Once remote work becomes an essential part of life for many in 2020, webcams are once again a must-have computer accessory due to their ability to connect virtually with our co-workers. While we all assumed that the webcams in our beloved all-in-one computers or laptops were good enough, many found the exact opposite, which led to a high demand for the category, with many of the most popular tips sold for months.
Of course, with the webcam boom, I was sent a few during the year for testing, the last being the AUSDOM AW635 webcam. The AUSDOM webcam is an affordable option that sounds great on paper: 1080p high definition resolution, compatibility with Windows, Mac, Android and ChromeOS, built-in microphone and USB plug and play configuration. However, depending on your situation, this may or may not be enough to warrant an update.
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AUSDOM AW635 webcam
Bottom line: AUSDOM affordable AW635 webcam is a worthy upgrade over built-in solutions on budget laptops or older Macs with 1080p resolution. For those with modern Macs or mid-range PCs, however, it doesn’t offer enough to make it a must-have.
- Easy plug and play setup
- Rotation and tilt adjustments
- Works with Mac, Windows, Android, ChromeOS
- Hard focus manual adjustment
- Average video quality
- Missing privacy cover and usage indicator
Connect and use
AUSDOM AW635 Webcam Review: What I like
The AW635 AUSDOM webcam comes in a clip-on style and a completely black package that gives it the look of a small video projector. The lens portion of the webcam sits on one side of the face, with a chrome ring topped with a mirror finish around the edge to give it a bit of visual appeal. The design is subtle, but I like how it fades in the background compared to the bright appearance of some competitors.
The camera mount is versatile because it works like a traditional mounting solution by mounting or on a flat surface. In either orientation, the top half of the camera rotates freely 360 degrees, and the camera has a smaller range of tilt available, which is nice. The AW635 stand can also be unfolded completely flat, perhaps to provide a thinner profile for travel or to possibly act as a handle when holding it in your hand, as the support hinge is sturdy.
The AW635 webcam records and streams 1080p high definition video at 30 fps with a wide angle lens and low light correction, but lacks autofocus capabilities. During testing, we found that the webcam produced good images in well-lit environments and managed to keep up with waving hands and other quick movements with ease. The colors in the images produced by the webcam have been turned off, which I generally prefer to the very saturated aspects, but some might find them a little too much on the boring side.
Around the lens is a set of omnidirectional microphones that offer noise reduction. However, we have not done extensive testing to confirm how effective it is, as I recommend users stay with external sound solutions. Completing the hardware is a removable USB 2.0 type A cable that stretches for about 5 feet, generous enough for most desktop installations. I would definitely have liked to see USB-C as well as a removable cable, but like it or not, USB-A is still ubiquitous.
The camera works with Windows, Mac, Android, ChromeOS and, for my testing, it was ready to enter macOS just by connecting it. I like how I didn’t have to hunt for certain software for it and how I could get started right away with web apps like Google Meet. AUSDOM offers room software, AMCAP, which is available as a free download via ausdom.com. However, the software is only available for Windows.
AUSDOM AW635 Webcam Review: What I do not like
Despite its growing focus on privacy with today’s applications and technology, the AUSDOM AW635 strangely has some pretty basic features. The AW635 webcam does not include or has a built-in lens cap and does not have an indicator lamp in use, two pretty big omissions for something that usually stays connected to our computers all the time. Because of this, me strong we recommend that you purchase and install a third-party lens cap if you plan to lift the AW635.
Another headscratcher when it comes to the webcam is the lack of autofocus and how you make adjustments. While it’s true that your position in front of the camera doesn’t change much in a typical desktop scenario, you can’t rely on a manual focus system that takes a few moments to form. To make matters worse, adjusting the focus is frustrating because AUSDOM gives you two incredibly small bumps around the lens that you should use to catch and rotate. The adjustment points are so small that they are difficult to catch, and the rotational movement is not very smooth at all.
Turning to image quality, the AUSDOM AW635 did not live up to my expectations with its 1080p high definition capabilities. As mentioned earlier, the webcam image in a well-lit room was suitable for video conferencing and general chat. However, I noticed that the camera lens captured an aerial light, which put some signs of reflection in the center of his vision. The spots are not obvious on lighter backgrounds, but on a black shirt, I could see them immediately. In darker environments, the image quality of the AW635 is visibly softer and suffers from noise accidents or artifacts on solid colors or backgrounds.
