Trust Iris review: A mighty lozenge of video conferencing goodness
An affordable business video solution with top-notch image quality and clever speaker tracking features
There may be light at the end of the tunnel, but the pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way businesses around the globe work, collaborate and communicate. Unsurprisingly, video conferencing (VC) has seen record growth levels during lockdown, with many businesses now aiming to go digital by default as they move to more permanent hybrid working practices.
This unprecedented demand has resulted in a huge range of VC solutions for companies to choose from, and Trust now makes its play for the meeting and huddle room markets. The company is well known for its extensive portfolio of PC accessories - including webcams - and the Iris represents its first foray into the hotly contested business space.
It certainly aims to make a big splash, as this formidable video bar offers plenty of features that will appeal to small businesses and larger organisations alike. Along with the requisite 4K video support, the Iris features Trust’s ClearView and ClearSound technologies, a nifty auto-tracking mode, and easy USB plug and play installation.
Trust Iris review: Design and specs
Make no mistake, the Iris is big, measuring 601 x 115 x 141mm (WDH). This burly build quality makes it heavy too, tipping the scales at 2.2kg. It’s twice the weight of Logitech’s Meetup module, which is also 200mm shorter in length.
Placement options are extensive: the Iris has an integral hinged desk stand and the kit includes a metal wall-mount bracket. Trust also offers an optional TV mounting kit, although this won’t be available until August.
Flanked on each side by fabric-covered grilles, the Iris’s camera takes centre stage with its 4K Ultra HD sensor and large 120-degree field of view (FoV). Pan and tilt functions are motorised, while zoom is the digital variety, and these functions are all controlled by the remote control handset.
At the back is an external power supply port plus a Type-C USB 3.2 port for connection to a PC or Mac host. The kit includes a 3 metre USB 3 cable, which has a screw-lock at the camera end to stop it falling out. It’s worth noting that Logitech provides a USB 2 cable with its Meetup, which only supports 1080p resolutions, and to get full 4K streaming to the host, you’ll need to source your own USB 3 cable.
The Iris has a single speaker to the left and a four microphone beam-forming array on the right, which has a range of 5 metres. For larger rooms, you can plug an optional Iris extended microphone into the dedicated USB 2 port on the rear of the camera, and this has an integral 10 metre cable.
Trust Iris review: Installation and use
Installation took seconds, as we plugged the Iris into a USB 3 port on a Windows 10 Pro host and all necessary drivers were automatically loaded for us. We also tested the Iris on a MacBook Pro which had no problems working with it either.
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As to which VC software platform to use, the choice is yours - the Iris is UVC (USB video class) compliant, so should work with any VC software that supports this. During our tests, the Iris worked fine with Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and WebEx - although as with virtually all current VC services, they still only support 1080p video streaming.
That said, quality at 1080p was impressive, and we found the video was sharp and clear with great contrast and colour balance. One notable feature of the Iris is it can deliver all supported resolutions at 60fps – most competing solutions can only manage 30fps. The manual zoom function is easily controlled from the handset but being digital and not optical, there is a noticeable pixelation at the maximum 5X setting.
The microphone array worked very well, and callers said they could hear us clearly even when we moved 5 metres away from the Iris. The single speaker lacks any decent bass - which is surprising considering the size of the enclosure - but although delivery was devoid of any warmth, remote participants could be heard very clearly and volume levels were easily loud enough for our 7 metre long meeting room.
Trust Iris review: Camera features and controls
Trust doesn’t provide any management software, so all video and audio functions are controlled locally from the wireless handset. There’s plenty to play with though, and it offers a big button panel for accessing every function.
The video feed can be disabled, for example, while the dynamic range button gets rid of overexposure if meeting participants have a brightly lit window behind them – a feature we found worked extremely well. Calls can be picked up and ended remotely, and the large circular control pad handles manual pan and tilt with a home button in the middle.
The camera is surrounded by an LED status ring which turns green for a successful connection, white during normal access, red when audio is disabled, blue for a Bluetooth connection and orange during firmware updates. You can also store two preset camera positions for quick recall and mirror the video feed.
The participant mode button automatically frames and crops the view to show all meeting members while the speaker mode tracks and zooms in on the current speaker. During testing, we found the latter combined with the camera’s motion detection worked very effectively. The view snapped to the speaker in around two seconds, following them if they moved around the room whilst talking, zooming back out when no sound was registered and even zeroing in on people when they entered the room.
Trust Iris review: Verdict
As an all-in-one video conferencing solution, the Iris ticks all the right boxes. Video quality is excellent, audio performs well, Trust’s speaker tracking features are very clever and for a 4K VC solution, it looks great value for businesses of all sizes.
The Trust Iris is discounted to £499 exc VAT on Trust's Amazon store until 24 July 2021.
Trust Iris specifications
4K Ultra HD 8.51MP with 120-degree FoV
3840 x 2160/60fps
Quad mic beam-forming array, 5 metre range
113/83 degrees motorized
Yes, batteries included
3-metre USB 3
USB 3.2 Gen1, power input, USB 2 for extension mic
External 12V PSU with 1.8m cable, UK/EU 1.5m plug leads
601 x 115 x 141mm (WDH), 2.2kgs
Extension mic, £100, TV mount, £63 (all exc VAT)
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