The webcam was tested in a variety of common ways; taking still snapshots, videos and online communication via Skype. The system used was a standard Windows XP setup; the webcam is only Windows compatible.
The Snappy was hooked up initially and was able to work without any drivers installed, using the standard Windows XP webcam access. The driver CD was then installed, providing drivers and a piece of capture software called AmCap, a piece of shareware that according to the author is “a small yet fully functional video capture and preview application compatible with DirectShow and most video capture sources.” The software is very basic and quite generic, simply designed to capture stills and video from attached webcams.
The main images taken by the camera are in VGA resolution (640×480) which are acceptable for online chatting and general webcam use, but not particularly high resolution where consumer cameras are averaging 8-10 megapixels and more. It does theoretically claim to be capable of 8 megapixel images, but it achieves this resolution artificially using image interpolation; a digital process to spread out a lower resolution image over a wider pixel area. With that said, being tethered to a computer and primarily used for limited bandwidth online communication, it doesn’t need to have amazingly high resolution.
The camera took video well using the bundled AmCap software, with no lag or other issues. The resolution, same as the stills, was relatively unimpressive, but not unreasonable for a budget webcam designed specifically for video conferencing and online communication.
The webcam worked adequately with Skype. The image came through pretty clearly and the mic worked decently enough for chatting. The sound quality was more than adequate at a comfortable distance from the camera and the conversation could be heard and understood clearly by the other client.
The Speedlink Snappy can be found for around £10, which is pretty reasonable for a multi-purpose webcam with audio capability.