The kitchen computer - are we there yet?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jensen G, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Jensen G macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2009
    I love my iPhone and I love my Mac, but there is definitely a need that has yet to be fulfilled. I find in-house information sharing to be pretty tough and non-interactive between me and my partner. What I really want is some sort of mini-computer that sticks on my fridge or another frequent-use area to show our calendars, to-dos, maybe devote some virtual space to a photo, etc. Basically, widgets in my kitchen.

    I know there's no apple device that can do this and maybe never will be (Apple tablet as envisioned by many might be too expensive for this kind of thing). Is there anything else out there? Can't stand Windows, but might consider a propriety *nix OS or something similar.

    It just seems like such a basic thing to have in this age of technology. I remember hearing about this kind of thing several years ago but have seen nothing in the last couple years..
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    You could always get an iMac and use a VESA mount, or get a Mac Mini with an ACD with VESA mount.

    Another route might be an Apple Laptop that you put on the counter with a stand so that spills won't bother it.
  3. Jensen G thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2009
    My personal criteria include the following

    • inexpensive (under $500, hopefully well under)
    • touchscreen made to be used vertically without a keyboard
    • OS designed or modified to do simpler things. . . e.g. how the iPhone OS is designed to be simpler and easier to use than Mac OS
    • widgets or apps designed with vertical/touchscreen use in mind

    Sort of like how I (personally) opted to go for a Roku Box for online media instead of hacking a mac mini to do many of the same things...I'm looking for an out of the box experience that both me and my less tech savvy girlfriend can use immediately.
  4. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
  5. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    This violates a lot of your criteria, but we use a hackintoshed dell mini 10v for our kitchen machine. I'm currently modding a slide-out tray for under-cupboard storage so it tucks out of the way. It can access either of our computers via screen sharing, so we can reference anything on either machine or surf the web.
  6. Rooskibar03 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    State of Denial
    I've never played with one personally and of course you must be on their service, but the Verizon Hub looks like a possible solution.
  7. tdgrn macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2008
    Little Rock, AR
    You might want to look into a Net top. Asus makes an EEE touchscreen AIO computer that is pretty cheap. (Don't know how much they were, I know they were though)
  8. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    There are some digital picture frames that offer widgets like you've described...

    Better, though, would be a proper computer. Remember those fridges that had TVs built in? Why not a touch-screen computer with a simplified OS? Keep track of appointments, email, recipes... if it could connect to your phone line and display messages/call ID, all the better.

    Verizon's Hub is a good start, but it needs improvement, based on my reading... :)

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