Windows Central Verdict
AnkerWork's foray into the personal video space is the all-in-one B600 webcam that delivers solid video quality, great customizable lighting, built-in speakers, and noise-canceling microphones powered by smart A.I.-driven software.
Solid image quality
Integrated design helps save space and cable clutter
Works with Windows PCs and Macs
Plenty of settings and controls through software
2K image quality is better than most HD cameras on laptops
Requires separate USB cable for power
Zoom is achieved through digital cropping
Microphone capture could use some finessing
No 4K option
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Designed to help business professionals shine during their virtual meetings, Anker’s AnkerWork B600 Video Bar is an integrated video conferencing solution that incorporates a high-resolution camera sensor coupled witha. flip-up light bar, speakers, and microphone. Anker is bringing the light and the camera to the B600, which means that all that is left for you is to bring the action to your video conference.
If you’re on a work team, standardizing on the AnkerWork B600 Video Bar will elevate your video experience with better image quality that's bolstered by good lighting, solid speakers for you to hear other participants, and a noise-canceling microphone array that will help reduce any distracting background noise on your end. And having a built-in light bar up top eliminates the need to buy separate, costly, and bulky lighting solutions.
AnkerWork B600 Video Bar: Specifications
Though AnkerWork B600 delivers on its promise of delivering better audio and visual quality to video conferences and streams, mobile users should evaluate their needs carefully before purchasing this device.
For starters, the $220 B600 costs more than standard webcams, and at that price, you're competing with cameras with higher resolution sensors. Additionally, you'll also run into the problem with bulk. The B600 adds a bit of weight and heft to a travel bag, given that it's around the size of a compact portable Bluetooth speaker. If you can live with these trade-offs, you'll be rewarded with all the capabilities of the B600.
|FPS||Up to 30fps|
|Sensor size||1/2.8 inches|
|Auto exposure||Smart AE|
|Auto white balance||Smart Color Enhance|
|Auto focus||Smart Auto Focus|
|Microphone||4-mic array (AGC, AEC, ANC)|
|Speakers||2 x 2W|
|USB||2 x USB-C|
|Field of view||65, 78, and 95 degrees|
|Video codec||H264, MJPEG YUV|
|Light||Auto and manual controls for brightness and color temperature|
|Dimensions||7.09 x 1.81 x 1.5 inches|
If you're working at a stationary desktop, the B600's size and weight won't matter as much.
AnkerWork B600 Video Bar: Design
As a relatively late-comer to the enterprise webcam market, Anker found a niche for the AnkerWork B600 Video Bar by studying what rival Poly – formerly known as Polycom, a company that’s been synonymous with enterprise communication solutions, and now a part of HP – has done and carving a space out for itself.
Rather than hopping on the 4K trend with premium webcams, the B600 is a contrarian product. On one hand, it bucks the premium norm by sticking to a 2K, rather than 4K, image sensor, but on the other hand, its all-in-one design makes it a compelling business solution, delivering solid image quality, including a sensible light bar, producing good sound output, and equipping microphones with software A.I. that can cancel distracting background audio.
Both solutions have Video Bar in their names, and for good reason – both Anker’s and Poly’s solution is based on a bar-shaped design that places the webcam at the center and is flanked on either side by speakers and microphones. Naming similarities and inspired design aside, the similarities largely end here.
Anker’s design comes with a flip-up lid at the front, which serves two purposes. If you’re a frequent traveler and need to take the AnkerWork B600 with you, the lid serves as a lens cover and physical privacy shield for your webcam. And when flipped up, it gives you a video light that can be used to add illumination to your face when you’re taking calls in darkened rooms. The integrated light bar should help mitigate the need for standalone lighting solutions, like Logi’s Litra Beam.
Once the cover is up, you’ll find the star of the show in the center of the video bar: Anker’s large webcam with a 2K 1/2.8-inch image sensor. Surrounding the camera lens, you’ll find plastic with aperture blades that mimic what you’d find on a DSLR if you stared down the lens barrel. Sadly, though, these “blades” are just design flourishes and don’t play any functional part in the camera’s operation.
And inside the fabric sheath that surrounds the speaker bar are a four-array microphone and dual 2W speakers. The speakers are aimed out toward the sides and not the front, so audio quality isn’t as rich or loud as I’d have liked. Bass is lacking, so you likely won't want to use the B600's integrated speakers for dedicated music listening.
The biggest downside with Anker integrating all the components of a video conferencing system that’s designed to snap onto the lid of a laptop is that it is very heavy. At 10.6 ounces, the top-heavy design means that you’ll need to play around with the dual-stage mounting bracket to get the proper angle without either topping your laptop backward or inadvertently shutting your lid, especially if you have a lighter notebook.
The mounting bracket comes with two hinges for getting the right adjustments, and it also allows for swiveling. Additionally, you can also mount the B600 onto a tripod.
At 7.09 x 1.81 x 1.5 inches, the B600 is definitely not the most compact webcam that’s come across our desk. Though the B600 can be used on notebooks for travel, the design seems more well suited for stationary use on top of a monitor. If you’re transporting the B600, just be careful to keep it away from sharp objects in a bag to not damage the fabric covering on the speakers.
Adding to the complexity of the B600 for travel is that this device requires two cables for your PC. One wire will connect the B600 to your PC for data, allowing the B600 to receive audio output from your laptop and also send video and captured audio from the microphone to the PC, while a second wire will be used to power the B600.
Anker provides a USB-C cord in the box for data and a USB-C cable with a multi-country adapter for power, though I opted to use two USB-C cables and connected the B600 to my laptop for both power and data. This setup worked for me, but owners of older laptops with a limited number of USB-C ports, Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro 9 users, and creatives who max out the ports on their laptops with additional peripherals may need to rely on a USB-C hub to connect the B600.
AnkerWork B600 Video Light Bar: Performance
With its robust list of features, Anker offers plenty of controls for the B600. You’ll be able to adjust the basic settings – like muting the microphone and turning on and off the lightbar – through touch-sensitive buttons on the body of the B600 Video Bar, but you’ll need to dive into Anker’s free downloadable desktop software to make more granular adjustments.
Like most other advanced webcams on the market, you’ll be able to make fine adjustments to the image settings in Anker’s software by tuning the color temperature and contrast. The software also has a tab that allows you to adjust the light intensity and take the color temperature of the light for a cool glow or a warm hue. If you don’t want to make the adjustments yourself, there is a software control that will call on A.I. to tune the lighting based on conditions around you.
And finally, you’ll be able to adjust both the field-of-view and the zoom levels in the software.
With a 2K sensor, the AnkerWork B600 Video Bar is able to get crisp shots, albeit capped at just 30 frames per second.
So just how well does the B600 perform?
In darkened environments, the light bar works extremely well. In my pitch-black dining room, even the lowest light setting gave me enough illumination to not look like a muddled mess, which was how I appeared with the built-in webcam on the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch with M1 processor. Increasing the light intensity added even more details to my mugshot, and at the highest brightness setting, my face was properly illuminated to show well-rounded details.
Adjusting the color temperature helps with showing more natural skin tone.
Full brightness, cold color temperature
Full brightness, cold color temperature
Medium brightness, cold color temperature
Medium brightness, cold color temperature