The reasons to have a PC in the kitchen

If your family is anything like mine, you spend a lot of time in your kitchen. Forget online social networking hubs; the kitchen is the social centre of the house. It's the place where we're most likely to bump into family members, and some families even gather for regularly scheduled daily meals in the kitchen, or so I'm told.

Therefore, it's strange to think that people have marketed kitchen PCs in the past, but you hardly ever see computers in people's kitchens. Televisions, on the other hand...

People prep for their day, eat meals, and even hang out and do homework in the kitchen. Many families have multiple PCs, and those PCs are getting less expensive, so it could make sense for you to dedicate one household PC for the most important room in the house.

Initially, it might seem like a laptop could be a good fit for the kitchen, but these days, a better option would be the touchscreen all-in-one desktop PC. Almost all of them have larger screens than "monstrous" 17in laptops. Most all-in-one PCs start at 20in and go up to 27in. A larger screen is undoubtedly better if you're gathered around sharing Facebook updates. Also, most touchscreen PCs have a wireless keyboard and mouse that can be stashed away, safe from coffee spills (unlike a laptop with its vulnerable built-in keyboard).

And of course, with the advent of Windows 8, you now have a touch-friendly operating system for your all-in-one. With touch, you'll find yourself swiping through calendar info, weather, news, and even electronic post-it notes from other family members. The large screen is a major benefit with touch operation, of course, and the touch interface makes looking up a recipe as easy as a Google Search. You can even find and follow cooking videos and tips on YouTube.

A kitchen-based all-in-one PC is also a boon for students. They can easily look up entries on Wikipedia, make sure the facts are accurate on other sites, find that required reading at your local library or book store, and so on. Having a computer in the kitchen also means that you can keep an eye on your little darlings, to make sure they're not spending too much time on, shall we say, non-schoolwork.

Family members will like using the all-in-one PC to view the likes of films and TV shows online as well. There are hundreds of thousands of hours of TV and movies on Netflix and Lovefilm. If you add Internet radio, music from your hard drive, individual TV channel's catch-up services and You Tube, you'll never be without a thing to watch or listen to. Whether you're passing time waiting for a meal to finish cooking or just hanging out with a midnight snack, the PC in the kitchen can replace the TV and radio.

Furthermore, it's easy to keep a rolling grocery list on the PC, and better yet you can use it to order groceries online from your local supermarket.

Last, but not least, you don't need to give up precious counter space to the PC: Many all-in-one PCs let you pop off their desk stand and mount the whole shebang to a wall or cabinet (with a VESA mount that may be bundled with the machine, or bought as an optional accessory).