As you know in video conferencing and collaboration technologies, Cisco is the hardware and software manufacturer with the highest market share. However, as software-based solutions have emerged over the past 1-2 years, there has been an increasing demand for integrated video conferencing devices as well as audio and video transceivers. While Logitech took the lead in this market, there were many innovative products on the market (I also reviewed the most innovative Jabra Panacast in this article). Cisco will also want to take a share in this market that last January it made a serious introduction with its new product, Webex Room USB.
Cisco Webex Room USB is a device that turns any endpoint (Laptop, Desktop, SFF PC etc.) into a video collaboration center. The software you use does not even need to be Cisco, you can use this device with any collaboration platforms (eg. Microsoft Teams, S4B, Zoom, Slack, Jitsi etc.). Let’s examine the features of this device in more detail.
Cisco Webex Room USB Features
Cisco Webex Room USB is an ideal device for meeting rooms with 2-5 participants thanks to its 120 degree view camera. Basically, the device is in the form of a soundbar with embedded camera and placed on top of the screen. Apart from that, it has a remote control and a USB cable. There are also kits for display and wall mounting, a physical privacy cover for the camera, and two cables for HDMI and Ethernet connectivity. The prominent features of the device are as follows:
- Camera Quality: Cisco Webex Room USB has a 4K UltraHD camera that can shoot video at 60 frames per second. It can automatically adjust the brightness and white balance supported by the 8MP image sensor for maximum clarity. With the artificial intelligence technology it contains, it has the feature to intelligently frame the image and a number of analytical functions for meetings so that everyone can be clearly seen by automatically detecting the meeting participants.
- Sound Quality: There are integrated microphones and speakers on the device. Thanks to it’s automatic noise reduction feature, it can filter out distracting ambient sounds such as paper rustling and tea sugar mixing sounds. With the speaker design, it offers a more saturated sound experience, especially at low frequencies where human voice is dominant. To listen to the difference in sound with other manufacturers (Logitech), you can check out the video in this link.
- Digital Signage Display: I think this feature is the most important feature of Cisco Webex Room USB that distinguishes it from other competitors. It can be used to turn connected PC displays into a digital signage when the device is not in use. You can use this feature for sharing corporate news, creating brand awareness, etc.
- Content Sharing: It supports 4K content sharing as well as wireless content sharing via the web browser. In this way, you can find the opportunity to reflect your content on the screen easily.
Apart from these, you can access more detailed technical features through the datasheet in this link.
Comparison With Other Vendors
As I said at the beginning, there are a few players in this market, especially Logitech. In the table below you can find comparison with the two most common devices:
|Product /Feature||Cisco Webex Room USB||Logitech MeetUp||Poly Studio|
|USB Camera, Speakers & microphone||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intelligent Camera & Sound||Yes||No||No|
|Device Settings||Yes (via Webex Control Hub)||No||No|
|Wireless content Sharing||Yes (via Webex or a web browser||No||No|
|Digital Signage Display||Yes (via Webex Control Hub)||No||No|
In the video below you can see how you can connect Webex Room USB to your computer and use it as an audio and video device:
Cisco Webex Room USB Price
If you have a software solution or a service subscription for your video calls, you can get this device, which provides a Webex Room Kit Mini quality call experience, at a list price of $ 2,750 (of course, this is not the actual sale price). Compared to the Webex Room Kit Mini, the price of Room USB is less than half the price of Mini.
For small businesses and organizations that want to switch to video communication, it might be a good idea to start with Cisco Webex Room USB and then turn it into a Room Kit Mini with an upgrade kit. In this way, you can both keep the initial investments very low and have a solution that will provide the highest level of video call experience.