Available in vibrant blue, red, or understated gunmetal grey, the HD5N is a slim rectangular webcam measuring approximately 25mm x 8mm x 48mm (W x D x H) and weighing roughly 15g. Its simple design isn’t likely to turn any heads, but it’s not altogether ugly either. Attached to its lower half is a specially shaped wire frame with a rubber base that lets it sit securely around the edge of a flat panel monitor, or alternatively, on any flat surface. It doesn’t take much fiddling to get it into the desired position and, once in place, it’s not likely to fall off or tilt out of place either. The webcam is driverless and installation is a simple matter of plug and play.
The HD5N’s camera features an F2.0, f=3.35 lens capable of up to 1280 x 720p HD widescreen recording at 30fps. The image quality is good when viewed in a smaller video chat or YouTube sized window, but starts looking blurry when viewed full screen (such as a 22-inch monitor like the one we used). The auto focus and auto white balance perform well enough, but the focus can be a bit slow and unpredictable at times. The webcam also features a built-in omni directional microphone that works well in quiet conditions, but does noticeably lack any form of ambient noise canceling.
The webcam comes bundled with ArcSoft WebCam Companion 3 which includes a few basic features for masques and filters. Also included is a nice a one click button feature that will upload videos direct to your YouTube account.
The HD5N isn’t exactly a breakthrough in technology, but it's well built and it does what it’s supposed to do. It's not as good as a full 1080p recording device, but at a recommended retail price of S$79 it seems well suited for the budding YouTube celebrity looking for an HD recording device on a budget. As for it being “the best webcam on Planet Earth", we hear MIT has one that can shoot lasers, so no, probably not.