If you've been shopping for a high-quality webcam lately, you might think you'd have an easier time finding an RTX 3080 card or a Ryzen 5000 CPU. For most people, "high-quality" means a Logitech C920 series camera, the big Kahuna of webcams. Unfortunately, in this new work-from-home world, everyone is thinking the same thing and the C920 and its variants (C920e, C920x) are either out-of-stock or available only at jacked-up prices most of the time.
The good news is that there are a lot of excellent Logitech C920 alternatives, which we've tested and ranked on our best webcams to buy now page. One of our favorites, the Aukey PC-LM1E, also known as the Aukey FHD webcam, is now on sale for just $29, reduced from $59. That's one of the best Cyber Monday deals you'll see today.
Aukey PC-LM1E 1080p Webcam: was $59, now $29 at Amazon
Aukey's PC-LM1E is a great low-cost, 1080p camera from a reputable company, and while its picture quality might not be as strong as Logitech's offerings, it still has great texture detail and color in its own right.
Below, you can see a couple of sample shots we took with the Aukey FHD webcam. While its colors are a little warm, its image quality was very strong and nearly o par with the Logitech C920 and more-expensive competitors like the Ausdom AF640 (on sale today for $71).
As you can see, the red in the Tom's Hardware logo on the hat is a really vibrant red and images in the foreground, particularly the skin on the face and hands look smooth and sharp. We shot these near a window so one side of the face is better lit than the other, but your mileage will vary based on your environment.
The Aukey FHD webcam also has a couple of features that even the C920 doesn't. Its base rotates a full 3060 degrees and it tilts up and down further than Logitech's camera.
The camera records at up to 1080p, 30fps and it has an excellent built-in microphone. If anything, we found the mic occasionally too sensitive as it picked up some background noise. For $29, this is a steal.
For more savings, check our list of best Cyber Monday deals overall, best Cyber Monday monitor deals, best Cyber Monday SSD deals, best Cyber Monday CPU deals, best Cyber Monday graphics card deals, best Cyber Monday laptop deals, best Cyber Monday gaming PC deals and best Cyber Monday Raspberry Pi deals.
A web search will quickly locate bootable Live Linux downloadable iso files for many of the major Linux distros. If you downloaded the latest Live Linux distro for any of the major Linux distros which are frequently updated several times a year (Mint or openSUSE, for example), you can easily install it on a USB 3.0 flash drive and quickly boot up a PC. If you download and install the Cheese webcam app and see if it recognizes a webcam, the webcam should work OK with any Linux distro with a recent kernel. This should take no more than ten minutes on a modern PC and you could say in your review something like “Using Cheese with a Linux 5.4 kernel worked with the XYZ webcam.”
If you boot a Live Linux version with KDE (such as the KDE version of openSUSE Live Linux or Mint Cinnamon), you can open the Info Center app or System Info app which will quickly show you if Linux can recognize almost any hardware device.
I use openSUSE Linux exclusively, but I have ordered one of the Aukey FHD webcams based on users comments on the web that it does work with several Linux distros, but Linux users would really appreciate it if you could take 10 minutes (or less) to confirm basic Linux compatibility and clearly state that in your reviews.
Linux is actually compatible with a much wider range of hardware than people realize because many hardware devices these days are built to industry-wide standards and if Linux supports the standard, any hardware device which conforms to the standard will work. More and more hardware manufacturers are listing Linux support on their packaging and websites, but many hardware devices which do not list Linux compatibility are actually compatible and Tom’s Hardware would provide a much appreciated service for Linux users to include a quick basic compatibility test in your reviews.
Mint Cinnamon 20 currently has the 5.4 Linux kernel while openSUSE Leap 15.2 has the 5.3 kernel. Both are updated regularly with many device drivers backported from newer Linux kernels so they are both good tests of current Linux hardware compatibility.
Both openSUSE and Mint have tools which report the hardware devices which the Linux kernel recognizes and has device drivers for.
Mint has Menu (in lower left hand corner) > Administration > System Reports > System Information and openSUSE has Menu > System > System Info.
These tools will indicate whether video cards, network card, web cams, USB devices, and many other types of hardware have device drivers in the Linux kernel in use.
Cheese is available for both Mint and openSUSE.
You don’t have to be a Linux expert to run these tests and it’s easy and quick.