Microsoft’s VX-5000 ($49.95) is easily the best-looking webcam I’ve seen in awhile. Its flexible base (it can even lie flat), square-shaped face, and peering, non-protruding lens all make it adorable. So do the color choices: the ring around the face comes in Lucky Green, Cool Blue, and Fire Red. It records VGA video and 1.3-megapixel still photographs. The effects are still kind of ho-hum, but we noticed in our early hands-on testing that the refreshed interface is cleaner than ever. It also has 3X digital zoom, a built-in, noise-cancelling mic, and, like other Microsoft webcams, a Windows Live call button. For the budget and style-minded, it looks like a solid pick. Look for it next month.