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REVIEW: Logitech BRIO 4K Pro Webcam

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For any discerning business person wanting to communicate with colleagues or customers, it’s not good enough to make do with the web camera that comes built into an ageing laptop, or a cheap add-on to a desktop computer. In today’s business climate, image is everything and making a good impression drives sales. Will the Logitech BRIO (£199) help raise your game? Logitech has been making web cameras for over 20 years, so I have high hopes…

What Is It And Who Is It For?

The BRIO is a powerhouse web camera for business and home-office users, streamers, YouTubers, vloggers, and anyone else looking for a top-of-the-line web camera. It’s not cheap, but it comes packed with cutting-edge features including 4K Ultra HD video quality, HDR, 5X digital zoom, and support for Windows Hello (also compatible with other secure infrared-based facial recognition applications). In fact, it pretty much ticks all boxes. It even works on Mac OS X 10.7 (or newer) and Chrome as well as Windows (version 7 or newer) with no additional software required.

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Design

The two-tone black and grey BRIO is a professional-looking device that sits comfortably on top of a monitor or laptop display thanks to the malleable clip-on rubber stand that is both practical and gentle on your display. Simplicity really is the key here, but although the stand is one of the best I’ve used on a web camera (I used it on a 24-inch iMac and a 12.5-inch HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2), it’s less effective on the move as it doesn’t grip a laptop display tight enough – the slightest vibration of the screen will cause the camera to shake disproportionately.

On the plus side, the stand can be shaped to allow the web camera to sit on a flat surface next to your computing device, should you prefer, and the bundled privacy shade can be easily clipped on to the device should you be worried about turning the camera off or threats from hacking. The stand can even be removed entirely to place the camera on a tripod – the screw hole used to attach the stand doubles as a tripod mount.

The web camera itself, however, is light and robust and comes with a soft microfibre drawstring bag – a nice touch, but not very protective on the move. The glass camera lens is nicely protected behind plastic, with neat cutouts for the dual stereo speakers and two omni-directional microphones. Logitech also bundles a detachable USB cable (USB 2.0 up to Full HD and USB 3.0 up to 4K) and the driver software/utilities are freely available to download from Logitech’s website.

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Features & Performance

All but the most demanding video features are provided and the BRIO delivers an incredible recording, streaming, broadcasting and desktop collaboration experience in a variety of lighting conditions – from low light to bright sunlight, as well as challenging high-contrast or backlit conditions. Thanks to Logitech’s RightLight 3 with HDR technology, low-light performance is actually incredible, making evening video calls in a low-lit office feasible while maintaining professionalism.

To get the best out of the web camera you need to download the free camera app. From this easy-to-use interface you can change brightness, contrast, colour intensity, white balance, and toggle between standard and widescreen displays. You can also select between 65-, 78-, and 90-degree field of view (FOV) to help ensure the camera is focused only on the area you want others to see. Further settings provide adjustable pan, tilt and zoom.

The camera supports multiple resolutions including 4K (Ultra HD) at 30fps, 1080p (Full HD) at 30/60fps and 720p (HD) at 30/60/90fps to best support the quality offered by your application, monitor and Internet connection. Two omni-directional microphones with noise cancellation provide much better audio performance than most built-in devices, and the mics even work with Microsoft Cortana.

Business users will appreciate support for all the popular collaboration applications, including Skype for Business and Cisco-compatible certifications, as well as all Logitech Collaboration Program cloud video partners such as BlueJeans, BroadSoft, Vidyo and Zoom. Enterprise-grade security comes thanks to support for Windows Hello facial recognition, providing a Windows login experience that is secure, password-free and easy to use – most of the time!

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Would We Recommend The Logitech BRIO?

Logitech’s top-of-the-line web camera delivers fantastic desktop quality video for one of the best portable streaming experiences currently available. If you’re a professional who relies on video communications, you should definitely take a look at the Logitech BRIO. Casual Skype callers and those on older hardware might not see the cost benefit from this 4K solution, but anyone (including gamers using the supported but not included XSplit live streaming and recording software) wanting to boost their video streaming quality certainly will. If your budget won’t quite stretch, check out the excellent Logitech C922 for half the price.

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Christian Harris is editor and publisher of BCW. Christian has over 20 years’ publishing experience and in that time has contributed to most major IT magazines and Web sites in the UK. He launched BCW in 2009 as he felt there was a need for honest and personal commentary on a wide range of business computing issues. Christian has a BA (Hons) in Publishing from the London College of Communication.