That alone makes it an interesting buy, if only because most
tablets of this size tend to sell for a lot more. The Nexus 10, for
example: $399. The iPad: $499 and up. Even the new Asus MeMo Pad
Smart 10 runs $299.
Of course, the ChefPad doesn't have quite the same level of
hardware. For example, it employs a 1,024 by 768-pixel screen,
which is on the low side for a 9.7-incher.
It also has just 8GB of onboard storage, versus at least 16GB
on those other models. And it lacks higher-end features like GPS
and Bluetooth. I find the latter very desirable for pairing a
tablet with a Bluetooth speaker.
That said, the ChefPad seems more than adequate for its
intended location: the kitchen. You don't need an
ultra-high-resolution screen for reading recipes and watching
cooking videos. And the storage is easily expandable via
inexpensive microSD cards.
Further, it runs the full version of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
and includes both front and rear cameras, a dual-core main
processor, a quad-core graphics processor, and even a pre-installed
document viewer. In other words, it's a real-world tablet, not some
hobbled specialty tool.
The real question is whether or not the ChefPad offers any
real value to chefs, who could just as easily load a more
traditional tablet with the cooking apps of their choice. Answer:
that remains to be seen.
According to Archos, "The Chef Apps selection...filters
through thousands of apps to provide the best cooking content in a
range of categories including recipes, drinks, shopping, cooking TV
and more. Whether you are looking for dinner ideas, a good wine
match, a balanced meal plan or a smoothie, Chef Apps gets it
The ChefPad also includes a silicone case designed to protect
it from splashes, spills, and other kitchen hazards, plus a stand
for propping it at a cooking-friendly viewing angle.
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Ultimately, I'd say this looks like a fairly ordinary Android
tablet with a case, stand, and cooking-app portal. But what's wrong
with that? At $209.99, it's a solid deal, one that's likely to
appeal to novice and pro chefs alike. The only downside is it
didn't hit stores in time for Mother's Day. (Hey, Archos: You've
still got time for Father's Day. How about a blue or black version
for dads who like to cook?)Veteran technology writer Rick Broida
is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his
money-saving expertise to CNET and Savings.com, and also writes for PC
World and Wired.