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Key Ingredient Recipe Reader HD+ review: This high-end Android tablet is customized for kitchen duty

Yardena Arar | Dec. 8, 2015
This second-generation kitchen tablet made us forget all about Key Ingredient’s terrible first effort.

Key Ingredient Recipe Reader HD+

I keep an old iPad in my kitchen to look up recipes online. It works pretty well as long as I remember to disable Auto Lock in the settings in order to keep the screen from going dark—the default setting shuts it down after a couple of minutes to prolong battery life. The reverse is true of the Key Ingredient Recipe Reader HD+. By default this 10-inch Android-Amazon-based tablet will stay on for hours so that you don’t risk losing sight of a recipe at a crucial moment.

That’s one of several features designed with chefs in mind—probably high-end chefs, as the price tag for the tablet, which comes bundled with a stand you can place on a counter or mount under a cabinet, is a hefty $399 (although it’s currently on sale for a much more reasonable $199. That’s $30 less than the price of Amazon’s Fire HD 10, which delivers lower specifications.)

The tablet itself is top-shelf, with a crisp, bright 2043x1536-pixel display; an 8-megapixel front and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera (for high-def food snaps); an 8-core, 2.1GHz processor; 2GB of RAM; 16GB of internal flash storage; an SD Card slot; and an FM radio. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support are also included. It’s miles beyond the Key Ingredient’s earlier Recipe Tablet.

The Recipe Reader comes with Key Ingredient’s cookbook app, a recipe manager that can actually read directions aloud. I’m not sure that it has enough smarts to pace its read-back with the actual time required for specific actions, though, and you’re out of luck for directions that aren’t completely sequential. (Key Ingredient acknowledges the reader can’t handle all situations.)

You also get a kitchen timer app that lets you set times for several dishes (with the iPad’s clock feature, I can only set a single timer) and a weight and volume conversion app (which is handy if you want to use recipes from websites that use the metric system, but then why not add Centigrade/Fahrenheit conversion too?). You can download additional apps from Amazon’s app store.

The Recipe Reader also hooks you into Key Ingredient’s website, which offers access to thousands if not millions of recipes, curated by Key Ingredient community members. You must create a free account to post and save recipes to your own custom cookbooks, but on the tablet you can only do this by typing them in or becoming a Prime member, a $20-per-year extra that (among other things) gives you access to a service for digitizing printed or handwritten recipes. You get one year of Prime membership free with your purchase of the Recipe Reader, but I had to contact Key Ingredient to activate it, apparently due to a bug. (In case you were wondering, Key Ingredient’s Prime membership is not at all related to Amazon Prime.)


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