Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Audiovox Homebase - A Sleek Kitchen Message Board with Picture Frame

audiovox kitchen message boardI'm sure each one of you has a kitchen "white-board" sticking to your fridge on which you scribble your grocery lists and leave messages for your family! Till now, I thought it was a wonderful addition to my kitchen, but a look at the Audiovox Homebase totally won me over! It combines the extremely essential message center with a digital picture frame, all in a sleek and stylish design that adds a lively dimension to your kitchen. With an ability to record audio and video messages, or scribble in the old-fashioned way, and also find a place for sticking notes and post-its, Audiovox has thought of everything when it designed this Homebase Message Center. It is creative, innovative, and really easy to use; in fact, it simply calls out to you to "leave a message" on the refrigerator! But there's more to this kitchen gadget than what meets the eye!

The Homebase features a 7 inch LCD color display, and comes with 512MB of built-in memory, which can be expanded with an external memory card. You can buy the combined Audio-Video Homebase, which allows you to record audio and video messages. Elegantly designed in white with green menu buttons, it looks sleek and can fit any kitchen decor. The small size makes it ideal for mounting on the fridge, but you can choose to mount it on a wall instead, or level it on a counter-top, whichever suits your convenience.

The Homebase doesn’t require any software setup to get started. The setup is extremely simple, even for non-tech-savvy people! As soon as you plug it in, a homebase logo pops up on the screen, followed by a slideshow presentation guiding you through the settings and options. With simple navigation and Yes/No selections, you can easily train the unit to record memos, timer settings, calendar options, and of course, record and playback audio/video messages; a green light indicates new messages and turns off after you've listened to it! The unit also has slots for a dry-erase marker and magnetic borders for post-it pads useful for quick scribbling.

But the highlight of this gadget is the ability to upload and play digital photos. You can choose to store photos (via USB) on the device memory, then keep playing them as still images or slideshows! pretty cool huh! It even makes the Homebase to be a beautiful gift for someone! The voice and video quality is pretty decent from the reviews I read, and the look and feel is definitely appealing. Besides, its also actually useful. The Audio-only version is currently selling for $149 (the A/V version will be available in late summer for $199). It does sound a bit high for just a message board, but if you compare it to digital picture frames, the price is pretty competitive!

The only change I might have liked was that it should support battery-power, so that its easy to mount and reduces clutter. Its hard to cover wires behind the frame on the fridge! But other than that, the Audiovox Homebase sure looks like a useful and innovative kitchen gadget that I've seen in some time.

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