Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
GUI Input Devices Windows Hardware

Ask Slashdot: All-In-One PC For Kitchen? 156

Posted by timothy
from the wake-me-when-it's-got-a-robot dept.
New submitter brabq writes "Now that I have a couple of CableCard tuner devices in the house (including the network-based HDHomeRun Prime), I'm thinking of buying one of those all-in-one touchscreen PCs for our kitchen (yeah, something I've always sworn against for future repair reasons). The idea is that it would be used primarily for (1) watching TV, via the aforementioned Prime and WMC, and (2) light web surfing (recipes, some sort of video chat possibly). Does anyone have any experience with these types of devices in a kitchen-like setting (where I'd like to use a touchscreen over having a keyboard/mouse on a kitchen counter)? I keep hearing that Windows 8 is going to have some added benefits to this type of setup — is it worth waiting for its release? My end goal is it has to have a high WAF ... if my wife doesn't like its appearance on the counter or finds it useless, then the whole thing will be a waste."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ask Slashdot: All-In-One PC For Kitchen?

Comments Filter:
  • by Tyler Eaves (344284) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:29PM (#39903783)

    But just buy a fucking iPad.

    • by Immostlyharmless (1311531) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:32PM (#39903811)
      If he had already "here'd" it, he wouldn't have to buy one ;-)
    • by aurispector (530273) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:35PM (#39903851)

      No question. I don't even like really like ipads or tablets in general but this is the right answer. A little bracket to mount it on the wall and you're done.

      A decent android tablet would fill the bill nicely, too.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @04:52PM (#39904401)

        A little bracket to mount it on the wall and you're done.

        You can buy magnetic iPad mounts so that you can stick it to your fridge (e.g.FridgePad [woodforddesign.com]; I'm sure there are other options). You can also buy protective coverings or sleeves that still let you operate the touchscreen (e.g. Chef Sleeve [chefsleeve.com]), though in practice we've found that it's not really a problem (a touschscreen is pretty easy to wipe clean).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah...stationary computers are yesterday. Get a "fucking" iPad, or some nice android tablet like the transformer prime, and a nice stand for it. Hell...over engineer and enclosure for it if you need carpentry geek kicks.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @04:08PM (#39904091)

      But just buy a fucking iPad.

      The Honeywell 316 [wikipedia.org] is a much better choice, it was build as if the OP's needs were its specs.

      • by aix tom (902140)

        Reading or entering these recipes would have been very difficult for the average cook, since the user interface required the person to take a two-week course to learn to program the device, using only toggle-switch input and binary light output.

        Hey, I didn't know they were able to run a Unity-like interface back in the days.

    • by rwa2 (4391) * on Saturday May 05, 2012 @04:11PM (#39904125) Homepage Journal

      If you're a cheapskate like me, I'd recommend the ~$300 ViewSonic G-Tablet running VeganTab (based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread).
      Overclocks to 1.4Ghz, and breezes through Netflix, YouTube, even random websites with Adobe Flash videos. I like WinAmp for streaming radio. It has built-in stereo speakers, but for the kitchen you'll probably want to plug it in to bigger speakers. It also has a USB jack so you can plug in a real keyboard for whatever reason.

      Plus, these tablet things probably wipe down cleaner than whatever All-in-one PC you might find.

      There's also a pretty good Android 4 ICS port done by TeamDRH [teamdrh.com] which is in beta right now, but VegaTab still works better/faster/more stable at the moment. Multitasking is a bit nicer, but the memory footprint is too high for the G-Tablet to multitask well.

      • by sr180 (700526) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @10:00PM (#39905721) Journal

        Acer A200. Should be able to get a better price, its a solid device and in the box with Android 3.1 with Acer provided 4.0 updates. This is the machine that finally convinced me to drop money on a tablet. The right machine at the right price.

        • by rwa2 (4391) *

          Ooh, cool, 1GB of RAM (vs. 512MB in the G-Tablet) for an extra $20 sounds good... I bet it has a better screen as well. I'll try it out the next time I need a tablet device... someday...

