Now more than ever do people need to be prepared for a wide variety of situations. It isn’t enough to capture video, a lot of people want to see reactions. Gaming streams have a strong focus on what the actual player is doing over just showcasing their skills. Even interviews and meetings take place through services like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, and more. With such a need, options in the $200+ range, and everything in-between it’s hard to tell what you actually need. Among the options is Monoprice’s Workstream 2K Webcam. With a name people trust, attractive price, and solid specs, is it the best bang for your buck, or does it fall short of expectations?
Like the other Workstream product we reviewed, Workstream 2K Webcam has a really basic package. So basic there are only two designs, with the remaining two sides being a direct copy. It’s a bit unusual, especially since it’s almost devoid of marketing jargon. Instead, are direct statements like plug and play, widescreen support, built-in microphone, and angle support. Given this is a business product this really isn’t surprising, and for older/easily frustrated people a benefit.
Inside is a bag containing the webcam, and the only accessory, a webcam cover. Some will dislike this being a separate piece, as it’s very similar to a slide cover, though the function is a bit better. One of the sides has a hinge, so you just push/close depending on what you want to do. Since it’s an external piece you can also determine how/if you want to install it.
As for the bag, it feels similar to a raincoat. For fun I poured some water on it and it wiped clean in a couple seconds. The double layered design also prevented my hand from getting wet. I don’t know how useful this actually is, but if your drink spilled inside you bag it likely wouldn’t get damaged.
How Thin the Foam Is
Upon taking Workstream 2K Webcam out I was surprised by the size. At 3.5″x2.75″x2.5″ it’s a bit bigger than you might think. Monoprice went with a metal body and plastic support, which is a bit uncommon in the space. Usually it’s all plastic, especially in this price range, so it was a welcome surprise. There is also some foam on the inside of the mount, though it’s so thin I can feel the plastic underneath it.
Monoprice added some nice versatility options. With the base you can get a fair amount of angles, opt to use a tripod, or just mount it on your computer. Unlike some of the other products I’ve used, Workstream 2K Webcam needs to be set a specific way to limit movement. Without getting the three pieces in the right position it will bop, move, or potentially even fall over.
Tripod Support is Welcome
Another thing to keep in mind is the built-in cable. It’s about 6′ long, USB-A 2.0, and not braided. With more devices moving to USB-C, make sure it will connect, or you obtain a USB-A to USB-C adapter.
Picture quality is okay. While Workstream 2K Webcam got the broad stokes right, a lot of details were lost. Imperfections with my face (I’m okay with this) are lessened, my shirts texture is almost completely lost, even my background calendar is hard to make out. However, it isn’t all bad either.
I included a picture from my iMac‘s built-in webcam and Workstream 2K Webcam did fairly well. Even if the overall quality is higher on my iMac, Workstream 2K Webcam has better color accuracy. How important that is will vary, but overall this should exceed what you’d find on an older/lower end computer.
The addition of a ring light is also welcome. I have a 4K HP webcam that is horrible in this room due to lighting. This helps maintain that aforementioned accuracy, just keep in mind the lights get pretty bright.
Monoprice Workstream 2K Webcam Connected via USB Hub
Monoprice Workstream 2K Webcam Connected Directly to iMac
iMac’s built-in Microphone
PlayStation 5 Capture
Strong picture aside, the included microphone is rough. Every source I used had some level of interference that got worse if the ring light was on level one or two. For whatever reason it sounded better at max brightness. Not only is the quality low, the background noise makes it completely unusable.
In addition to weak sound capture, Workstream 2K Webcam falls short on some of the finer details. One massive negative is a lack of visual indicator when the webcam is on. The manual makes no mention of such feature, nor did I notice anything on the device itself. It’s unfortunate to see such a standard feature not included.
Another weak point is angle support. Rotating Workstream 2K Webcam isn’t a problem, it’s upward or downward angles. There is a very small range of motion, so small that I couldn’t get a good angle when it was on top of my iMac. It’s also really stiff. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, just coupled with the tricky mounting it can easily be more of a hassle than it’s worth.
Monoprice Workstream 2K Webcam Review Verdict
For the price, Workstream 2K Webcam its not a bad option. It will likely be better than a lot of older/lower end built-in computer options. Unfortunately, in most other areas it’s hit/miss. Between weak audio capture, difficult adjustments, no visual indicator when it’s on, it’s the type of thing where you probably won’t get something better for the price, but you might want to consider investing more.
[Editor’s Note: Monoprice Workstream 2K Webcam was provided to us for review purposes.]