5 Laptops With The Best Webcams in 2021
Mar 23, 2021
Despite the world of Zoom, Skype, and streaming, laptops have really fallen behind the curve on camera technology.
Even if you buy something long-lasting, you can no longer expect a decent webcam by default.
This is why today’s feature is here to guide you through which laptops have the best cameras for video calls (& more).
But also, due to the state of laptop cameras, we’ve included other options like the best standalone cameras if you’re on a budget.
- Top Laptop With Best Webcam: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
- Best Traditional Laptop With Good Webcam: HP Spectre x360 GEM Cut
- Budget Laptop/Chromebook With Best Camera: Google Pixelbook Go
- Apple Laptop With Best Camera: iPad Pro 4th Gen + Magic Keyboard
- Alternative Windows 10 Laptop With Good Webcam: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Best Standalone Webcams for Budget Laptops
Before we Start…
If you’re looking for a laptop with a great webcam, we need to make one thing clear; in nearly every case, it’s better to use a tablet camera for video calls or purchase a standalone webcam for your machine.
Sounds strange right? Why would a tablet have a better camera than your expensive laptop?
Well, with the popularity of tablet cameras, innovations in this area have skyrocketed.
Laptop brands, on the other hand, have gotten lazy.
Many premium options may only have disappointing 720p cameras (not to mention that tablets are usually thicker than a modern laptop screen, so it’s easier for them to install something powerful).
With this in mind, here’s our recommendation for you in order of preference:
- Use a tablet with a type cover (best picks below) for great calls that can still emulate the laptop experience for less.
- If you demand a full Windows 10 /Mac OS laptop, then we would recommend focussing on the other specs of your purchase (i.e. a PC with good hardware for longevity) and buy a separate webcam (our top recommendations are below).
- If you really want to buy a full laptop and use its webcam instead of a standalone one, we’ve recommended your best options below.
Top Laptop With Best Webcam: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
Starting with a tablet + keyboard cover combo may sound like a bit of a ruse.
But as we alluded to above, if you’re serious about having a good built-in camera for Zoom, Skype, or other video call platforms, the tablet solutions available offer a much better value.
The S7 boasts an 8MP front camera capable of 1080p video calls with fantastic quality (don’t assume all full HD cameras are the same, the S7 does well in various lighting conditions and is perfectly suitable for a professional setting).
We also love that Samsung has placed the built-in front cam on the side so that it is on top of the device when you’re in landscape mode (which is where most users will be after taking video calls, many other tablets still put the front cam at the top of portrait mode).
Another reason why we recommend a tablet/keyboard hybrid for photo/video-focused users is that they often come with fantastic rear cameras.
The S7 is a shining example of this, with a 13MP (+ second 5MP wide cam) capable of recording in up to 4k @ 30fps.
Considering traditional laptops don’t even have rear cameras, this is a fantastic value add.
While you may not take many video calls using this camera, it would be useful for professional recording or showing something in your environment during a call.
Although built-in webcams are the focus of this feature, the S7 gets our top accolade because it balances so much more.
With an absolutely stunning 11-inch 2560 x 1600 (WQXGA) TFT display, any content will look fantastic on this device, and can be easily navigated with the highly responsive touchscreen or included S-Pen (one of the best tablet pens on the market).
What’s more, with the S7’s fantastic high-quality keyboard cover (with trackpad) & specs that can cope with decent PC work, you can get a lot done even with the Android OS operating on this offering.
If you’re a gamer, or advanced business user who demands more complicated Windows 10 software (like remote desktop, advanced video editing or intense excel functions, etc.) then you may prefer our runner-up pick or a premium laptop with one of the standalone cameras towards the bottom of this feature.
But we expect most of our readers will instead be the sort who use their device for web browsing, video calls, media, documents on Microsoft Word, and other general functions; this is where the S7 will offer you amazing value alongside its webcam, portability and beautiful screen.
For the average user who needs a laptop with a top webcam for calls, the Galaxy Tab S7 is a wonderful solution.
