Welcome to the first product review on this blog. I’m still learning how to properly pull off the format, but it has been fun so far. I’ll be doing this for whatever stuff I buy from now on. In this case, I bought a new webcam for streaming and filming overhead shots, and I chose to buy a fairly affordable one from a Chinese brand on Shopee instead of Logitech or Razer. So far, I think I made the right choice with the Rapoo C270L webcam.
The Rapoo C270L is a boxy-looking webcam compared to the many others you’ll find online that try to copy the Logitech C920. Its most prominent feature is the ring light around the lens that promises to light up shots on its own. Other than that, it looks like the webcam you’d expect in 2021, with the monitor mount and the tilt and swivel articulation to let you position it just the way you want it. In my case, I want it looking straight down.
Rapoo is a brand known for wireless keyboard and mice. It looks like it has branched off to other peripherals as well, and I can say they’re doing pretty well in both quality and value. They also have power banks, wireless chargers, USB cables, headsets, and so on. Rapoo is basically Anker’s classmate who is copying their homework and buying the same lunch in the canteen.
On a tangent, they also have the Rapoo XK100 Bluetooth keyboard that rivals the Logitech K480, but is worth 2/3 the price. I might buy that as well in the near future, especially once this blasted pandemic starts lightening up and I’ll be able to hang out in coffee shops again.
NOTE: This is a full peripheral review based on the reviewer’s preferences and needs. Your needs may be different and you may find this review to not have the information you need. Reader discretion is advised.
Design of Rapoo C270L Webcam
It looks chunkier than its counterparts that are mostly variations of Logitech C920 knockoffs. Along with the ring light, it stands out in search results, which is what got me to take a look at it while searching for affordable webcams. That ring light and the 3-level touch control sets it apart from most other webcams, especially at this price point.
But due to its different design, this webcam is not as compact, so it can stick out quite a bit and may not be fitting for all users. On the other hand, it feels quite solid and robust, which belies the affordable cost. The plastic looks strong and doesn’t feel cheap with its matte texture.
I really like how the cable is detachable as the webcam features a USB Type C connector. As of this review, I haven’t tested yet what will happen if I use a full USB Type C cable, whether it will automatically capture 60fps video more easily. But it’s good that the webcam provides this option of a potential upgrade.
Monitor and Tripod Mounts
The monitor mount has thin rubber padding for grip; I would’ve preferred thicker foam padding. But the plastic feels solid and the hinge is not loose, so it will stay on your monitor easily. Also, the tripod mount adds to that adaptability, which is another reason why I got it.
Functionality of Rapoo C270L Webcam
It’s a webcam. All it has to do is capture good quality video with more than 90 FOV and at least 30fps and we’re good. What more do we need from a webcam? Microphone? I checked out reviews on the built-in microphone and it sounds pretty muddy.
The video of the Rapoo C270L is actually pretty good. As you should be able to see in the review video above, it shows a good bit of detail and has adequate exposure. Compared to even the good cameras I have, this webcam proves to be more appropriate for streaming.
The only thing I could really ask more of is true 60fps video. It’s the one thing the Logitech C922 has over cheaper webcams like this.
I didn’t want to test it myself because I seriously don’t care. If you have to use a microphone, you should invest in a good one in the first place. Yes, I know not everyone can shelf out at least ₱800 on a BM-800 or even ₱500 on a half-decent headset. Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to stop being poor.
But with microphones becoming more and more affordable these days, I still think it’s a good investment due to how many things you can use it for. You can’t just rely on the built-in mic of a webcam, but at least it does provide a backup option in case of things going horribly wrong.
Flaws and Annoyances
The C270L has two major flaws. First is not being 60fps out of the box. It requires some tweaking in order to get it close to capturing 60fps. You have to turn off automatic exposure adjustment and maybe automatic white balance as well. Fixing these settings gives the webcam less processing to do, thus freeing up resources to let it capture video more smoothly.
The second flaw is the built-in ring light. Due to how small it is, it doesn’t output enough light to brighten shots adequately. It does virtually nothing and the webcam would’ve been cheaper, and more compact if they never added it in the first place. I see no reason to use it, and you’re better off using a separate ring light. This certainly makes it not a viable Razer Kiyo alternative.
Value of Rapoo C270L Webcam
Price to Performance
Despite having such an impotent ring light, the low price point still makes it a good choice for people looking for a good webcam for their streams and Zoom calls. For around ₱1,300, you get clear and responsive video you’d expect from a webcam thrice its price.
I may have to get the other Rapoo webcams to compare between them in order to determine how much difference there is between their video quality in proportion to their price.
Comparison with Rivals
Obviously, the Rapoo C270L serves as a budget alternative to the more popular Logitech webcams. There’s also the brand NexiGo with its own budget alternatives, albeit a little bit pricier compared to the Rapoo. Everything else you may find has no identifiable brand name, likely because all these components may come from the same OEM.
I really thought about giving the Rapoo C270L webcam a 6 out of 10 due to that dismal ring light and its lack of true 60fps video. However, due to how much I got it for, I can’t ignore the value. Perhaps in the near future, I can purchase its bigger brother, the Rapoo C280, and see if being ₱300 more expensive actually puts that webcam above this one.
I really thought about giving the Rapoo C270L webcam a 6 out of 10 due to that dismal ring light and its lack of true 60fps video. However, due to how much I got it for, I can’t ignore the value.
Perhaps in the near future, I can purchase its bigger brother, the Rapoo C280, and see if being ₱300 more expensive actually puts that webcam above this one.
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