Video Chatting Is Here: Join the Conversation

Review: Emerging technology takes online conversation to a whole new level. With some simple steps, you can jump right in. (

Science fiction no longer, video chatting is here and readily available to anyone. All you need is a broadband Internet connection and some basic equipment.

Next thing you know, youll be yakking with friends or coworkers from across the country as if they were sitting right in front of you.

The first thing you need for a video chatting station is a Webcam. Today, many laptops come with Webcams built right in, centered just above the screen.

The Dell XPS M1210, for example, boasts a rotating Webcam that you can aim at yourself as you look at the screen, or turn to capture someone else sitting across the table.

/zimages/5/28571.gifMicrosoft demos beta versions of Windows Live VOIP and video. Click here to read more.

With particularly high quality, the M1210s Webcam is 1.3 megapixels—not necessary for video chatting, but a nice touch if you decide to use any of your images for other purposes.

The Webcam on the 13-inch MacBook is a more typical 0.3 megapixels—just enough to create the 640-by-480-pixel image that you need for video chatting.

The MacBook also has a microphone conveniently placed next to the Webcam, so when you speak towards the camera, youre also speaking into the mic.

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