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CNET’s regular Thursday Zoom party is soul-restoring (also, I made it my Virtual Background).

Scott Stein/CNET

My whole life is on video now. Zoom, Houseparty, FaceTime, Hangout, Skype — I’m signing up for all these services to keep up with business, family, friends. We’re swapping devices. We’re using phones, laptops, iPads, Chromebooks, whatever’s around.

Whatever you pick, there’s a drawback. Phones are easy to use and have great front-facing cameras, but are small and hard to share. Laptops are great for propping up and being hands-free, and the camera’s perfectly positioned — but laptops are bulky, and the cameras are often terrible. (Tips for making even a mediocre laptop webcam look better are here.)

Then there’s the iPad. That bigger display, that better-than-your-laptop front-facing camera, its ease of use. It sounds like group-chat magic. It generally is, but there are some issues, too.

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