Best Traditional Laptop With Good Webcam: HP Spectre x360 GEM Cut
Although we’ve tried to make clear that the best built-in webcam laptop solution is a tablet hybrid or a laptop + standalone webcam, we appreciate some users demand an all-in-one setup with full Windows 10.
If that is the case, then the HP Spectre x360 offers a decent camera and comes with some mouth-watering specs to make it a decent productivity machine.
Capable of decent 1080p video quality @ 30fps; the webcam won’t be as detailed or clear as the Tab S7 despite being close to double the price (you might see why we favor tablets) but as far as Windows 10 laptops go, it’s one of the best available today and certainly good enough for professional Zoom/Skype calls.
With HP acknowledging the webcam will likely be used for such means, we appreciate they have included dedicated mute and camera kill-switch buttons to save you from blundering or becoming the next viral video with your kid walking in unexpectedly!
The unit also gives good customization on heat control, so you can change settings to ensure your laptop is ultra-quiet during important calls.
If this webcam is enough to meet your needs, then we’re pleased to say we have nothing but positives to say about the rest of the hardware.
Lead by an Intel i7-1065G7 CPU, 16GB RAM & a 512GB SSD, the GEM Cut is well capable of some longevity and you can expect it to perform well for various productivity tasks (it might not be the most powerful machine for games, but you could certainly do some light gaming if desired).
Its build quality is fantastic, operating as a 2-in-1 laptop that can swivel around and be used with a high-quality HP active stylus pen, the full HD screen is capable of gorgeous colors with its IPS/WLED panel and we love that the bezels on the device to maximize the portability of its 13.3″ display.
As far as traditional devices go, this is one of the best built-in webcam laptops available today with some fantastic hardware alongside it
While we prefer some of our other picks, this is a great option if you demand a full Windows 10 laptop for video calls.
Budget Laptop/Chromebook With Best Camera: Google Pixelbook Go
If you want a traditional laptop unit but are on a budget and/or you would be comfortable with Chrome OS instead of Windows 10 (still capable of most user demand) then we would highly recommend the Pixelbook Go over the above choice.
The reason? Well surprisingly, the Go boasts a fantastic front duo camera not only capable of decent quality in various light, but also video up to 1080p @60fps.
This is a brilliant offering relative to every other laptop available today, especially with the price in mind!
Despite the Chromebook brand often being labeled as a PC type for basic use, the Pixelbook Go packs a powerful punch.
With 8GB RAM (or 16GB if you can stretch to it) & a Core i5 processor behind it, this Google laptop is capable of much more than video calls. You can expect a smooth experience across Google/Microsoft Office products, web browsing, media, and other common applications.
This device really shines for build quality too; it’s incredibly light and thin with a gorgeous design and battery life.
If you don’t need Windows 10 (which is the case for many non-gaming users today) then this machine is very capable of handling some advanced tasks.
Not only does it have the best Chromebook camera, but beats most of the other Windows laptop competition out there too (being one of the only laptops with a 1080p camera at 60fps), all for a fantastic price.
Apple Laptop With Best Camera: iPad Pro 4th Gen + Magic Keyboard
If you’re trying to ascertain the Macbook with the best webcam built-in, you’ll probably be surprised to see us suggest an iPad + keyboard combo for Apple fans.
But if you are an average user with a focus on media, web browsing, documents, and good quality video calls, the iPad Pro really does feel like the best option for you.
Starting with the camera, the 4th gen iPad Pro boasts a 7MP front cam capable of 1080p @ 60fps or 30FPS with HDR.
This will be a fantastic setup for video calls and one of the best available in any category today.
The photo/video capability on the rear of the device is mouth-watering, with a quad-camera setup capable of 4k at up to 60fps, there are very few devices that can rival the iPad Pro’s built-in camera capabilities.
As good as they are, the reason why we’re happy to recommend this as the best built-in Apple laptop choice is that at this point, the specs of the iPad Pro compete with many PCs (including the MacBook Air).
Lead by the A12Z Bionic chip, as long as your work can be completed without Mac OS (which many average users will be fine with) you can expect a really nice, smooth experience with the Pro and a set to rival a laptop when tied with the fantastic magic keyboard.
