The most noticeable feature about this item is that, by looking at it, you can't tell what it is. When we first saw a photo of Microsoft's LifeCam NX-6000, we thought it was a USB drive. (On second thought, it's not gold or bejeweled, so it's obviously our mistake.) Then when we found out it was a camera, we thought it was one of those 007-vintage spy gadgets we always wanted as a kid.
But it's a Webcam, and one made for a notebook at that, so it doesn't look anything like its more traditional cousins. Best of all, the newest addition of the LifeCam line, which was announced a couple of months ago, is on sale now for considerably less than the original $100 tag. Which is why, of course, we must have one.
Mind you, it's not just that we crave every new thing we see (lying), but we do concede an addiction to laptop gear that's easily portable and at least somewhat resistant to the destructive ways of kids and clumsy dads (us). This LifeCam, for instance, has a safely retractable lens for its 2-megapixel video and 7-megapixel stills. We do have a quibble with Microsoft's marketing people, though, as is so often the case with any company we encounter: "LifeCam"? With a name like that, we would expect some kind of medical device.
(Photos: Microsoft, Akihabara News)