I bought a blasted Portal

When we had that virtual cooking class the other day there was a couple in a well appointed kitchen. Whenever they spoke and filled the screen we cut to this wide panning shot of the pair. Then the camera would slowly zoom in to the person talking.

“Whoever is doing your camera work is great!” I typed in the chat window.

“Oh, that’s our Facebook Portal. We’ve been using them for Zooms and have sold a bunch of them to our family after they see it.”

Immediately I thought, you can use those for Zoom? That would be great for virtual workouts… Larry can only see my flat butt when I’m doing pushups.

Since my world is currently mostly online, I figured I’d buy one and start up a burner Facebook account to use it.

Yes, I loathe the company that makes this product. Yes, I am aware they are now collecting so much audio and video data from me. Even though I unplug it when not in use, I assume it has an internal battery to continue surveillance.

And the flip side? It is incredible.

I can now have focused conversations without all the trappings of a computer / phone / tablet and all the pesky notifications that go with them. It’s fun to take a break, stand up and move around and continue a chat. Oh, and my self view is a tiny postage stamp sized window that I can’t see without glasses anyway, so I’m not dealing with myself.

This concept is solid and the design and construction of this thing is very good. If only any other f’ing company in the world made something like it.

Here’s a sample FWIW:


  1. I was very surprised and delighted to see the Portal in action during our chat. While nearly anything peddled by Facebook is an instant turn-off, you make a strong case for getting this device.

Comments are closed.