Home Webcam Monoprice Workstream 2K webcam review: a big blunder

Monoprice Workstream 2K webcam review: a big blunder

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Monoprice is a well-known American retailer for budget devices, and now its Workstream brand is taking the best webcams. While the company has been making meeting room and security focused PTZ cameras for quite some time now, consumer webcams are a new milestone for it. We’ve already reviewed the Workstream 1080p webcam, which we thought had potential but took a lot of work to achieve due to its manual focus. If you want an alternative to autofocus with ring light and higher max resolution, this is where the Workstream 2K webcam comes in.

At just $ 15 more than its 1080p counterpart, its $ 35 price tag is still far lower than standard FHD mainstays like the Logitech C920. Unfortunately, its quality and color accuracy don’t always reflect its high-resolution specs, and its ring light doesn’t add much value over competitors without.

Well-lit room

Monoprice Workstream 2K webcam

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Monoprix Workstream 2K

Ring light off (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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Monoprix Workstream 2K

Weak ring light (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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Monoprix Workstream 2K

Medium Light Ring (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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Monoprix Workstream 2K

High light ring (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Logitech C920

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Webcam Ausdom AW651

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Due to its low price and ability to capture at 1440p, I compared the Monoprice Workstream 2K webcam to both the Logitech C920, a 1080p webcam, and the Ausdom AW651 Webcam, another low cost 1440p solution.

What I got, unfortunately, was a blurry, overly warm image that only made me look more yellow with its ring light on. The field of view was also too close for comfort (the camera advertises a 70-degree viewing angle), although that’s not a big deal for a webcam. Oddly enough, my background also looks slanted in the photos I took with it, although the camera was securely attached to my monitor when I took them.

In comparison, the pictures I took with the Logitech C920 and Ausdom AW651 both have much more natural colors. The Ausdom AW651 also has enough fidelity to look decent at 1440p, while the Monoprice Workstream 2K webcam looks almost premium.

Low light room

Monoprice Workstream 2K webcam

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Monoprix Workstream 2K

Ring light off (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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Monoprix Workstream 2K

Weak ring light (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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Monoprix Workstream 2K

Medium Light Ring (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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Monoprix Workstream 2K

High light ring (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Logitech C920

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Webcam Ausdom AW651

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Unfortunately, the Monoprice Workstream 2k webcam only got worse in the dark, which is especially problematic for a camera with a ring light.

Monoprice’s camera was still out of focus and still producing unnatural color here, and turning on the ring light doesn’t do much to alleviate these issues. Instead, it mostly gave my face an unflattering spotlight effect, while leaving overall visibility alone.

Meanwhile, competing webcams have maintained competitive visibility without ring lighting, while having stronger fidelity and color.

Overexposed Room

Monoprice Workstream 2K webcam

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Monoprix Workstream 2K

Ring light off (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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Monoprix Workstream 2K

Weak ring light (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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Monoprix Workstream 2K

Medium Light Ring (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Image 4 of 4

Monoprix Workstream 2K

High light ring (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Logitech C920

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Webcam Ausdom AW651

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Supersaturated light is where the Monoprice webcam’s ring light has proven most useful, but it still hasn’t outperformed the competition without a ring light.

Still, with the Monoprice Workstream 2K’s ring light on medium brightness, you can make out the rough shape of my head even with the camera pointing straight at my window, which is impressive for a $ 35 device. However, high ring light settings did not significantly improve visibility and still produced an unflattering spotlight effect. Meanwhile, the camera’s unnatural color and blurry image was still a problem.

To be fair, unnatural colors were also a problem with this camera’s competitors, but visibility and fidelity remained higher.

Monoprice Workstream 2K webcam videos

You’ll probably use this camera more for video calls than selfies, so I’ve taken the liberty of including a sample video of myself using the camera below. Unfortunately, the videos I recorded with this camera experienced significant lag and stuttering, although I did not experience this issue during live calls with my coworkers.

Otherwise, my experience with video was about the same as my experience with photos, at least visually. I had a problem with my audio because the camera’s built-in microphones picked up a slight hum when I set the ring light to its low setting. This buzz disappeared on higher settings. But even without the buzz, the camera’s built-in microphones generally produced an echo sound.

Monoprice Workstream 2K webcam build quality

The Monoprice Workstream 2K webcam does its best to look chicer than it really is, delivered in a silver drawstring bag and featuring a patterned texture on the side of its light ring. Unfortunately, the camera itself is rigid, and its included plastic shutter is a separate piece held together by inexpensive adhesive.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

On a positive note, this webcam’s monitor stand comes with feet and is stable on both my curved-back and flat-back monitors, which is not guaranteed at this price. The monitor stand also has a tripod screw at the bottom if you prefer to set it up that way.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Where I encountered most of my problems was in the positioning of the camera itself. You can technically rotate it 360 degrees and tilt it 35 degrees up and down, but it’s so stiff that I usually needed two hands to adjust it. This makes it impossible to adjust without removing it from your monitor, reducing the usability of this feature.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The cord on this camera should be just long enough to reach most ports on most setups. When I stretched it out completely, it was 56.25 inches. By comparison, I measured the cable length of the Logitech C920 to be 72 inches when I fully stretched it.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Final result

Monoprix Workstream 2K

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

At $ 35, this webcam is very inexpensive and has the advantage of offering autofocus while its other cousin Workstream does not. Unfortunately, its 1440p image often looks worse than what you’ll find on FHD alternatives, including this Workstream cousin.

While you will certainly get a better picture of big brands like Logitech, even other small companies like Ausdom have outperformed it. 1440p from this company Ausdom AW651 embodies 2K much better than this webcam, and while it can be much more expensive than this device, Ausdom’s price is similar AW635 still gives the Workstream 2K webcam good value for money despite being FHD. The same can be said of Aukey1080p webcam, and AngetubeThe FHD competitor in this price range even has a ring lamp.

With such a blurry 1440p, there just isn’t much of a reason to have this camera over other low-cost alternatives.


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