microwave oven doesn't have to be the most modern gadget in
the kitchen. Thanks to smart appliances, wireless technology
and low-profile designs, budding chefs can bring unobtrusive
audio, video and computer technology into everybody's favourite
room of the house.
LCD TVs are plasmas' baby brothers and their thin form factors
allow you to place them under cabinets or on the wall. A model
with an integrated TV tuner and speakers means that you don't
have to hook up additional gear. We like Sharp's 20-inch LC-20B2U
in the kitchen; its relatively large, bright screen means you
can easily follow along with your favourite cooking shows.
In the future, even your socks will be connected to the Web,
but today, you'll have to settle for a Web-enabled refrigerator
and microwave from LG. The Korean manufacturer is the first
company to bring the Web into the kitchen via appliances, and
its flagship product is the LRSPC2661T Internet Refrigerator.
This icebox has a 15-inch touch-screen LCD and an Ethernet connection,
giving you all you need to control the home network, surf for
recipes, and even leave video messages for family members from
one chilly spot.
Sure, you could always sing to yourself while cooking, but why
bother, when a quality table radio can cover harsh kitchen noises
with soothing melodies? With its rich tones and built-in CD
player, the Cambridge SoundWorks 740 is a great candidate. It's
even available in an ivory finish.
NOTEBOOK WITH WI-FI
Although it's pretty neat to have a dedicated computer in your
refrigerator or under the counter, the versatility of a notebook
computer is always welcome--as long as you keep food out of
the keys while you're Google-ing for chicken cacciatore. We're
going with the Sony VAIO TR series because of its svelte design,
wireless-friendly Centrino processing, and long battery life.
Talking on the phone and stirring the pancake batter go together
like, well, pancakes and syrup. Besides, the kitchen has traditionally
been a great central spot for a family phone, especially to
serve fridge-raiding kids. Our top pick, AT&T's 5.8GHz,
Wi-Fi friendly 5840, won't interfere with your wireless home
network and includes an integrated digital answering machine