Need smaller kitchen PC.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Sesshi, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #1
    Currently the 24" 2.8 iMac which kind of worked it's way down into the kitchen is wedged in at an awkward angle following a slight reshuffle in my dump's even dumpier kitchen. I need to swap it for something else.

    The disposal of the iMac has already been agreed, but I need to buy something fairly soon to replace it. Those of you who know my posting style may realise that I have absolutely no problem with - and in fact possibly a slight preference towards - Vista would be proven absolutely right, and systems such as the Dell XPS One and Studio are also in consideration. But for the pretty simplistic task that the kitchen PC is intended to handle and the low use it gets, I don't have a problem with a Mac either.


    The candidates:

    15" Macbook Pro on an Elevator, with some sort of velcro arrangement.
    - Pros: I already still have a small huddle of spare 2.4SR's at the office so zero spend.
    - Cons: Looks a bit janky. On the small side. Wet hands, hands after handling ingredients, etc not condusive to laptop. If buying keyb/mouse to counteract this might as well have compact desktop.

    Dell XPS One, the E4500 spec, 3-year XPS support
    - Pros: All-in-one, cheap even with the 3-year onsite warranty, well supported, comes with TV tuner (If Mac I will be using EyeTV)
    - Cons: Keyboard/Mouse nonstandard in case of breakage

    Dell Studio Hybrid Bamboo with 2Ghz/250Gb, 17" or 19" wide monitor, 3-year onsite support
    - Pros: Will fit anywhere. Bamboo coolness. Even cheaper than the above, and can spec with standard Logitech cordless keyb/mouse.
    - Cons: Separate bits = cables

    20" base-model iMac with wireless keyboard/mouse & Applecare
    - Pros: Neat. Apart from that no major pros I can think of.
    - Cons: Way more expensive than the above. Crud support should it go wrong. Apart from that no major cons I can think of.

    Key points:
    - 20" wide max. The lower the better. But no smaller than 17".
    - Highly unlikely I'll be needing anything more powerful than an X3100 GPU-wise. CPU-wise, 2.0 or higher would be sufficient.
    - As few cables as possible.
    - Easy to clean

    Does anyone have any other suggestions?
     
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #2
    Personally I prefer having a laptop in the kitchen since I can move it to where I'm working. I don't have a problem with the keyboard getting dirty due to wet hands/ingredients, but maybe I'm not cooking as actively as you -- typically just handling one recipe at a time, so the monitor just displays the recipe I'm working with.

    My MBA works nicely for this, but obviously it's a little much if your computer is dedicated solely for kitchen use. If I was you I'd just go with the powerbook option, since it's free.
     
  3. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #3
    If it works to keep it in one place, I'd get the 20" iMac. Food and grease on your MBP keyboard is a fast track to disaster, and with the iMac you save money, get a much bigger screen and can replace a keyboard inexpensively that is bound to get grimy in the kitchen.
     
  4. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #4
    What about an Intel 17 inch iMac? You can run Vista via bootcamp.

    Easy to keep clean. Functional. Fairly easy to move around. Good for accidental spills since the keyboard is a bit elevated and of course the iMac is on a pedestal.

    Probably can find a used one for a decent price.

    Could always get a keyboard cover.
     
  5. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #5
    New only. I only buy used when it's a particularly compelling purchase, and an older Mac (especially these days) isn't. I was also wondering if anyone had more specific modifications for in-kitchen use.

    As much as it may surprise many I am seeing the 20" iMac as the frontrunner at the moment. The 2.8 gave me no problems - but probably because it's only used when in the kitchen.
     
  6. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #6
    Understand.

    The only reason that I mentioned it, is that the 17 inch is smaller than the new 20 and may be easier to use in the Kitchen.

    Personally, I really like the 17 inch form factor and wish that the new iMacs were available in that size as well. But that is for another thread. :)

    What about using a VESA mount for a new iMac?

    I would stay away from a laptop because it would be so easy to spill something on it. But that's me, clumsy in the Kitchen. Love to cook, but make a mess at times.
     
  7. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #7
    The VESA mount is definitely an option and it's something I'll likely go with - I've been thinking about a two-hinge arm for either a monitor or an AIO. But where I plan to put it is under a cabinet so upwards movement will be restricted.
     
  8. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #8
    The issue with the VESA mount, is that the adaptors are only available for the 24". I would go with the MBP, and set it on a stand, and use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse with it.

    Don
     
  9. andy8408 macrumors newbie

    andy8408

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    #9
    kitchen?

    Dont mean to be funny..but...why would you want a computer in the kitchen?
     
  10. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #10
    It may be alien if you don't actually cook a lot. In fact, I'm currently grilling the chicken I marinated and peppers separately to the sauce I'm also assembling.