      • by PyroMosh (287149)

        It's useless for the OP's needs, though. He wants to work with the HDHomerun Prime. His options are Windows or iOS. And if he wants PVR functionality, his options are Windows or Windows.

        I like Android as much as the next guy, but if you want cablecard, there's no other choice.

        • by rwa2 (4391) *

          Hmm, well, he's doing it wrong, I guess :-D What is this TV thing anyway? Can't you just stream video from a samba share created and maintained by a central PVR somewhere?

          Actually, our internet went out last week and we had nothing left but basic cable for a brief while. *shudder*

          • by PyroMosh (287149)

            Cablecard let's you decrypt the same signal that your cablebox does, without relying on any kind of analog hole. It's a pure digital stream without cableboxes.

            There are other ways of doing it, sure. But if you want the full signal quality, it's the only legal and only practical game in town.

            Some cableboxes will let you pipe out a firewire stream, but then you're renting a box (or several) and tools that handle it aren't as mature and reliable as just letting Windows Media Center manage a cablecard tuner.

      • by LanMan04 (790429)

        I have a GTab (purchased about a year ago for $280...they're still that expensive??) and I love it. Yes, it can be just a tiny bit slow at times, but it works great like 99% of the time. Primarily used by my 4 year old as his "computer", great for playing games, watching movies (copied-over avis, youtube, netflix), etc.

        I've run both VeganTab and The DRH ICS, and I must say I like the latter better. I had some issues with VeganTab locking up and random reboots, and DRH ICS seems to have fixed that.

        DRH ICS

    • by Gimbal (2474818) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @04:15PM (#39904155)

      I have a tablet, namely an iPad, which I use in the kitchen on occasion. I would recommend a few apps for that: The All Recipes app; the Epicurious app; the Food Guru app. I'm sure that there must be apps about wine selection, and maybe even about beer, too.

      For browsing, I'd recommend iCab. Atomic Web Browser is another good one. (iCab, as one of its many features, can synch its bookmarks with Dropbox, which I don't know if Atomic can, as of yet.) Either of those offers some more features than the conventional Safari mobile browser, in a pretty reliable browser platform. (App crashes seem like less of a concern, on the tablet platform, I think)

      You can also take it outdoors with you - weather permitting, of course. There's pUniverseHD for iPad, when it comes to stargazing after dinner ;)

      As far as TV, then, there's Netflix on iPad - it's close enough for my tastes ;) If you're into sports - Olympic sports, namely - Universal Sports has also put together an app for the 2012 Olympics kicking off in July. In the more "mainstream sports", and for existing cable subscribes - as I recall - there are apps from ESPN, also. Then there's RedBull TV, for the extremophiles in the family. If you're an existing cable subscriber, there are apps from HBO and I think from Cinemax, as well.

      Lastly: For hanging it from the kitchen counter, Belkin makes a nice little temporary mounting bracket, and I'm sure there are more permanent options available. The major technology retailer, BestBuy, carries the Belkin bracket, in their iPad section.

      Entertainment and utility abound on the well supported mobile platforms, these days - enjoy!

      • by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @08:23PM (#39905423) Homepage

        If if is going to be permanently in one location, than a goofy little partly functional device makes no sense at all.

        You are really looking at something more along these lines http://www.smarthouse.com.au/Reviews/Home_Office/G3X2A9D4 [smarthouse.com.au].

        So an all in one computer mounted to say a cabinet door with a slide out and tilt forward keyboard mounted underneath that cabinet, mains powered.

        If you can afford to spend more, why stuff about with a dinky little toy. Here's another http://www.pcworld.com/article/185061/windows_7_allinone_pcs_big_touchscreens_for_all_budgets.html [pcworld.com]. Basically what they are looking at, is what ever is left in the all in one PC with touch screen market, with a 20 inch or bigger screen.

    • Waterproof (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Immerman (2627577) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @05:03PM (#39904473)

      Forget the software, just make sure the hardware is waterproof. I remember hearing of at least one recently. Pretty much any tablet on the planet will be able to handle the meagre demands you're putting on it, and if it's Linux or at least non-Apple you'll be able to fine-tune it's behaviour. On the other hand the kitchen is probably one of the messiest rooms in the house, any regularly used surface/tool/etc that can't be easily cleaned will rapidly become either a pain in the ass or a disgusting mess, especially if it's something you'll inevitably want to touch with messy hands while in the middle of cooking. The ability to just wipe it down with a damp/soapy rag instead of carefully using special cleaners will make a world of difference.

