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Razer Kiyo review: the webcam with illuminator

Razer Kiyo a webcam designed for streaming games, but which obviously in the last two months falls into the categories of unobtainable products, due to the emergency period that forced us to find in virtual meetings the only (and legal) way to meet still friends and colleagues.

The right review for an interesting product especially in the consumer sector, thanks to a striking design and a good yield, even if some detail needs to be developed.

Razer Kiyo, the review

Three by one

Inside the box there are only the webcam, the classic Razer motivational sheet and a small instruction booklet, mostly superfluous because you learn everything along the way.

Razer Kiyo (whose name probably inspired by the Buddhist story in which a young woman turns into a snake to avenge a denied love) composed of three jointed pieces and tied together in which one the real webcam while the other two are used for the attachment, which can be placed on the desk, on a display or thanks to the lower screw hole on a photographic tripod depending on the need.

The front includes the actual camera and a ring flash that lights up during operation (but that can be turned off manually) and a smaller white LED indicating that the webcam is working (for privacy).

The base has no hooks to tighten, but the joints are created so that the Razer Kiyo leans firmly against virtually any display and the USB-A cable long enough to not give problems even if the computer is not in the vicinity.

Synapse in chiaroscuro

From the software point of view, we have tried the webcam with both macOS and Windows 10, with very good results on both sides, with some concerns only in the most advanced use.

With macOS 10.15 the webcam seen in a completely transparent way, any App sees it and makes it work correctly (we tried FaceTime, Skype, Teams, Camtasia and Photo Booth without problems, even with various active filters, the only App that does not have seen the webcam was QuickTime).

The autofocus is not aggressive and seems soft, always punctual even in the presence of several people: Razer Kiyo has no particular functions, except those given by the specific software with which it is used.

With Windows the use was identical, the webcam seen immediately and ready to be used: some problems instead with the Synapse drivers, absolutely not essential, but which allow you to adjust the white point and apply colorimetry filters to make the image more hot, hurry or more or less contrasted.

The operation with the drivers works well, however from time to time they fight with the System Settings and the only way to bypass them and give up on them (as on Mac, on the other hand).

Razer Kiyo review

Technical details

From a technical point of view Razer Kiyo a 4 megapixel camera for the desk designed to make HD video (720p at 60 fps and 1080p at 30 fps) that uses a USB-A 2.0 connection.

The video encoding YUY2 / MJPEG or H.264, which makes it particularly suitable for a video streaming environment before video games, but it goes very well in the consumer world in general, especially for those who want a capable camera but which is still elegant to see even when turned off.

Considerations

Razer Kiyo works well, you put it in a convenient place, you connect it via USB-A to a Mac or Windows PC and the camera responds correctly to the request of the various Apps.

The ring flash light, paradoxically, is more comfortable during the day than in the evening, where at times it is aggressive and tends to posterize too much, while with an ambient light it offers additional lighting to the very positive subject which harmonizes above all in the shadows. The flash can be managed manually by correcting the ring that rotates easily, turning the light off or on.

Razer Kiyo review

For the rest it is a good product: shame about the signal only HD and not FullHD (at 60 fps), which would have brought it even in business environments (where it can go, but often required a more capable signal).

The list price is a bit high, because some competitors offer a FullHD signal at 60 fps at a similar price (but often with much more anonymous designs), however with some offers (and availability, at the time of writing the webcams have become rare goods) can be a really interesting solution.

Razer Kiyo review

Pro:

Excellent designExcellent flash lighting during the dayComfortable and functional

Versus:

On Mac there are no customizations On Windows the drivers work The FullHD signal limited to 30 fps

Price:

109.99 Euros

Razer Kiyo available in retail stores on the peninsula, but can also be ordered online (when available) directly from the manufacturer's website.