Kitchen Laptop?
June 3, 2010 4:44 PM   Subscribe

A computer for the kitchen?

Mrs. imjustsaying would really like a computer in our kitchen. We have a couple of nice laptops as well as my professional workstations, but counter space in the kitchen is at a premium and she'd like something semi-permanent.

We have a wireless network in our home which works well.

It strikes me that something like a netbook with a screen which could be folded back 180 degrees to essentially be a flat vertically mounted computer could be mounted to the side of our black refrigerator with heavy duty velcro or something similar. We could run the Ac power cable unobtrusively to the back of the fridge, where there's an extra outlet.

My wife will primarily use it for kitchen related tasks (Food Network junkie), Skyping, and accessing other web sites.

Is this viable?

Will a netbook give her an internet experience which approaches her dual core Windows Vists laptop?

How are,, etc. on a netbook? Viable?

Any specific suggestions on a netbook or laptop which can be vertically mounted flat for this purpose?

If iPad technology was a bit more advanced, it would seem to me to be a great choice, but I like the idea of a real keyboard. and would like to spend a it less if possible.
posted by imjustsaying to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
just to mention the obvious, the ipad works with bluetooth keyboards.

I'd be primarily concerned about spillage; netbooks never struck me as particularly sturdy or well-built and sealed up.
posted by Chris4d at 4:47 PM on June 3, 2010

Anything with an Atom processor (i.e. most netbooks) will struggle with Flash-based video.

Ideally you would get a proper slate tablet PC I suppose but it's pretty expensive for the intended task. For example, this is great except for the price.
posted by GuyZero at 4:48 PM on June 3, 2010

Ipad or no I'd also lean towards a tablet. (with a screen cover)

In case you haven't seen the ipad/velcro video (which covers your use case)
posted by bitdamaged at 4:51 PM on June 3, 2010

If you want to do Flash video on a netbook you will need to get one that has an Ion ( video chip. The standard Intel integrated graphics on most netbooks doesn't have the oomph to really show Flash video at a reasonable rate. The AspireRevo NetTop ( sells for around a few hundred bucks and has Ion support and a tiny footprint. If you have a desk of some sort in your kitchen you could mount a monitor on a VESA wall mount and attach the nettop to the back.
posted by kenliu at 5:03 PM on June 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think this kind of use case is precisely why the iPad was invented.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:41 PM on June 3, 2010

Skypeing with video? Not going to happen with today's iPad.
posted by 6550 at 5:58 PM on June 3, 2010

Watch this video of an iPad mounted in a kitchen cabinet. It seems to be everything you're looking for.
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 6:21 PM on June 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think you're looking for an All-in-one.

Something with an Athlon or a Core 2 Celeron/Pentium.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:12 PM on June 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

The litl is a 12 in netbook with a screen that flips into a tripod and can be controlled with a scrollwheel remote. The website sells it at $400. I can't vouch for its performance personally, but it looks cool.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 11:57 PM on June 3, 2010

I'm not sure why people are kvetching about Flash performance. I watch netflix* and hulu on my now-crufty Atom based netbook. The biggest problem is the speakers are so crappy that headphone use is mandatory to understand anything. The keyboard is nigh-unusable. I have not tried Skype but betting Skype video would be horrible since the webcam is definitely bad and there isn't enough horsepower to compress video before streaming.

* Netflix streaming is actually Silverlight based.
posted by chairface at 4:23 PM on June 4, 2010

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