      Also - you probably want to consider a strategically placed mounting bracket - counter space is valuable real estate. I might consider something that folds down from under a cabinet somewhere and has power wired to it so you never have to worry about recharging. The refrigerator door is another likely candidate. Also pay attention to where she spends most of here time while in the kitchen. At the stove? Sink? Counter? Ideal placement will allow convenient video chatting or recipe access while working at her preferred station. Don't get too close to the stove though - hot oil vapors condense on all nearby surfaces and can be a real challenge to clean.

      Just keep in mind that you're looking to install an appliance in an extremely electronic-hostile environment, not a gadget. The fundamental design trade-offs you want to make are very different.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by John Bokma (834313)
      Or a Kindle Fire. That's what my wife uses in the kitchen to follow recipes on YouTube and other sites.
    • Nope, too expensive for too small a screen for a kitchen PC. As someone who has actually set a few of these up for customers I would recommend something like the HP or Gateway all-in-ones. You can get them anywhere from 19-24 inches, they have both AMD Fusion and Intel i3 units (Personally I like AMD Fusion as the price is lower while having excellent hardware acceleration for video and very low heat generation) and you can basically choose from units starting at around $350 going all the way to $800 just depending on what features you want.

      so I'm sorry but the iPad isn't a good choice in this situation. Not saying there is anything wrong with it, in fact I recommend them myself for doctor's office and warehouse inventory as you can't really beat the size in those applications, but in a kitchen you want something big enough you won't have to go past the stove when you are cooking and with large enough icons you can just pop them with a knuckle in case your hands are a little messy. Just not the right device for this situation IMHO. If he wants to look at them last I checked Tigerdirect had a large selection although with the shortages of Fusion chips most of theirs are Intel i series just as this really nice Gateway for $699 [tigerdirect.com] which would give him a nice 23 inch 1080p with enough hard drive space you could load it with movies (great when you are stuck in the kitchen) and with built in Wifi and webcam it would be easy to integrate into his existing system and do video chat as per TFA.

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      But just buy a fucking iPad.

      This is perfectly right. Ever since my sister bought an iPad, she uses it for everything - e-mail, games, recipes,... Only thing she doesn't do is watch TV while cooking. She for all practical purposes gave up her laptop ever since she bought the iPad.

      If your wife doesn't like it, it won't be a complete waste - you too can use it instead. In my case, both my sister and my wife love their iPads. No point waiting for Windows 8, which can be hit or miss.

    • by fotoguzzi (230256)
      Obligatory. [positivelyatlantaga.com]
    • by mugurel (1424497)
      one more obligatory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itUMO7VLl0M [youtube.com]
  • Duh iPad... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Just buy an iPad. I understand the tendency of us geeks to over engineer everything but honestly as much as I don't like apple, after having one I use my laptop strictly for working from home. I have Netflix and YouTube for video and it's touchscreen like your asking for. Plus you say if your wife doesn't like the appearance then it's all a waste so why not just get a small 10" screen that you can easily take anywhere?

    • He said he wants to watch TV on it. Maybe he wants to watch it from more than two feet away.
  • My wife uses an iPad for that all the time. She finds the iPad satisfactory for this purpose.

    Mostly, she uses it for music and recipes.

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      So does my sister - uses it for pretty much everything - recipies, music, facebook, farmville and other games, lends it to my niece to dress up Barbie and play cut the rope and a whole bunch of other games. Only thing she doesn't use it for is TV, since bandwidth sucks for those purposes where she lives.
  • Old school (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:32PM (#39903827)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kitchen_computer_ad.jpg

  • some restaurant / fast food places have covers on the screens to try to keep them clean.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There's a kitchen model (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell_316#Kitchen_Computer) with integrated cutting board.

