Dell is expanding its remote work options with the new modestly priced Dell Pro Webcam: Model WB5023, which can record in 2K Quad HD (QHD) resolution.
For $135, the Pro Webcam comes packed with features (opens in new tab) that guarantees high quality video and audio, so there’s a lot to cover here. The first is support for Digital Overlap High Dynamic Range (DOL-HDR), a technology developed by Sony. The feature allows the Pro Webcam to grab multiple frames simultaneously and stack them to reduce distortion. Next comes Video Noise Reduction, which greatly reduces the amount of static present in a stream; which can be very useful for those night meetings.
Face Detection Auto Exposure is also present on the Dell Webcam Pro to focus on the user’s face while ensuring optimal lighting. Auto exposure takes into account the ambient light in a photo so your face can be seen clearly. And the final notable software feature is AI Auto Framing, allowing the camera to follow you. As seen in the ad, this can be useful if there are objects behind that are part of your presentation.
Resolution and hardware
It is also worth mentioning that the resolution of the Webcam can be adjusted. The aforementioned 2K QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution is locked at 30 frames per second, but the frame rate can be improved, according to a Windows Central report (opens in new tab). You can lower the resolution to Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) or normal HD (1280 x 720 pixels) and get a maximum frame rate of 60 FPS. But if your connection is particularly bad, you can lower the frame rate to 24 FPS.
The software package houses Pro Webcam’s best features, while on the hardware side, the quality is more dispersed. First the good: Dell’s Pro Webcam comes with a built-in microphone that reduces noise, blocking external sound to focus on the user’s voice. This is something the highest resolution Dell UltraSharp 4K Webcam lack.
However, the Pro Webcam’s field of view (FOV) is quite poor compared to the Ultrasharp. It has only two FOV settings: 65 or 78 degrees. Ultrasharp can go up to a full 90 degree view. If you don’t have a lot to show for your presentation, that’s probably not a big deal, but if you do, you’ll have to cram as much as you can into a photo on the new Pro Webcam.
The other problem is that it uses a USB-A connection instead of a USB-C one. This reduces the number of compatible devices you can use with the Dell Webcam Pro. There is adapters you can use to compensate for the lack of capacity like the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock, but should you buy another device for something that should be standard? At least it’s long, like according to The Verge, the USB-A cable is 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) long.
Reports are circulating stating that the new Pro Webcam is currently available for purchase, but after checking Dell’s website it is not there. In fact, we couldn’t find it anywhere. We contacted Dell and asked when the new camera would be on sale and will update the story if we get a response. Still, despite the ambiguous availability, Dell’s new Pro Webcam appears to be a solid choice at first glance. Great resolution and tons of features all in a decently priced package.
How well does the Dell Pro Webcam compare to the best webcams on the market? We’ll see as soon as we put the webcam up for review.