Before COVID-19 struck the world, we commented about how even the priciest and best laptops would ship with some of the worst webcams in existence. Start up a video chat with your fancy new Dell XPS 13 and you'll quickly see how everything from colors, motion, brightness, texture, and overall picture quality can seem several years behind the cameras on your iPhone or Android.
Now that more and more people are staying home and using their laptop webcams for both professional and social interactions, it's only a matter of time before OEMs realize, if not already, that their 1 MP webcams are in dire need of updating. Laptops with clearer webcams will almost surely be a great selling point for any major OEM to chase after nowadays.
When asked why laptop webcams have remained at 1 MP for so long, multiple manufacturers have stated that the narrow bezels and thin display profiles on laptops are currently the limiting factors. Of course, these excuses don't mean that OEMs aren't hard at work developing new and better webcams that can fit within the existing confines of a laptop chassis. Such webcams don't need to be the 20 MP behemoths as found on smartphones, but they can certainly benefit from a bump to even 3 MP or 5 MP for significantly better image quality than what we have now.
With CES 2021 going all virtual and many tech companies enacting permanent stay-at-home positions, laptops with updated webcams feel like a small thing to ask for in the coming year.