If the PR is to be believed, French outfit UNOWHY (yes, really) has already taken its native Gaul by storm with its latest cuisine-focused tablet, dubbed QOOQ. (‘cook’ geddit, though actually, the 10.1-incher’s formal title is ‘la tablette QOOQ’, merci beaucoup!) And now the company’s translated the kitchen-based tech for English speaking tastes, shipping the splashproof tablet with English menus and instructions for $399 in the US or £289 in the UK

What is it?

The Qooq is a tablet built for the kitchen. Though calling it a tablet is a bit of a stretch. You can browse the web, conduct email, listen to music, and do the whole social networking thing, but not with the same ease and grace you may be accustomed to on an iPad. No, the Qooq is for the kitchen. But in the kitchen, the Qooq offers almost anything you could ask for. The kickstand props it up nicely to browse through recipes or search for ingredients, and with an Epicurious like menu you can whip up almost anything with the help of the Qooq

Slightly deeper than a standard tablet, it’s been built to take the rigours of a kitchen. The 10” screen is thick and toughened, the case is waterproof, wipeable and shockproof, while flexible seals cover the ports for Ethernet, SD card and USB2. The slip proof studs and legs ensure that the tablet stays put on the kitchen counter and the retractable support holds the tablet in the right aspect on the kitchen counter top

Why is it good?

Each QOOQ comes preloaded with 1,000 international recipes that can be accessed by cuisine type, difficulty level, preparation time and ingredients. You can customise the cooking experience to suit the chef and their kitchen

Users can purchase additional recipes, which are available individually or in themed packs and are focused on such topics as a destination, an ingredient or a specific chef. There is a catalogue of over 4,000 multimedia recipes made for Qooq by more than 100 chefs

The there are the videos that go with the recipes. Not scrappy YouTube type ones but professional HD multi camera videos made in Qooq’s own studios by the featured chefs working in a mock-up of a home kitchen. Each video is coded to the cooking instructions so that when you touch a sentence in the ‘how to’ the video immediately cuts to that section

This is rather cool and clever, making mastering any tricky or misunderstood bits very easy indeed. Just watch that section again, with no fiddling around trying to move a timeline on the video.  A quick tap and voila!

So pick your chef recipe and go to ‘ingredients’. Already got some of what you need in the house? Then check the tick box. When you’ve finished the Qooq will send the list of what you need to your email address, or if you have a wireless linked printer in the house you can print straight out. The more you use the gadget, the more it learns your style of cooking, likes and dislikes

Got a fridge full of odds and ends? Then tell Qooq all what you have and it will scour its on-board database, and also via Wi-Fi its home planet, to come up with a range of suggestions. You can narrow the search to exclude anything you’re allergic to or simply don’t like, by seasonality or by overall price. Tell it the number of people eating and it will auto adjust recipe amounts, meaning no more mental arithmetic and the possibility of a major mistake. You can also search by cuisine type, ethnicity and style such as Bistro or Michelin

On screen are count down timers and clocks with alarms that are all very useful. It can play music through its stereo speakers from your MP3 library while you work, and you can also play films on it while you wait for something to bake, boil or burn

If you opt for the subscription service at $99/ £66 a year, every month the Qooq updates itself with more recipes from the web and you get a bespoke magazine pushed to you as well. You can add your own recipes to it and share with other Qooqers through its on-board access to Twitter, Facebook etc. You can also browse the web with it, just like any other tablet

The Qooq tablet can be bought direct from their website www.qooq.com/en/

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