  • HP TouchSmart 610 (Score:5, Informative)

    by leonbev (111395) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:49PM (#39903957) Journal

    I'd vote for an HP TouchSmart 610 myself, since it comes with a TV tuner and a remote controller. It also has a built-in Blu-Ray player and comes with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse along with a touchscreen. I'd think that I would fit into a kitchen fairly well.

    The only downsides I see is that TouchSmart's aren't cheap, and they do not have official Linux support. That said, I see them on sale all the time.

    • by xmundt (415364)

      Greetings and Salutations;
      This is my thought too. With a 23" screen, it would be easy to read throughout the kitchen, and, it does have outputs that could go to a larger LCD tv mounted near it. It would mount on the wall nicely, and, having used one for a little bit, I find that the on-screen keyboard is not good for touch-typing, but, works ok for light data entry. (URLS, Google searches, etc).
      I think that concerns a

    • not all touchsmart 610's have blue-ray. Maybe all recient models do but mine does not
      also mine has no video output. I have to use an external usb adapter to drive a second monitor

    • by Sporkinum (655143)

      They are cheap if you go refurb.
      Cheetahdeals has Gateways and Dells cheap.
      Specs on the cheapest one($400) completely blow away any tablet.
      The Gateway One ZX4951-33e Refurbished All-In-One PC's 21.5" Full HD display saves space, is easy to use and is perfect for any room in your home providing interactive computing, enhanced media sharing with social networks and stunning HD entertainment.
      Intel Core i3-550 3.20GHz
      Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

  • I think some people are missing the point. A monitor could do tv in from a cable box. Most providers DON'T have the app Cablevision has to view live tv on an iPad. Plus I think a bigger screen would be nice, 32" or something. If your hands are messy, you don't want to have to hold the tablet, or move it from table to counter so you don't have to keep moving to see its tiny print. A giant touchscreen pc could get more uses than a tablet.
  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:58PM (#39904017)
    An iPad is the elegant solution. You could even get creative and route out a place for one in a cabinet door so it was at eye level then use the adapter to keep it plugged in so you'd never have to charge it. They are instant on and if you have wifi set up you can download movies and music. Add in some bluetooth speakers and you get decent sound. Honestly you'll spend a nearly a grand getting a set up that will be bulky and take up counter space. Yes there are cheapie computers but they are large. I'm talking a nice machine that has a small foot print. I used to use Shuttle boxes which are around the size of a toaster but it's a build it yourself. Then you end up with a monitor and cords and it's not very portable. You even get Facetime with an iPad so you can do video calling. It's $500 bucks and you avoid a lot of grief and expense. If you leave it plugged in the battery life isn't an issue so it could easily last you five years with no maintenance.
  • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @03:59PM (#39904023)
    Here ya GO. [instructables.com] Be sure and pick a spot where you can get at the reset button.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2012 @04:00PM (#39904037)

    We have an HP TouchSmart PC in the kitchen, where the microwave used to be. No cable, just ethernet & it's used primarily for seaching for recipes. Can't user her iPad, as the grandkids commandeer that when we get home! It's also good for measurement conversion, Calorie counts, Product warnings/recalls, etc. There's a wireless mouse/keyboard & it's stayed clear of the flour/sugar problem we likely would have had by having it up higher than the countertop. With our own PC's elsewhere in the house - it's convenient just for what it was purchased for. If you want it to be static - get a PC, if you wish to have portability, then a tablet. Depends upon your expected usage & whether you're already WiFi or not.

  • by Blaskowicz (634489) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @04:01PM (#39904047)

    an option is to buy a standalone touchscreen, it's readily available but very expensive. you can hook up anything to it.

    in particular, many nettops or mini computers can be screwed on the back plate through VESA mounts so you can use an ARM net top, an Atom PC, something like the zotac zbox with an AMD E-350, etc. You get to keep the OS choice and double boot if necessary ; just make sure, if you want to try a linux based solution, to get hardware with usable graphics drivers for linux (dunno if atom is better than AMD there)

    the touch screen is horribly expensive but you get a total cost similar to an All-in-one. and yes, windows 8 ARM or PC is the best solution, or using XP or 7 in the interim. or android is similar. it has an important checkbox, "can fucking use all functions included in the hardware". sent from my PC with permanently idle H264 decoder and 3D accelerator.