Of course, if you need a MacBook (for personal taste, Mac OS requirement, or the extra computational power it offers), then the MacBook Pro is going to be your best choice and still notably more powerful, but know that even the latest edition only has a 720p webcam.
Considering the latest MacBook Pro is one of the most incredible laptops on the market in every other way, it’s disappointing to see Apple PCs matching Windows laptops in their webcam laziness.
However with all its other incredible utility, if a Mac OS laptop is what you need, purchasing one of the top standalone webcams alongside the Pro will be the right option for you.
But for the rest of you, we love how far Apple has taken the iPad.
The Pro 4th gen + magic keyboard is simply an amazing solution for the average user and easily the best Apple laptop webcam avaialble.
Alternative Windows 10 Laptop With Good Webcam: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Our last pick is for those who like the idea of a smaller tablet device as their workstation but still require a full Windows 10 OS.
While the HP Spectre x360 above boasts better specs and a slightly better camera, the Surface Pro 7 is a great ultra-portable device capable of 1080p quality with its 5mp front camera.
An advantage over the Spectre is its rear 8MP camera if you would like a system that can better take photos of your environment, which can be really handy in some personal Zoom/Skype video calls.
Where you’ll enjoy the Surface Pro 7, is in its capabilities as an ultra-portable productivity machine.
With a stunning 2736 x 1824 resolution, 10th gen Intel i5 CPU, and 8GB RAM (or i7 + 16GB for high-end users), the Surface is very capable of competing with more traditional laptops for business use, multi-tasking as well as a pleasure to consume personal media/web browsing content on.
Tied with the iconic ergonomic and ultra-silent surface keyboard, the Surface Pro 7 (specifically i5 edition) is also one of our top picks for the quietest laptop available, with its fanless intelligent thermal design, it’s a beauty to work on with sturdy build quality.
Yes, some of the other cameras on the list (especially the standalone options below) are superior to the Pro 7, but if you need an all-in-one device that is still perfectly capable of decent video calls alongside its great capability as a Windows 10 PC, this is one of the best laptop webcam options available today
Best Budget Laptop With Webcam Option – Standalone
As you’ll see from our top picks, having a device with a good built-in webcam can be expensive.
This is why, if you need to use a full Windows 10 or Mac OS system, we highly recommend instead looking for a device on our longest-lasting laptop feature, and using one of the webcams below alongside it.
Not only will this likely work out cheaper, but you’ll also get a fantastic picture from our overall/premium pick below (and still a great picture from our budget choice).
Overall Best Webcam: Logitech C920x Pro
This Logitech series has ruled the webcam market for years, and for a good reason.
With superb 1080p quality with fantastic lighting adjustment for all common video call environments, if you need a full Windows/Mac laptop but still want a high-quality webcam for professional/personal Zoom, Skype or Discord calls, we highly recommend the C920x
Best Premium Webcam: Razer Kiyo
If budget is of less concern, you are looking for a streaming camera, or simply work in an environment that demands very impressive call quality, the Kiyo is a fantastic choice.
With 1080p @ 60FPS or HDR-enabled 30FPS with plenty of intelligent technology built in to optimize the picture and get something very presentable even in the most professional of settings.
Best Cheap Webcam: Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000
While we would recommend at least the C920X if at all possible, we respect that some users will be looking for a video call setup as cheaply as possible.
The HD-3000 meets this well; it may only be 720p, but its image is stable and reasonably clear in common call light conditions (the audio quality isn’t great, so a headphone mic would be preferred if possible)
Note that with the picks on our list, you wouldn’t see benefit from the HD-3000, but if you had your hearts set on an ultra-cheap laptop that had a barely passable built-in webcam, this would be a good option to work alongside it.
Best Built-In Laptop Camera Final Word
If you were looking for a simple answer to this question, hoping there would be an all-encompassing laptop with a fantastic webcam, we’re sorry we can’t fulfill that desire!
But keeping honest, the laptop market is shockingly behind right now in offering good webcams for Zoom and the other software so commonly used.
However, know that our choices above are great, and the standalone webcams are fantastic – there are still great options, it just might not be exactly what you expected!
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