Comparing the AW635 with the competition comes down to the current situation of the computer. If your setup does not have a webcam, then the price of the AW635 compares to options such as the PAPALOOK PA452 or the Logitech C920s. I recently spent some time with the PAPALOOK webcam and found that it produced a better image in both light and dark scenarios, although I prefer the hardware aesthetics of the AW635. The Logitech C920s is the everyday webcam and has a much better image, along with the benefits of having built-in privacy coverage and an excellent software suite.
However, things get a little more complicated if you want to upgrade your laptop camera. In most cases, the 1080p AW635 will likely deliver better image quality than Windows and all-in-one laptops. However, for those with the latest Macbook Air, the AW635 will not be a significant upgrade, and for those with the latest iMac, it will actually be a downgrade. If you are in this boat, I suggest you check out the best 2020 webcam guide for top quality options.
AUSDOM AW635 Webcam Review: You should buy
You should buy this if …
Search for a video conferencing webcam now
Let’s face it; Finding a decent webcam with everyone working from home today is quite difficult. The webcam market from well-known brands such as Logitech has dried up, so it’s worth considering the AUSDOM AW635. Sometimes just being there is good enough, and the AUSOM AW635 is available with fast delivery to Amazon.
You are currently relying on a Windows budget PC or an older Mac
If you have an older computer and are looking for an upgrade without spending too much money, then the AW635 fits the bill. The AUSDOM webcam with 1080p high definition resolution will surpass most 720p solutions embedded in well-lit environments. With a manual focus adjustment, you can call the correct look if you do not intend to change things regularly.
You want a simple plug-and-play solution
The AW635 is ready to come out of the box, at least on macOS, just by connecting it to an available USB port. This simple method means you won’t have to worry about finding drivers or asking if it’s compatible with your video conferencing app – it should work. The manual focus system can also benefit from some, as you can make adjustments without having to immerse yourself in the camera settings.
You shouldn’t buy this if …
You have privacy issues with your webcams at home
Adding a webcam to your home always introduces potential privacy issues, and the AUSDOM AW635 does little to protect its users. The webcam does not come with a built-in cover or accessory that you can use to hide the view when not in use, which means you will need to disconnect it or purchase a third-party solution. The webcam also lacks an indicator light in use, so you never really know if it’s active.
You want a webcam with autofocus
If you’re looking for a webcam that automatically adjusts your focus, you’ll need to look elsewhere. The AW635 uses a difficult-to-use manual focus adjustment system, so you’ll need to adjust it for the best image. If you plan to use the webcam in different locations, you may need to adjust it each time.
You have a mid-range PC or a modern Mac
AUSOM AW635 does not have the highest resolution or the best image quality around, especially in low light scenarios. Even at 1080p resolution, the camera has no finer details and color saturation, which may not be an upgrade if you have a modern Macbook Air, iMac or even a mid-range Windows PC. In darker environments, image quality suffers from noise and general clarity.
If you are in the market to upgrade to the built-in webcam from your older computer or you need a webcam right now, then the AUSDOM camera is one to check. The AW635 does not offer the best images, does not have autofocus and does not have built-in privacy features, but it is readily available and has 1080p images that will beat lower quality webcams. The AUSDOM webcam is also easy to set up, with a plug-and-play method that works without friction, at least for those who use macOS.
Finally, the AUSDOM AW635 is a mixed bag that makes the recommendation a little more complicated than saying go out and buy it now. If the webcam had autofocus, a privacy cover, and better image quality in darker environments, I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a webcam, regardless of the age of your existing webcam. Unfortunately, the AW635 does not include them, so it comes down to the current situation of the computer.
For those who want to upgrade to an older or budget built-in laptop webcam, then the AW635 will really make your video conferencing or chats more visually appealing and available for purchase right now. The AUSDOM camera will offer nothing more than a small visual difference for those with modern Macs or PCs, so it will be better to save money or apply them to a more premium option.
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