My poor iPad has survived flour, oil, lemon juice, and countless other kitchen mishaps. Maybe it's time I look a little more seriously at a dedicated kitchen computer. My options have just expanded with the arrival of the Archos ChefPad, an Android tablet built to handle the rigors of the cooking life.
The ChefPad is a full-blown 10-inch Android tablet running Jelly Bean with a 1.6GHz processor and 1GB of RAM behind it. There are the usual front and back cameras, in case you want to launch your own online cooking show. What makes it kitchen-specific are the preloaded cooking apps and easy-to-clean case.
The silicone case adds a layer of protection from flying butter and splashes of scrambled eggs. What's a little more unique is a selection of vetted cooking apps called Chef App. It filters through all the top options available from Google Play and delivers them in one spot. Think of it as a launchpad for all your recipes, tools, drink concoctions, how-to videos, and shopping apps.
Typical of Archos products, the price point isn't too much of a deterrent, coming in at $209.99. The ChefPad will be available starting in June. Despite the kitchen customizations, it still operates like a regular tablet, so you can slip it out of its case and play games or surf the Web like normal.
I generally like the idea of having a kitchen-specific tablet that you don't have to worry too much about coddling or keeping clean. I do think there is an opportunity here to create celebrity chef versions. I would love to see a Gordon Ramsey ChefPad that yells at you while you cook, or an Emeril Lagasse ChefPad that screams "Bam!" at random moments. That would certainly add an element of excitement to slaving away over a hot stove.