The Best of the Best 2003: Appliances - Samsung HomePAD Internet Refrigerator

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Move over, professional range. The Internet refrigerator is taking control of the kitchen. The Samsung HomePAD Internet refrigerator will challenge the most uncompromising aesthete with its state-of-the-art fusion of technology, function, and design.

This 27-cubic-foot side-by-side refrigerator/freezer ($8,000) might become the kitchen status symbol of the decade. Its sleek, ribbed aluminum doors not only house an advanced digital display that controls all of its chill functions; the doors also double as a docking station for the pièce de résistance—a mobile 11-by- 9-inch web tablet (aka HomePAD).

The HomePAD is wired and ready for connection to high-speed ISPs as well as satellite and cable services. External inputs allow for hookup to DVD players and VCRs, which means that you can read and send e-mail (pop-up keyboard and stylus provided), surf the web, watch TV or movies on its 10.4-inch TFT-LCD screen, and leave text or video messages for family and friends. A schedule manager and phone directory will keep you organized, and for a futuristic take on the fridge magnet it boasts a built-in video camera and digital album. Countless images can be stored, shared over the Internet, or programmed as screen savers.

The best part: As the stew simmers, the lightweight 2.2-pound HomePAD can be detached and carried into the breakfast room or out to the terrace.

On the practical side are features found in other top-of-the-line refrigerator models: separate cooling systems for refrigerator and freezer, an extra-tall ice and water dispenser, quick cooling to maintain optimum temperatures, reduced noise level, and an internal refrigerator manager to monitor performance.

Samsung Electronics America, 800.SAMSUNG, www.samsungusa.com

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