Webcams Where None Should be

It’s as if laptop makers have started playing a little game of hide-the-webcam. In their zeal to offer borderless displays the built-in webcam gets relocated to the most unfortunate places, often with terrible consequences.

Dell XPS

This trend started in 2015 with Dell’s XPS. While the InfinityEdge display was lovely, it forced them to move the webcam from the usual location in the top edge of the display. In their wisdom, Dell put it in the “chin” under the display, and even under the logo. It’s literally right above the keyboard.

xps13_c_3

This location makes for some odd viewing angles. It’s been referred to as the “Nosecam,” which seems appropriate. Others have more specific observations here, here and here.

Tom’s Guide even suggests you use a trick to rotate the webcam video and place the laptop on its side when making video calls.

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Splyce: Intel NUC as a Host for vMix

Now that my video production activities are all desktop-based, my habit of handling video crosses paths with my long-standing affection for small form factor computers. For the past year I’ve used a fanless Airtop-PC from CompuLab as my primary desktop workstation. It has shown itself to be a very capable host for vMix, which is my very favorite live video production tool.

In considering the purchase of the Airtop I also looked long and hard at Intel’s NUC line-up. There’s a lot to like about the NUCs. In particular, the Skull Canyon NUC, with it’s i7-6770HQ CPU, presented an attractive price/performance combination. Others in the vMix user community have noted that it runs vMix handily, despite the lack of an nVidia GPU.

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My dog ate my headphones

ER-ER5HF5BLACK_2Seriously, it happened last week. One evening I fell asleep listening to a podcast. My phone fell to the floor along with my trusty of Etymotic HF5 headphones. Julio, our 18 month-old Dogo-mix, who very much likes to chew on soft plastic toys, found the earbuds to tempting to pass up. Happily, he did not ingest them. He simply rendered them useless.

You may recall that I bought a pair of OneMore Triple-Driver Earphones back in 2016. These ultimately proved disappointing. Performance-wise, they deliver exaggerated bass. They’re supposedly tuned by Luca Bignardi, a professional musician and recording engineer working in Italy. To my ears, they’re seriously imbalanced.

Further, they don’t fit as well as the ETY’s. The tips come loose, and annoyingly tend to remain in my ears when I take the buds off. When I reported this to the company they reacted with surprise, and sent me another set of tips. however, those tips didn’t change a thing. I’m done with 1More.

There are about a zillion companies now offering earphones, or the more uppity “in-ear monitors.” Most of them complete unknowns.

I’m tempted by the new Etymotic ER4XR. According to InnerFidelity they offer improved bass response over the older models. Sadly, priced around $350, they are beyond my budget.

All this begs the question, what are your favorite headphones?