Greener BeeGreen ElectronicsRazer Stargazer review: RealSense’s desktop debut arrives with spotty results

It took a bit longer than I expected for Razer’s Stargazer to arrive. After its surprise reveal at CES 2016, I thought a new era of webcam technology would be upon us by summer at the latest. Instead it took eight long months—a fact I’d complain about, except the Stargazer also dropped $50 in price between announcement and release. Not bad.

Unfortunately for Razer, however, the Stargazer’s been met with a formidable foe. Logitech released its new C922 webcam at the same time, pitting tried-and-true against Razer’s upstart (and its Intel RealSense tech). Can the Stargazer hold its own?

Design

If this were a beauty contest, the Stargazer would absolutely prevail. Its elongated shape is perhaps a necessary choice, given the fact that it houses three cameras, but it’s beautiful as well as functional. Sitting low over your monitor, its sleek pipe-shaped chassis with its two end-cap microphones looks like it was designed to complement all the other gaming-centric peripherals in your arsenal, whereas the C922 looks like…well, a webcam.

This is not to say the Stargazer is perfect. It mounts on your monitor the same way as the C922—via a folding three-part L joint. The Stargazer is heavy though, so this mounting block is about twice as big as the C922’s. Not a huge deal, since it sits behind your monitor, but it’s a bit cumbersome to move and looks ridiculous mounted on a tripod.

Razer Stargazer

And while I love that the Stargazer’s front-facing presence is minimal, with a tiny lip that would sit unobtrusively on even the smallest of monitor bezels, the chassis itself hangs out over the monitor. If you’ve got overhead lighting (as I do), you might find that the device casts a small shadow on your monitor. Just enough to irritate.

Aside from these quibbles, though, it’s stunning—what you’d expect a webcam to look like in 2016, or maybe what you’d expect a webcam to look like if the field had come of age in the era of YouTube and Twitch instead of in dusty conference halls and corporate meeting rooms.

I’m also a fan of the Stargazer’s fabric-sheathed USB cable. While bulkier and stiffer than the C922’s, it also feels more durable—perfect if you plan to transport it anywhere.

RealSense

Performance matters more than looks though, and the Stargazer’s importance lies mainly in the fact that it brings Intel’s RealSense technology to the masses. Most RealSense cameras are still found in all-in-ones and laptops, and Intel’s desktop models are marketed at developers. The Stargazer brings RealSense to the Twitch/YouTube crowd.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/3127781/consumer-electronics/razer-stargazer-review-realsenses-desktop-debut-arrives-with-spotty-results.html


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