A few folks have asked me about Google+ Hangouts, and what they need to get connected. If you're using a Macintosh desktop or laptop, you should be good to go. Macs come with a microphone, speakers, and webcam all built-in. If you have a PC laptop, your computer already has a microphone and speakers - and if it's a recent laptop, it should have a webcam. Desktop PCs have speakers (let us know if yours doesn't, and we can give you a set) but not a microphone and webcam.
As we update our computer specs for the coming year, we will be including these features by default, making it easier for you to get the most out of voice & video chat, and hangouts. But what if you want to get connected now? What do you need to get started?
If you need a microphone, you may be interested in a headset. Any PC headset will work, even on Mac, so you should be able to pick whatever is comfortable for you. If you go for a wired headset, there's no setup required - but you might want to check where the microphone and speaker plugs are on the PC, to make sure you can reach them easily (the plugs might be on the back of your computer, so check that the headset wire will be long enough.) Wired headsets will also be least expensive.
Looking around on Amazon, I have recommended this one to a few folks:
If you're interested in an inexpensive webcam, I have the Logitech C210. This works well for me (this even works great on Linux):
- Logitech Webcam C210, $25
Yes, you can find better headsets and webcams out there, but these are great for everyday use. And they are low-cost, which is good if you plan to replace your computer anyway in a few years.
Just thought I'd share.