IPEVO Point 2 View USB Camera Review

IPEVO Point 2 View USB Camera Review
Similar to most other individuals who have evaluated the P2V, I ended up with these as an alternative to expensive document cameras. While workable for that purpose, and seemingly the only obtainable / premade "webcam on a stick" in this shocking market hole, it is not quite an ideal answer as it stands. 

The auto-focus works decently (if triggered, anyway), and image / edge clarity is respectable and also useful, just about as good as any higher-priced document cam I've used. However, the images projected are shady and also grainy under most room lighting scenarios-- just hardly legible often times, particularly since the lights in my classroom need to be off up front for the projector to be seen. Most doc cams have some type of lighting for this reason. 

Single switchable / dimmable white LED created into the camera body very likely will have settled this problem with out adding any meaningful attempt to the USB power supply. I really shouldn't have to carry an LED flashlight along for that ride, specifically since getting the Ipevo to project a straight image off a piece of paper already needs more fussing and finagling than I want. 

Additionally, considering this is meant to be a "transient camera" instead of a bolted-down long-term fixture in a classroom, the design is fairly bad for portability. There's no protection of any kind provided for the lens. The camera arm *could* fold fully towards itself, however it doesn't. The base may / should have also had a cast indent to fasten top of the the digital camera in place for defense during transport; it does not.  The USB cable is hardwired into the digital camera, meaning you will either need to do some pretty delicate disassembly / soldering or perhaps just buy a new one when it ever breaks from constant toting around; there should be a micro-USB jack port as a replacement, but there's not. 

So instead of a self-contained, self-protective fold-up package that suits nicely and safely into my notebook bag-- or perhaps *any* bag, really-- I'm required to hand-carry this compact yet very embarrassing desk-lamp-like thing with a long USB tail, in and out from office to classroom to office in addition to my very own laptop computer, books and marker collection, striving constantly not to catch any kind of the apparatus on every doorway and passer-by which i meet along my path. And no, Ipevo, I am not dropping $40 for the special case which softens your inexplicable design flaws. 

A more small problem - the P2V application has to be set to mirror horizontally and vertically if you would like the camera along the top edge of the specific document. It should be put this way routinely. Any individual using a doc cam is likely to wish to have the camera out of their way to allow them to write on anything they are projecting, right side up. I have other peers who had not found out the "mirroring trick" and were having to pull the document off-camera to write on it, then put it back in position. 

I've yet to try the Ipevo with my Linux laptops. It would be great if it was plenty of a "USB class device" for Ubuntu etc. to work, and I'm guessing a relentless hacker could probably get it working. Keep in mind the drivers and software are only officially PC and Mac at this time, closed-source, and you'd have no ready way of triggering the focus command from Linux. The drivers and software also come on a CD, which is pretty silly inside the age of netbooks, but at the very least you may also currently download them from Ipevo's website if your device lacks an optical drive. 

Hopefully Ipevo keeps making these things and will solve a lot of these issues with a P2V2 in the future. I would happily pay $20 more for an Ipevo which includes a back-light, one that folded up / closed up properly and fully, and also allowed quick removal / reattachment of a typical micro USB cable.