  • Touchscreen is kinda nice for tablets when you're moving around, but on the kitchen counter a laptop works great. I've had one there for a while. I would definitely go for something small and light (easy to get out of the way) like a laptop or tablet instead of an all-in-one.

  • I keep hearing that Windows 8 is going to have some added benefits

    1. Download and install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview [microsoft.com];
    2. Realize that the Windows 8 Metro UI is the worst product Microsoft has ever made - worse than Bob or Clippy;
    3. PROFIT from your new-found experience.

  • She's less likely to balk at something like that.

    The trick will be attaching a monitor and kb in some fold-out arrangement.

    • by csumpi (2258986)

      Nah. The real trick will be getting a Raspberry Pi.

      But if he could actually get one, by the time the keyboard/monitor/mouse added, fold-out arrangement fabricated, time spent getting it all to work, he could've saved money buying a cheap tablet.

      • by Nutria (679911)

        The real trick will be getting a Raspberry Pi.

        he could've saved money buying a cheap tablet.

        But then if his wife decides she doesn't like a computer in the kitchen, then he's left with generic parts and a Raspberry Pi (all imminently reusable for some other project) instead of an extra tablet.

  • 1: your wife will eventually find it useless.
    2: the amount of smoke and grease in the air will eventually destroy though maybe not before #1 (even though you may not see smoke or grease it's there)
    3: Why? Just get a $399 iPad or even better Kindle Fire, because you don't really need much in the kitchen correctly? Not like you're playing WoW while putting cheese sauce on your cheesecake.

  • This sounds like the perfect application for a big ass table! [youtube.com]

  • by Jaro (4361)

    Sorry, but I have to say I use an iPad for recipes and (if I wanted to) TV in the kitchen. Works great, no hassles.

  • by Lumpy (12016)

    iPad and under cabinet mount/holder. You can watch HD home run channels and do everything else you need in a smaller and cheaper device that can also act as a tablet.

  • Do you need something tough and don't care about the price? Get an IBM POS (ok, now Toshiba) or the IBM Kiosk. URL seems to be broken now. http://www-03.ibm.com/products/retail/kiosk/industries/retail.html [ibm.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dell is releasing an all-in-one touch screen this fall...its going to have replacable parts, screen, motherboard, drives, etc... seviceable like a laptop is.

  • http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/HP-Z1-Teardown/8840/1 [ifixit.com] My only concern would be cooking oils and fat ruining the touch screen.
  • by BlackPignouf (1017012) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @05:16PM (#39904537)

    I used to get excited for every single tech gadget out there, and would run to Amazon or the next shop to get it ASAP.
    Maybe I'm getting old or maybe I'm becoming more and more environmentally-conscious, but the bottom line is :
    You don't need it.
    Nobody needs an All-in-one PC in the kitchen, nobody needs a web-enabled washing machine, nobody needs a beta firmware on its dishwasher, and nobody needs an LCD display on the fridge.
    Those stuff just get obsolete after 2 years, and become "broken" even though their main utility would still work perfectly fine without the added useless complexity.
    I expect my fridge, my dishwasher and my washing machine to still work in 10 years.
    Your gadget will wind up in the dump in a few years.

    • Nobody needs an All-in-one PC in the kitchen, nobody needs a web-enabled washing machine, nobody needs a beta firmware on its dishwasher, and nobody needs an LCD display on the fridge.
      Those stuff just get obsolete after 2 years, and become "broken" even though their main utility would still work perfectly fine without the added useless complexity. I expect my fridge, my dishwasher and my washing machine to still work in 10 years.
      Your gadget will wind up in the dump in a few years.

      I've had a Mac Mini with a touch screen in my kitchen for 5 years. It acts as a media server for the whole house, shows recipes and email and lets us watch tv shows on iTunes, Netflix or Hulu while we cook. It's totally obsolete - I can't even upgrade the OS anymore - but we don't use it for anything except that "main utility".

      I expect your expectations are wrong.

