Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Zalman ZM-PC200 is a universal webcam that promises HD video resolution but fails to deliver. On the one hand, it is compatible with PCs and Macs, and it comes with its own capture software. However, it has the worst picture quality of all of the cameras we tested. Also, it lacks many of the advanced features that we want in an HD webcam. It may be among the cheapest webcams on the market, but it is a disappointing video chat resource.
The ZM-PC200 promises full 1080p HD resolution, but when you actually start using it, it's clear that the webcam isn't quite there. Instead, it looks like it is filming in standard definition and displaying in high definition. To offer context, think about when you first start watching something on Netflix, and the video looks somewhat pixelated. If you look at the streaming details, it will say that the video is in 240p or 480p, and since you are probably using a 720p or 1080p display, these SD videos don't look quite right. That is the constant experience when using the ZM-PC200.
Fortunately, it has a couple of advanced features that make it easier to live with. Its light correction will optimize the aperture to make sure that you are fully visible. Part of the light-correcting technology comes from its face-tracking abilities, where it will identify your face and adjust the lighting accordingly. It uses a fixed focus, which forces you to sit in a perfect position to get the best usage out of the camera. If you're too close or too far, the image is blurry. Its built-in capture software is difficult to use and lacks noise reduction, a digital zoom and one-click uploading to social networks. Fortunately, this universal webcam will work with any video chat service, including Skype, Facebook and Google+.
Zalman supports the ZM-PC200 with a one-year warranty, which is fairly standard. You can access a downloadable manual and a FAQs section from the Zalman website. Customer service is only available by email, but we were able to get responses to our questions fairly quickly.
The Zalman ZM-PC200 makes huge promises, but it fails to deliver. This universal webcam works on both PC and Mac, and you can use it on nearly any video chat service. However, its 1080p HD video looks pixelated, and the fixed focus can make your image blurry.