What Is an Integrated Webcam?

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Updated September 22, 2022

The internet age has brought many new devices that seem inseparable from modern life. The webcam is one such example. Workers, students, streamers, and professionals of all kinds rely on the best webcams to help them accomplish tasks and make connections. However, webcams are still a foreign concept to many, and some of the jargon can be confusing. Below we’ll answer, “What is an integrated webcam?”

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • An integrated webcam is a camera built into the top panel of a laptop.
  • Integrated webcams are excellent for convenience and come with preinstalled webcam drivers, making them easily manageable.
  • Built-in webcams often lack video quality but are perfectly usable for basic video needs.

For more help, we have a wide range of webcam-related material. For example, we have tips on how to zoom in on a webcam. And also have more articles explaining the various forms, like this article on what a simulated webcam is.

Insider Tip

To increase your webcam’s video quality, ensure you have a stable internet connection.

What Does “Integrated Webcam” Mean?

If you have a laptop, odds are you have an integrated webcam. An integrated webcam (or built-in webcam) is a small camera located at the top of most modern laptops. It’s useful for many things, including video conferencing, taking photos, recording video, or live-streaming.

The integrated camera is your computer’s default device; it comes with a webcam driver accessible through your device manager settings. The webcam device manager allows you to check for webcam driver updates to ensure the software is up to date and free of glitches.

Even with a built-in webcam device, many wonder if switching to an external webcam is better. The answer to this largely depends on your needs. However, if you purchase an external camera, check out our article explaining how to use an external webcam on a Windows 10 laptop.

Pros of an Integrated Camera

The main benefit of an integrated camera is ease-of-use. An internal webcam has its software built into the laptop and comes with a dedicated webcam application. Additionally, it’s easy to manage privacy settings, update driver settings, and in the end, you save money and space.

Warning

Updating computer software sometimes renders the current webcam driver settings incompatible. To fix this, users need to update the driver.

With external cameras, you must install new driver software and find a video app to set up the camera.

Cons of an Integrated Camera

For general video conference and chat purposes, internal webcam devices work fine. But if you use your webcam for any video creation, streaming content, or need to present highly detailed images, you may need to upgrade.

Integrated cameras usually have poor resolution, as computer manufacturers tend to skimp on this piece of hardware. Built-in webcams also come only with basic features. So if you need more functionality, like a camera that tracks movement, you won’t find that with your laptop’s internal cam.

STAT: A new external webcam will cost anywhere between $10-$200. (source)

For those who need technical help with their laptop camera, we have a troubleshooting recourse explaining what to do if your built-in webcam isn’t working.

What Is an Integrated Webcam FAQs

What features do built-in webcams come with?

Built-in cameras have basic features, like a narrow and wide lens, timers, and portrait mode.

Do external webcams have better quality?

It's not always guaranteed that an external webcam will be better than a built-in model. However, this is usually the case.

Can built-in webcams spy on you?

Malware can infiltrate your computer and gain access to your webcam. Certain apps also request permission to access your camera. Users can manage what apps have permission to access their webcam in the privacy settings.
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