Ankers Getting Into Affordable Home Office Gadgets


Illustration for article titled Ankers Getting Into Affordable Home Office Gadgets

Photo: Sam Rutherford

Anker makes a huge range of affordable household gadgets, including battery packs, security cams, wireless charging stands, and more, but now the company is stepping into the home office with the launch of a new AnkerWork line.

Many people have shifted to working from home during the pandemic, and a lot of jobs are expected to remain remote even when returning to the office is possible post-pandemic, so Ankers pivot into home office and business gear seems will-timed. And like other Anker gadgets, its new AnkerWork devices still embody the same simple, no-frills approach with affordable pricing you see from Ankers other devices.

Illustration for article titled Ankers Getting Into Affordable Home Office Gadgets

Photo: Sam Rutherford

AnkerWorks first new device is a key part of any modern home office: the PowerConf C300 webcam. At $130, the C300 seems poised to undercut Logitechs $170 Streamcam, offering similar specs, including 1080p/60fps video recording, dual mics, and AI-powered tracking technology to help you keep your face centered in the frame.

The C300 even supports HDR and has an adjustable field of view, with three different settings for close (78 degrees), normal (90 degrees), and ultra-wide (115 degrees) to best suit your video-calling needs. Along with support for Zoom, Teams, and all the other major video-conferencing apps, Anker said the C300 will also support livestreaming software like XSplit, OBS, and others.

Sadly, Anker doesnt have a release date for the PowerConf S500 yet, so I havent been able to test it out.

Sadly, Anker doesnt have a release date for the PowerConf S500 yet, so I havent been able to test it out.
Image: Anker

If your home office meetings revolve more around big conference calls, AnkerWork also has the PowerConf S500 portable speaker. (FYI, the reasoning behind AnkerWorks naming scheme is that S stands for speaker and C stands for camera.) Building off of Ankers previous PowerConf Bluetooth Speakerphone, the S500 has four mics to help capture 360-degree audio, along with a 10-watt speaker and a built-in battery that delivers up to 16 hours of unplugged call time. The S500 is designed for people who often need to take group calls while traveling and supports meetings of up to 12 people at a time, though you can daisy chain a pair of S500s together to increase the number of participants to 16 or more.

Illustration for article titled Ankers Getting Into Affordable Home Office Gadgets

Photo: Sam Rutherford

Unfortunately, Anker hasnt released a price or release date for the S500 just yet. However, I have had a chance to play around with the C300 and based on my initial testing, I like what I see so far, including good image quality for the price. Out of the box, the C300 doesnt need any additional software to appear as a generic webcam for Zoom, Google Meet, and the like. However, you will need to install Ankers app if you want support for the AI-powered auto framing or the AI-enhanced color tuning. Ankers app was still in beta during my testing, so I didnt get a chance to check out more advanced features like HDR and video recording.

The C300’s design is straightforward while still including all the basics like an adjustable stand with built-in tripod trading and a USB-C port and cable that comes with a USB-A adapter for use with older computers.

All webcams should have privacy shutters that are this simple and easy to use.

All webcams should have privacy shutters that are this simple and easy to use.
Photo: Sam Rutherford

Im also a big fan of the adhesive privacy shield that comes with the C300, which has a simple shutter you can slide over the webcams lens whenever you want to make extra sure your feed is blocked. It might not sound like much, but compared to the huge lens cap that comes with Razers Kiyo Pro (which doesnt have a place to store the lens cap when not in use), Ankers slider shutter is a more useful and elegant solution for making sure youre not being spied on.

Anker said it expects to release more Anker Work devices throughout the year. The PowerConf S500’s release date is still up in the air, but the PowerConf C300 is available today for $130.



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