    I can give you all sorts of reasons:

    - Because I can, and I am leet
    - Watching / listening to video/audio podcasts while cooking.
    - As a TV
    - Typing posts like this with the other end of a spatula while holding a glass of wine

    One thing I don't use it for is for recipes. I am that much of a Cooking God.
     
  11. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #11
    ^ haha! youre a legend :D.

    i am so gonna put a Mac in my kitchen when i get my career and my own house. the only question for me is MacBook or iMac?
     
  12. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #12
    Oh really? I thought they were all VESA compatible - but then, I've only had 24" iMacs. I was not aware of that. Still, not a big deal - the 20" (and all others mentioned) will fit under the cabinet.

    The problem with a laptop is really that it'll just be hanging there, with the frontage taking up unnecessary space.
     
  13. tompon1923 macrumors 6502

    tompon1923

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    #13
    I would go for a 19" monitor, mac mini and a VESA mount kit (to mount the mini), cheap solution and an awesome result :D
     
  14. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #14
    I wouldn't - the Dell Studio is the order of magnitude more awesome than that. Which is why I left it out.
     
  15. nidserz macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

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    #15
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5B108 Safari/525.20)

    have u thought of a MacBook with am external screen? This way I can watch tv ok a bigger screen, but also have it as a portable (to use ok the couch - my fav).

    Other than that the 20" iMac is great - screen, power, and reasonably priced Mac.
     
  16. jhkingsr macrumors regular

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    #16
    Guess I could have turned the monitor straight. Did a little upgrading from the photo in my sig. Mac mini and 19" Dell.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. 7031 macrumors 6502

    7031

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    #17
    Get the XPS One.

    BTW, with the Windows thing, I'm with you there. I'm moving back to PC as well.
     
  18. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Something with a touchscreen would be ideal for something like that. Like a tablet PC or one of those HP touch screens
     
  19. mikenike192 macrumors regular

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    Feb 19, 2008
    #19
    I would actually go with the new acer aspire x1200 its a very small desktop thats is quite powerful. Here are some specs

    * AMD Athlon™ X2 Dual Core 4850e Processor
    * NVIDIA® GeForce® 8200 On-Board Graphics
    * 4GB DDR2 Memory
    * 500GB SATA II Hard Drive
    * 16x DVD+R/RW, DVD-RAM SuperMulti, Double-Layer Drive
    * 14-in-One Media Card Reader
    * 22-inch Widescreen LCD Display
    * Windows Vista® Premium 64 with SP1

    all for $699

    so you get 4gb of ram a 22" monitor for it too which solves your monitor problem plus there is one pci express slot so you could even put a tv tuner in it so you can watch tv while you cook (food network anyone)

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #20
    If it's a choice between that and a Studio, then it's the Dell - no contest.

    I'm still leaning towards the iMac at this stage. I can't really see any impediment to buying a Mac for this use. But the One is a true all-in-one in terms of TV as well. I suppose I could add a different bluetooth keyboard/mouse to it. Hmmm.

    Srsly, do any of you spend any time inside a kitchen? I'd be cleaning it all the freakin time. At least a keyboard is disposable.
     
  21. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #21
    The easy cleanup is exactly why touchscreen is ideal. Keyboards will get ruined fast, and get grimy even faster. How many wireless keyboards do you expect to buy? All you have to do is wipe the screen with a paper towel once a week for a touchscreen, rather than deal with a disgusting sticky keyboard that you have to constantly replace. I dont know why you think a keyboard would be better in a kitchen environment, even if youre cooking and have crap all over your fingers you can still use a touchscreen without any fear of damaging it since glass is the easiest thing in the world to clean.
     
  22. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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  23. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    #23
    Its made of glass, it doesnt matter if your hands are covered in bbq sauce, it will just wipe off. Watery hands + keyboard = broken keyboard, watery hands + glass = clean glass. And theres no nooks and crannies in a glass screen for stuff like salt and crumbs to get into. Youd have to wash and dry your hands before touching the mouse or keyboard, with a screen you dont really have to do anything, just wipe off the screen when you are wiping off the countertop. And you can never have too much counter space, which would be taken up with a keyboard and mouse.
     
  24. Mjmar macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Hmmm... Mac Mini and a 17" monitor with built in speakers sounds good for that spot. Why spend so much money on power that you won't use.
     
  25. erikistired macrumors 6502

    erikistired

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    #25
    i'm a little biased since i'd rather slash my wrists than use a dell and/or windows, but out of your choices i'd probably set the macbook pro on top of the fridge or something, and just get a monitor, keyboard and mouse for whatever area you want them in. for a couple hundred bucks you could have it all done, since you already have the laptop.

    also, the base imac and the base xps one seem to be the same price, so i'm not sure why you have "more expensive" as a con for the imac. add in the 3 year warranty from dell vs applecare and the imac is cheaper, unless i'm completely missing something.

    edit: on 2nd thought, i'd go with my first suggestion, since the machine is free, over a mini.
     

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