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Review: Key Ingredient Recipe Reader HD

Written By | Dec 17, 2015

SEATTLE, Dec. 17, 2015 — Key Ingredient is a recipe website with some cool technology. This recipe website is always looking for ways to become your “virtual recipe box” in the kitchen and because of that, we now find ourselves the Key Ingredient’s Recipe Reader HD. This updated model is light years better than their effort a year ago.

This Android-powered device is not only a full-featured tablet but comes out of the box with the Key Ingredient application that allows you to easily store and organize recipes. If you’re so inclined, the app will read aloud to you the recipe, step by step.

  • 8-core 2.1Ghz Processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB Internal Flash Drive SD-card Enabled, and FM Radio
  • Runs on Customized Android Amazon App Store
  • 12GB of internal storage
  • 2043 x 1536 Pixel 10 inch display
  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth 4.0 Enabled
  • Preloaded Apps: Key Ingredient Recipes, Unit Conversion Tool, Kitchen Timer
  • Camera: 8 Megapixel front and 13 Megapixel rear quality

Key Ingredient definitely intended this unit to be used in the kitchen and claims that it has a water-resistant body and screen; however, we didn’t test first-hand. We’ll take their word for it. There’s an included stand that allows you to set it upright on the counter and an alternate mounting plate that allows you to hang it from the upper cabinets.

Recipe Reader HD with optional under-cabinet mount

The primary focus of this tablet is a recipe reader, and because of that the Key Ingredient application is what’s used for the recipes. While the app itself is useful for collecting recipes, you’re tied into the Key Ingredient database — you can install other recipes applications if you’d like to pull from a different source.

Having a tablet that reads you recipes as you cook is a nice touch,, but we noticed the speakers don’t go up loud enough for a kitchen environment to really hear it. To help bolster this feature, we implemented a Bluetooth speaker. Additionally, the female voice is rather robotic sounding, so not all the words it reads are clear. In fact, the speakers don’t fare too well with movie watching either, so earbuds or an external, powered speaker are what you’ll want to get.

The built-in front and rear facing cameras work well for most snapshot scenarios with outstanding resolution and pretty decent white balance. Key Ingredient does offer a paid service that allows you to take pictures of your recipes, upload them and have them transcribed into a digital format.

The screen quality is stellar, super bright, crisp and easy to read. In fact, it really is one of the best screens we’ve seen to date on any kind of tablet.

Being powered by Android is a bonus, but being tied to Amazon for apps isn’t the best case scenario – we’d prefer Google Play Store all day long. Sure it has Amazon Underground, but so many of the apps you grab there are riddled with advertising. To get around using Amazon, one could always “root” the tablet and install a version of Android that uses the Google Play Store instead.

For a current price of $199 (includes the stand), it’s a very capable tablet that can hold its own in a crowded market of tablets. It travels great, plays back Netflix and other streaming services without any noticeable lag. The screen is nearly sublime, and the overall feel of the Recipe Reader HD feels like a well-put-together, well-thought out tablet that also happens to do pretty good as your new virtual recipe box.

Has Key Ingredient hit a home-run? No but it’s at least a third base effort. The fact that its primary feature, recipe reading, has a voice that’s not overly pleasant to listen to and requires an external speaker to hear better means it’s just a short base-run away from that coveted home run.

Duane Pemberton

Duane Pemberton is a lifestyle writer and CDNs Auto Editor. Pemberton loves anything that helps bring people together which is why he writes about food, wine, cars, and travel.