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

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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