Logitech MX Brio 705 – where Ultra HD meets Ultra AI

Because your face surely deserves to be rendered in glistening 4K, right?

Review Logitech has marched back into the webcam world with the MX Brio, an Ultra HD device sprinkled with copious AI. But is it worth $199.99?

The PC peripherals maker sent an MX Brio 705 for Business to Vulture Central, and first impressions are good. It is a sturdily built device that clips on top of a monitor. It'll run at 4K resolution at 30 fps or 1080p at 60 fps, and a pair of microphones ensures the user can be heard loud and clear.

The MX Brio line follows the long-in-the-tooth Brio 4K Pro business webcam. The MX's predecessor proved popular during the pandemic, but improvements in integrated laptop webcams over the years have taken away some of the shine.

Logitech MX Brio 705 for Business

Logitech MX Brio 705 for Business

Yet Logitech still reckons there is a place for a webcam that perches on top of a user's monitor while also besting many of the integrated cameras out there.

The camera itself is rather large, coming in at 61.6 mm high and 98 mm wide with the clip. A USB-C cable was supplied, although Logitech said it could be connected to a USB-A port that supports the USB 3.0 standard with an adapter. We sacrificed the sole USB-C port on our laptop for test purposes, and under Windows 11 everything worked as expected.

We tried out Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Zoom. All behaved impeccably with the camera, and the quality of the image and audio was noticeable. Logitech also claims the camera works with macOS 10.15 or later and Chromebooks.

However, to get the best out of the camera, some of Logitech's software services come into play. We used the Logitech G Hub to fiddle with settings - the field of view, zoom, and position. Other settings on offer include exposure, focus, and various image adjustments, such as temperature compensation.

In practice, though, we let the camera and software do their own thing. The defaults should be more than sufficient for most people, particularly considering Logitech's party trick for the camera – AI.

AI is sprinkled throughout the MX Brio world, both in firmware and software. Logitech was light on specifics, saying the camera uses AI to detect a person's face and adjust the image parameters according to lighting. For example, you no longer really need to worry so much about light sources. In our testing, which involved having a light window in the background, the camera coped admirably.

Logitech said: "With MX Brio, users experience 2x better face visibility and 2x finer image details in difficult lighting conditions, compared to the current Brio 4K."

AI smarts have also been applied to audio, and while it remains no substitute for a dedicated microphone and sound deadening, the reduction in background noise and focus on voice was of note.

The wheels did come off in terms of functions that are inexplicably only in some versions of the software. Face tracking, or auto-framing, is handled by the RightSight auto-framing feature in the Tune software, to which business users are directed – although consumers can also use the software if they wish.

It's a strange decision that a Logitech representative put down to customer demand during a briefing for the product. Automatically tracking faces seems to be a basic feature for an otherwise top-notch camera, so finding it only available in some software services was disappointing.

Logitech told us: "In our user tests, we realized that not a lot of people were using this auto-framing feature. If users want to have this feature, they can use our Tune software. Or if they are streamers, there are other ways to have auto-framing in streaming apps like OBS.

"We will probably add RightSight in Options+ at some point, but we don't have it for now."

The other oddities are down to the hardware itself. The camera can be rotated to look down at the surface in front of the screen, ostensibly to permit sketches to be shared. However, surely collaboration is a standard part of conferencing tools. Snapping a user's doodles seems decidedly old-fashioned nowadays.

Also odd is the manner in which the privacy shutter is closed and opened. This is achieved by rotating the bezel around the lens, which feels like it should be doing something with the focus.

In conclusion, the MX Brio is a good product and a notable improvement over its predecessor. It will be a useful addition for hybrid workers or anyone who would prefer not to squint down a laptop camera. Enterprises are catered for with Logitech Sync, and there are more than enough options for fiddling with the image if the defaults don't do it for you.

But it's not cheap (neither was its predecessor) and you can expect to pay $199.99 (£219.99) for a unit. The MX Brio comes in Pale Gray or Graphite, while the MX Brio 705 for Business only comes in Graphite. ®

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