glass of water) and filter them out, which could eliminate potential headaches if you're someone who likes to fidget with things during Zoom meetings.
The PowerConf C300 also offers autofocus, auto low-light correction and auto color-correction, making it competitive against the best webcams currently available. It connects via USB-C, which is something worth noting if your current work setup is old enough that USB-C ports are in short supply.
Anker PowerConf C300: Outlook
We won't know how well the PowerConf C300 stacks up against the competition until we test it for ourselves, but based purely on specs it appears that Anker's new webcam may be one of the best you can buy. Whether it's worth the rather steep asking price depends on your needs. The hardware looks top-notch and the smart framing tech may prove useful, but it's hard to imagine it being worth twice the price of its top competitors.