The Jabra PanaCast 20 is a webcam. A very fancy one, in fact. With hybrid working now a part of many employees' everyday lives, your laptop's built-in webcam just isn't going to cut it. But at a premium price, is the PanaCast 20 worth buying? We put it to the test in another of our in-depth reviews. Read on to find out what we thought about it!
Design & build
First things first, what is the PanaCast 20? Well, it's intended as a personal webcam. That sets it apart from Jabra's other webcams, which are more intended for use in conference rooms. As such, the design of the 20 is a bit more compact. While the original PanaCast has a wider design, the PanaCast 20 is more compact. It's roughly the size and shape of a wireless headphone case, and is fully metallic, unlike most webcams which tend to be plastic. At 136g, this helps to make it feel like a good quality piece of kit, and something we'd be confident taking on the road with us without worrying it was going to get damaged.
As you'd expect, the camera itself is on the front, with two microphones on either side. This means that if you move to one side, you can still be picked up nice and clearly. There's a further microphone on the top, too. Underneath the camera is a little sliding switch, which activates the privacy cover. Not only does this let you take a moment when you need to, but it also keeps the camera itself safe while in transit.
If you're just using it on your laptop, then it's got a hinged clip on the bottom, with rubber at both connection points so it's not going to scratch your laptop. Alternatively, there's also a standard 1/4" tripod mount on there too. If you've already got the desk stand that Jabra produce for the original PanaCast, then that'll work great, but any desk stand should do the job just fine.
Finally, the PanaCast 20 comes with a nice hard case, which is ideal since you don't want a camera that's this expensive to get damaged in transit. The webcam itself sits snugly inside a little indent in the centre, and the power cable then wraps around it. If we had one little niggle about this, it's that the cable doesn't fit that neatly inside the case.
Considering the price of the Jabra PanaCast 20, you'd naturally expect it to have superior image quality to a cheap webcam. But Jabra aren't content with just making a "good" camera. Instead, they've made it their mission to produce the best on the market, and with ultra-HD 4k image quality, they have a solid claim to have done exactly that.
Not only is the actual image quality crystal-clear, but colours and contrast are top-notch, too. The PanaCast 20 automatically adjusts the exposure and white balance to make sure you always look your best. Alternatively, you can adjust the image settings yourself through the Jabra Direct software (which we'll come onto in a moment).
As for set-up, the PanaCast 20 is essentially plug-and-play. As a UC device, it should work intuitively with the vast majority of video platforms. All you need to do is plug it into your computer using the included USB power cable, and it should set itself up automatically. That power cable is USB-C-to-USB-A, so if you should happen to lose it, it's easy enough to replace.
By installing the free Jabra Direct software ensures that your device is always using the latest firmware. But it also lets you adjust the camera settings, control the camera while you're on a call, and use Jabra's unique Intelligent Zoom feature. The latter is an AI-enhanced image processing, and as the name suggests, it will automatically crop the video to just the person on the call.
Jabra PanaCast 20: The Verdict
The PanaCast 20 has a strong claim to be the best personal webcam on the market just now. While it's certainly not cheap, the image quality is outstanding. If you frequently make one-to-one video calls, or if you work remotely, then this camera is definitely worth investing in.