For as long as I’ve been using PCs, I’ve loved Asus products. My very first motherboard was the now-famousAsus P55T2P4, I’ve got two Eee-PCs, and my laptop is also from the mythical flying horse brand. But recently, I’ve come across an issue with said laptop that’s making me question Asus’s sanity. Turns out that the webcam in my UL30A is mounted upside down.
When Google launched their new “Plus” social network, one of the most exciting new features was the group video chat function, called Hangout. I tried it with some friends, and found that I was indeed “hanging”. My webcam’s image was upside down, so I appeared to be suspended from the ceiling. I did some digging, and found that this is a common problem with Asus notebooks under Linux.
From what I gather, the issue is not that the Linux drivers for these webcams accidentally flip the image, it’s that they don’t. Apparently, their Windows counterparts rotate the image to make up for Asus’s poor design choice. Under Linux however, that fix isn’t always applied.
You might argue that the Linux drivers are at fault. But while they could be used to remedy the situation, I don’t think they should have to. In my opinion, designing a laptop so that the webcam isn’t oriented as intended by the module’s manufacturer is simply poor design. You’re creating a situation that needs fixing.
The UL30A came in a box that said “Smart laptop, smart you”. I’m starting to question the first part of that sentence. Looks like at least some of Asus’s design choices are as bad as their slogans.