    • by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @07:03PM (#39905035)

      Nobody needs an All-in-one PC in the kitchen

      Nobody needs a computer at all unless you use it to make money and by extension keep yourself alive and nourished.

      A lot of people WANT an All-in-one PC in the kitchen. Control music, watch TV, keep track of shopping lists, read recipes, skype with a friend while cooking. I do all of these things in the kitchen. Currently I use various forms of getting up and going to some piece of technology, holding onto a phone, writing on bits of paper, and my personal favourite, going to the computer in the study to print a recipe I found on the internet.

      Obsolete? You obviously don't understand the purpose of an appliance. This isn't something that needs to be perpetually upgraded. My shopping list won't be in 3D requiring DX10 or better to run in a few years. Skype may improve, but unless FTTH becomes the norm I think that'll take longer than 2 years at which point the device will still be capable of running it.

      You have no imagination and I'm glad that there's not more people like you or those who modded you insightful otherwise we'd never have a computer to begin with (which at the time was thought as something that was useless and no-body needed it).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... maybe I should have specified as to what the HD Homerun Prime (and any CableCard device) does, and why an iPad is not a solution. It tunes cable TV channels, and - unfortunately - the only OS/application combo that can display it is Windows Media Center in Windows 7 (+) ... thanks to all of the copy flags and encryption that our cable companies pump into the stream. Meaning, you cannot use any Mac, Linux, or other solution to watch TV on it, but you can Windows.

    Also, I appreciate some of the comments

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @05:24PM (#39904603)

    What we need are networked sensors.

    The stove doesn't need a computer. It needs to communicate with the everything else and possibly have servos so that it can be controlled remotely.

    If every appliance could communicate with a centralized system we could do some pretty neat things.

  • No matter what we suggest here (and I suggest that it's a bad idea from a user comfort and utility angle), if she doesn't like what you're selling to her then it's going to be a waste before this article falls off the front page.

    Searching for recipes and surfing the web? I guarantee that printing something off from a PC that she can actually relax at is going to be more appealing.

    Television? It really sounds like you're trying to justify the cost of getting the rest of your house wired up. How much time doe

  • by cptdondo (59460) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @06:01PM (#39904809) Journal

    That's what we did. Got a 21" wall mount monitor, above the fray, attached a bluetooth keyboard/mousepad combo ($25 off ebay) and youi're golden. A couple of speakers and you can do whatever you want. And best of all the only thing that can get trashed is the keyboard; you can keep spares in your drawer if you really want.

    And yes we do use it as music background and to stream internet radio of all sorts.

  • If all the people in the kitchen need is a media consumption device than any table will do fine. Beyond that you need something with a real keyboard and mouse. Speaking from experience here (I actually own an iPad, won as a door prize); tablets are okay if you don't need to enter much besides a short string of text. I wouldn't buy a replacement if the freebie I have gets broken.
  • by dubbreak (623656) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @07:09PM (#39905077)
    Came across this looking for 12" Adnroid tablets for a project we're working on: http://www.ectworks.com/en/product1.asp?id=3 [ectworks.com]

    It even has a built-in stand. Here's a pic of the unit: http://www.ectworks.com/upfile/201061151416.jpg [ectworks.com]
  • by crow (16139) on Saturday May 05, 2012 @07:13PM (#39905095) Homepage Journal

    I'm surprised by the number of people suggesting mounting an iPad or similar tablet. Yes, this does make a lot of sense. It makes even more sense to have a mount where you can put the iPad while you're cooking, then take it with you when you're done--this is ideal if you want to have an iPad anyway.

    The problem is that you can't currently watch HD channels on an iPad. There is an app for $18 that will let you watch SD channels, but apparently the processor in the iPad can't do HD MPEG-2, or at least the writers of the app in question haven't figured out how to do it.

    So with TV being the primary function, you need something that can handle TV.

    Another issue is how your cable company sends the channels. Are all the channels you care about set to copy freely? If not, then you can only use solutions that are Cable Labs certified (that probably rules out any tablet apps or Linux solution).

    Now, having said all that, I think I need to find a mount for our iPad to put on a cabinet in the kitchen.

