Start one review of a webcam talking about the usual spiel related to smartworking and DaD in this period, it would probably be obvious and boring. And it would be because by now we have understood it, never as in this 2021 you need a good camera to associate with your computer, especially if you use a fixed solution or if your notebook integrates a poor quality one. The reality, however, is that the market is chock full of alternatives very cheap, with more than enough features to meet the needs of those who use the webcam for work or to follow school or university lessons online.
But then how Razer and other companies attempting to position their much more expensive webcams? In my opinion, things should be seen in this way: we should imagine these products by comparing them to the headphone market, full of economic alternatives, which differ from each other exclusively in quality.
On the other hand, all headphones reproduce audio, but only some are able to guarantee sound fidelity and dynamism of frequencies. And returning to my (perhaps risky) comparison, one could mean the Razer Kyio Pro a bit like Apple's AirPods Max. Not just because it is a product with characteristics at the top of the category, but also because it is a device obviously linked to a specific operating system.
Of course, we all know Razer, and it is now clear that rottenness is associated with the world of gaming and, in the case of Kyio Pro, to that of quality online streaming. But its technical characteristics, which go far beyond the excellent sensor used, make it suitable for substantially all needs. As long as you want to give up 4K and use Windows.
Razer Kyio Pro review: quality webcam, which goes beyond smart working or DaD
The sales package of the Razer Kyio Pro it is simple and complete. Inside, in addition to the webcam, there is a USB / USB-C cable 1.5 meters long and covered in fabric that is of excellent workmanship, the integrated support for the camera and a lens cover with which you can make sure that no one is looking. what is framed when we do not want it and that the lens does not get damaged in case of transport in a bag.
Design and materials
If anyone remembers the Sony QX100, that is the lens (very similar to that of a camera) that the company made compatible with smartphones, will surely find similarities by looking at the Razer Kyio Pro. Because this webcam looks like everything, except a camera to connect to the computer. It is large, shiny and round, and it differs greatly from the typical design that is generally associated with these particular devices. It should be clear, however, that its "non-standard" shapes and dimensions they are absolutely not a problem: once placed on the monitor, on a surface, or even on a tripod (yes, it has the possibility of being fixed on that too), it will always be stable and (most importantly) easily directionable.
In the back there is the entrance to the USB-C cable, and includes a hook stand with rear support, with which it will be possible to position the webcam without any problem whatsoever. Going back to the cable though, I found extremely appreciable the fact that those at Razer have thought of a system with detachable cable: it is not only a very functional solution if you have to transport the webcam, but which will allow the simple replacement of the cable itself if the one in the package is not long enough for your needs.
Also very interesting basis, which will have a “hook” function with the monitor and which can also be raised and adjusted in height and angle. The section in which the lens has been inserted can also be adjusted horizontally and vertically, making the orientation of the frame as customizable as possible.
At the front, the optics are protected by a glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which perfectly closes the circle relating to construction quality: there is no doubt that the Razer Kyio Pro is one of the best assembled webcams, both in terms of materials and in terms of the construction process.
Technical features - Razer Kyio Pro
Here is the complete technical sheet of the Razer Kyio Pro:
- Camera sensor: Sony IMX327, 1 / 2.8 type ultra sensitive CMOS with STARVIS technology
- Maximum resolution: Full HD (1080p) at 60 FPS
- HDR support: yes, but up to 30 fps
- Field of view: variable between 103 °, 90 ° and 80 °
Video and audio quality
Let's start immediately from an assumption: anyone who can complain about the fact that the Razer Kyio Pro is not a 4K webcam, it would not be completely wrong. Also because, from such a product at the top of the category, the best is always expected. The reality of the facts, however, is that, especially in a webcam, these ultra-defined resolutions are not always synonymous with video quality, and a bit like in smartphone cameras, sometimes it is better to aim for sensors with a "more human" number of pixels, but which guarantee better video quality.
And without going around it too much, the Razer Kyio Pro it is just that: a webcam capable of producing very high quality images, supported by excellent performance even in low light conditions (to the point of making the company choose to eliminate the LED ring present on the previous model) and support for HDR which, especially in some situations, significantly improves the image.
