If you’re trying to make your kitchen a little more high-tech, Sony has just the tablet for you. The Sony Xperia Tablet Z: Kitchen Edition takes Sony’s water-resistant Xperia Z tablet and loads it up with cooking apps and recipes from Saveur magazine, and throws in a kitchen stand and a Bluetooth thermometer.
Outside of software, this appears to be the same Xperia Tablet Z Sony introduced earlier this year. It features a 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200 screen, 32 GB of storage, and a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. But before you take off your oven gloves to go run out and buy it, first take a bite out of the price: $649.99. Sony is touting that fact that the tablet comes with $115 worth of accessories, which makes it a slightly better deal than the $599.99 Tablet Z.
Let’s take a closer look at those accessories. You get an iGrill thermometer, which is a Bluetooth-enabled meat thermometer that lets you monitor food temperatures from up to 200 feet away. You also get a foldable stand to prop the tablet up on the kitchen counter, which is helpful when reading a recipe. Everything else included are apps. There’s Big Oven, Evernote Food, Food Planner Pro, and Out of Milk Shopping List, as well as juicing recipes and a year’s worth of recipes from Saveur magazine.
Saveur recipes aside, there isn’t anything here that you can’t buy or download for any other tablet. Sony offers it in one convenient package, and the Tablet Z is water-resistant, which does make it ideal for use in the kitchen. But if you buy all of these apps and accessories piecemeal, along with a far less expensive tablet like the $269 Nexus 7 (for 32 GB), and get a protective waterproof sleeve, you can create the same setup and save yourself a couple of hundred bucks.
Sony isn’t the first manufacturer to try to make a tablet specifically for the kitchen. The Linux-based Qooq tablet comes to mind. It’s far more cooking-focused, filled with recipes and chef how-to videos, but it’s also of little use as an actual tablet. The Tablet Z is much more well-rounded – it just requires a champagne budget.