  • While an HP TouchSmart might best meet the needs of the OP, one should not underestimate the utility of an iPad in a kitchen setting - it has a versatility not found in any All-In-One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcIwXVKQjsQ [youtube.com]

  • The first spill and your out $600, go for a Pantech Element and get something cheaper and more durable.

  • Buy a Chumy, either the Chumby8 or the Sony Dash. http://www.chumby.com/ [chumby.com]
  • For kitchen use with dirty, germy, sticky hands, get a stylus for the touchscreen. These are cheap and work just as well as the more expensive ones. http://www.amazon.com/Capacitive-Cellphone-Motorola-BlackBerry-AMM0101US/dp/B0053NBLFW/ref=pd_cp_pc_0 [amazon.com]
  • I recommend a big tablet with a dishwasher-safe stylus.
    The Belkin Kitchen Stand and Wand for Tablets is perfectly suited to this task, especially if your hands get yucky.
    The big Vizio, Samsung Galaxy, and iPad fit right in.

    Find it on AMZN and elsewhere. The Chef Sleeve for iPad is also helpful for following recipes.

  • I helped develop several affordable apartment complexes that have a kitchen unit as you describe. I managed one of the buildings (36 units) and observed how the computers were used.

    The residents qualified for living there based on their low income. There were no college grads. Some were too poor or ignorant to buy a proper computer.

    Of the 36 units, about 10 used their computers, and that quite rarely (mostly the young children). I used mine sometimes to stream videos or music during extended kitchen stays.

    • To truly benefit from a computer, you need the infrastructure to back it up.
      For example, assume you have a computer with no OS. It does pretty much nothing.
      Install an OS and Office, suddenly you can write a letter.
      Add internet access and you can email.
      Add a NAS with movie / music / picture / recipie shares along with a couple more machines to access those shares and suddenly the family can't live without it.
      This stuff all works together (I'm afraid to use a word like "synergistically" on /.) so with a
  • I have a old but functional Compaq v5000 laptop running XP. Work fine for looking up recipes or surfing the web and I don't worry that much about spilling something on it
  • is one of these - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Compaq_TC1100 [wikipedia.org]

    Has Wi-Fi, bluetooth, USB 2.0 and is very low-profile. Picked it up for $75

  • I appreciate everyone's comments. Especially those that are fans of a computer in the kitchen, that understand its utility. But I feel the need to state the following, based upon false assumptions here: (1) You cannot watch cable TV (non-broadcast channels) on any PC that is not running Microsoft Windows. This is a limitation of Cable Labs certification. What does this mean? The iPad is out. Linux (say, XBMC) is out. You can hate on Windows day in and day out, but Microsoft's pull here has made it a
  • With the price of tablets really dropping, I don't see any reason we couldn't create the that kind of device.
    What I'd like to have in terms of functionality:
    Wall mounted unit with a video camera
    voice activated
    video calling via skype
    recipes accessible via voice (no mucky hands on the machine)
    weather
    defaults to a picture frame type slide show when not in use
    remotely accessible for installing pictures and administering the unit

    This is mostly the kind of device I'd like to put together for my grandparents who c

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Sunday May 06, 2012 @05:59AM (#39907059) Homepage Journal

    I'd put an old TV and an old laptop in there. Maybe cover the keyboard with a plastic bag or even clingfilm.

    That way when - not if - the grease, heat & steam cause them to fail it's no great loss.

  • Bought an HP all-in-one touchscreen about a year ago. Use it daily for reading news, music, recipes, etc. Very useful. Came with remote keyboard\mouse (have not yet had to change the batteries). We NEVER use the touch screen feature. it was cute to scroll with your finger like the iphone for the first few days but the screen gets so dirty it looks disgusting. Keyboard\mouse work fine and I think everyone has forgotten it has touch screen capabilities. I bought the good one with the multi-touch. I Cou

  • Instead of disinfecting/replacing a keyboard/mouse when they get salmonila or ecoli on them, you'll now be replacing your all in one touchscreen ( you can't disinfect them, only certain mild cleaners are allowed).
  • I can't recommend more. Lifeproof is great.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

Working...