The aces in the sleeve of the Razer Kyio Pro they are actually different. In addition to the Sony IMX327 sensor, which is a 1 / 2.8 "large high-sensitivity CMOS, the company's new webcam draws all the possible advantages from STARVIS technology that no, it is not a creation of the Marvel universe, but a particular technology of interpolation of the pixels with which the Razer Kyio Pro it is able to guarantee excellent image performance even in environments with very low brightness.
It is enough to compare a video or a photo produced with the Razer webcam to that born from any of the webcam integrated in one of the many notebooks on the market to notice a substantial difference in details, cleanliness and brightness of the image, perhaps when you are in a not too bright room or in the dim light: and this is one of the reasons why a user could opt for this model, because in the vast majority of cases the Razer Kyio Pro would make the use of a light source superfluous in case of video conferencing or streaming on Twitch, YouTube and the like.
And if you still wanted to improve the quality of your streaming, you could activate HDR, which makes the whole image softer, cleaner and the scene better illuminated, while maintaining a good homogeneity of the lights even in the darkest areas, as long as you agree to transmit (or record) in FullHD at 30 fps: when you it activates the HDR in fact, the maximum framerate of the webcam goes from 60 fps to 30 fps.
What has left me rather perplexed is the autofocus system integrated into the Razer Kyio Pro. Why yes, Razer's new webcam integrates an autofocus system, which I found, however poco precise and perhaps too "invasive": it often happens that the autofocus starts in a completely autonomous way, trying to refocus an image which, however, already is. Fortunately, however, the autofocus as well as all the other features integrated into the Razer Kyio Pro, can be fully managed through Razer Synapse, the control application that accompanies the webcam.
The microphones are also of excellent quality, but their use must be limited to video calls or streaming without too many technicalities: the quality is excellent, the voice is always crystal clear and clearly distinguishable from background noise, but it is not able to replace a dedicated microphone. .
Apps and software
And this is precisely where the only, true, problem of Razer Kyio Pro: Razer Synapse, it's software available for Windows systems only. Which means that if you were using a Mac, as in my case, you would not be able to manage the many features of the webcam nor activate HDR. Of course, there is webcam software (called Webcam Settings) with which you can manage the autofocus, the Field of View, the pan of the frame and much more, but it costs 8,99 euros and does not allow you to activate or deactivate the HDR.
A real shame, because ok, the Razer Kyio Pro is a webcam that aims at gaming and, you know, gaming is 100% windows-centric. But the technical characteristics of the webcam make the Razer Kyio Pro perfect for practically any other use of the device, even recording VLOG from a computer, and not being able to manage its settings with Mac OS cuts the company a huge slice of the market.
By the way, I would have liked to see Razer Kyio Pro also compatible with Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, consoles that - for some time - have supported an infinite number of webcams. Unfortunately, this is not the case: the Xbox detects the device, but cannot use it. I hope for a software update as soon as possible.
However, if you have a Windows system and are using Razer Synapse, the number of options available in the application would be huge. Through the app, for example, you can choose whether to use auto focus or set a manual focus point, you can change the diagonal of the field of view, choosing between Narrow (80 °), Medium (90 °) and Wide (103 °), and you can also manage them completely manually all settings related to the image: from temperature, to HDR, from brightness, to contrast, to saturation, through the app you can manually manage practically every parameter, including zoom and pan of the frame. And once you have found your perfect Settings, you can save in profiles. A very comfortable thing.
Price and considerations - Razer Kyio Pro
The official selling price of the Razer Kyio Pro and of 199,00 €. And yes, it is a "Pro" price, for a product that is not "Pro" in name alone. There Razer Kyio Pro is one of best webcams for streamers, but it could also be the perfect choice for those who work continuously in videoconferencing: the image quality and the extreme sensitivity to light, extend the uses of this product in an excellent way. With HDR, then, you will forget about the problems related to the lighting of the frame, making it possible to use the webcam even if you are in backlit conditions.
Too bad, really, for the absence of Mac software: Apple users are now very numerous, and the choice made by the company not to develop a management and control system for the webcam that can also be used on Mac OS, is a choice that will certainly cut the legs to the sales of the product. If we want to be honest, at this price it would have been useful to insert the support for 4K, although in fact it would have been more a question of marketing that of actual image enhancement.
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