The Acer ACR010 is a frustrating webcam, because it’s excellent in so many ways. The colours are pleasantly vibrant - albeit erring on the side of oversaturation - and it’s capable of capturing up to 1944p (thanks to a 4:3 aspect ratio of 2,592 x 1,944), which is impressive for a webcam costing less than £50.

Yet it has one major idiosyncrasy: barrel distortion. Whether through software manipulation or superior hardware, barrel distortion simply isn’t noticeable on any other webcam on test. Another contributing factor is Acer’s surprisingly wide field of view (FoV), which Acer states as 78° but in practice feels wider – perhaps because of the fishbowl effect.

We tried to get around the problem by switching to CyberLink’s YouCam software, which features a digital zoom, but even when cropped in there’s a significant amount of distortion.

We hit another hurdle in Zoom: the built-in microphone (of which there’s only one) was picked up at around one-third volume. This is arguably more Zoom’s problem than Acer’s, and you can always move closer or speak louder, but it’s one more annoyance. In the Windows Camera app, the audio comes through nice and clearly, so we hope it will be fixed in an update.

One thing that can’t be fixed in software, however, is the lack of privacy features. Acer supplies a plastic cap to fit over the lens, but that’s no match for an integrated shutter. Even worse, Acer doesn’t bother to include a light on the unit itself to show that it’s recording, which breaks Privacy Rule 101.

Where does this leave the Acer ACR010? Quite simply, at the bottom of the pile.

Acer ACR010 specifications

Resolution

1944p

Framerate

30fps

Field of view

70°

Microphone

Single microphone

Cable

2.5m

Dimensions (WDH)

100 x 25 x 35mm

Warranty

2yr RTB warranty

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