Poly Made A 4K Auto-Tracking Webcam And A Video Call Display With Built-In Lighting

If working from home and home-schooling have taught us anything over the past year, it's that the webcam in your laptop probably isn't doing your face any favors. Standalone webcams were in short supply in 2020, but we're now seeing heavyweights from enterprise video conferencing weigh in with consumer-focused options, like the new Poly Studio P Series.

If you've not been in a conference room for a while, you'd be forgiven for not knowing about Poly. The company has until this point focused on business products for video and audio calls, but the Studio P Series – which includes both a webcam, a "Personal Video Bar," and an all-in-one "Personal Meeting Display" – focuses on the remote worker instead.

Most straightforward is the Poly Studio P5 Webcam, which is intended to replace the janky camera squeezed into your laptop's bezel. It has a 1080p Full HD resolution and supports up to 4x digital zoom, and has an integrated directional microphone for audio. There's also built-in USB headset support, if you'd rather use a separate headset.

A privacy shutter is built-in, too, increasingly a point of concern given remote workers' office space often overlaps with their personal space these days. It's priced at $129 and is expected to go on sale in April.

If you want to go further, there's the Poly Studio P15 Personal Video Bar. That's $599, a whole lot to pay for a webcam, but it steps up to 4K video and improves on the audio side, too. The camera supports automatic framing, using smart cropping to always keep you in the center of the frame, and there's a privacy shutter as well.

It's flanked by a soundbar, including both a speaker and a multi-microphone array. The latter taps Poly's NoiseBlockAI and Acoustic Fence systems, which focuses pickup on the person sat directly in front of the camera, while tapering off on sensitivity more broadly either side of them. The larger design also means space for both a USB 3.0 Type-C port and two USB 2.0 Type-A ports.

Finally, there's the Poly Studio P21 Personal Meeting Display. That basically builds the features of the Studio P15 into a standalone display, with a 21-inch screen, microphone array, and a soundbar running along the bottom. There's also a wireless phone charging pad in the base, and a privacy shutter for the camera.

Built-in lighting around the screen promises more consistent illumination, and the whole thing connects via USB and should work, Poly says, with any video app for PC or Mac. It'll be priced at $815 when it goes on sale in April.