NetChef turns Android into a kitchen appliance

NetChef is an Android-powered kitchen recipe repository that also lets you run apps and groove to your favorite tunes.

NetChef
Get cooking with the NetChef Android kitchen appliance. Amanda Kooser/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Many an iPad has been besmirched by kitchen grease and condiments. Save your super-expensive tablet from spilled milk by picking up an Android-powered NetChef.

NetChef is primarily a recipe device, but it also holds photos, plays music, connects to Facebook, gives you the weather, and runs Android apps.

There are 500 built-in recipes for those times when your Internet goes down during Thanksgiving dinner prep. An endless supply of recipes is available from manufacturer Sungale's own database and all the Android cooking apps you can download.

NetChef side view
You can see the chunkiness of the NetChef and one of two built-in speakers. (Click to enlarge.) Amanda Kooser/CNET

NetChef runs Android 2.3. The current version of the gadget is not upgradeable. It has just 2 GB of internal memory, but an SD card slot can expand on that.

I went to town on NetChef's 8-inch touchscreen and explored a variety of recipes. The pictures are attractive and the steps easy to follow, though I didn't get a chance to actually whip up some, uh, iPad Thai.

The NetChef is definitely designed for the kitchen. You're not going to haul it around as your main Android tablet. It's chunky, but sturdy. It feels like it would be easy to keep clean even after a flour or dough explosion.

NetChef is available from Sungale through Amazon for $270. That's cheaper than an iPad, but more expensive than a copy of "Martha Stewart's New Pies and Tarts."

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