Dell 2K webcam review: Simple clarity
As PC manufacturers slowly begin to update their built-in webcam experiences, external solutions continue to outpace the development and performance of off-the-shelf conferencing hardware, and Dell Pro Webcam (WB5023) is the perfect example.
Dell currently offers a 4K Ultrasharp webcam for $199but now the company is introducing its 2K QHD variant which can capture 30fps at that resolution or 60fps at 1080p for $134.99 (both webcams are currently on sale at Dell).
With most conferencing software capping their resolutions at 720p from 1080, the (WB5023) is closer to current support, but offers a bit more clarity for anyone who also wants a reasonably priced streaming camera.
Along with 2K QHD resolution, the (WB5023) also offers a 78 degree field of view (FOV), up to 4x digital zoom, HDR, AI auto-framing and a moderately effective microphone.
|FPS resolution||2K QHD/30fps; Full HD/30fps; HD/60fps|
|Diagonal field of view||78 degrees|
|Microphone||Built-in noise reduction microphone|
|Link||USB-A (not detachable)|
|To go up||Built-in monitor clip with tripod mounting point|
|Dimensions (LxW)||3.6 x 1.73 inches (92 x 44mm)|
|lester||0.34 lbs / 155g|
|Software||Dell Device Manager|
|Special Features||AI auto framing|
Look and feel
The (WB5023) is a heavy cylinder-shaped webcam that has very few lines, a single lead wire, and a large, unobstructed lens with a removable magnetic cover. My review unit came in a dark gray, almost matte black color with a retractable rubber covered mounting slip that also contains a 1/7 slip on the bottom to help further secure the webcam to most monitors and lids laptop computers.
For professionals, there is also a screw-on stand that can be applied to a retractable desk arm or tripod.
The single connection wire is permanently attached to the back of the webcam and extends approximately five feet and terminates in a USB-A connector to help support the lowest common denominator port on devices newer and older.
Aside from its unique barrel shape, there isn’t much more than the design of the (WB5023), like sliders, lights, switches, or buttons that help it blend in with most rooms. backgrounds and desktop configurations.
Under mosf office fluorescent lighting, the (WB5023) does a decent job of automatically adding black and contrast levels to prevent subjects from looking washed out initially. 2K resolution is a mixed bag though, with a feeling of almost amplified clarity with overly artificial sharpness, which is noticeable when a subject is moving too quickly for the sensor to be able to track.
The (WB5023) outperformed my Logitec C920x and my Streamcam when lighting comes from above and behind the camera sensor.
In less than ideal conditions, the (WB5023) struggles but less than other webcams, especially when it comes to finding white balances between backgrounds and darker-skinned subjects. Without a light ring (which many webcams come with), 2K Clarity picks up darker areas much more and produces a darker capture than what may actually be in the room.
There is software that accompanies the (WB5023) that allows users to adjust brightness, sharpness, contrast, HDR, auto white balance, and even camera controls among other presets. Users can head to Dell’s website to grab the software for free and go through the five-minute setup to access more granular controls over FOV, Zoom and capture settings. However, using Dell Peripheral Manager to adjust clarity, contrast or even sharpness does little to change the overall image quality.
Ideally, users rely on dedicated microphones or even modern computer mics rather than using the (WB5023) as it digs sound into a room and puts auditory distance between users and their audience. In my experience hosting OnPodcast for an episode using the mic, listeners have commented that my sound was sometimes too quiet despite being less than two feet from the camera.
If you already own a Dell PC this is a recommended purchase, the software and hardware work great with each other and if you are a business looking for an employee friendly fleet purchase this is also a very office aesthetic.
Out-of-the-box 2K clarity is miles ahead of 80% of webcams sold individually or built into hardware and while the software controls leave a lot to be desired, they’re still a last-minute option for real-looking capture. really professional (WB5023).
Where I paused in recommending it more to the average Zoom warrior was in both price and realistic utility. As I mentioned, most conferencing software leverages 1080p support and while 2K looks great before capture, the compression algorithms will chop up and produce a very different image. Unless you prefer streaming or use conferencing software that supports resolutions higher than 1080p, you might find better value under $100 online.