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Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Hands On With LG's Cool New Smart Refrigerator
LG's new smart fridge runs Windows 10 on a built-in 29-inch tablet. We got a chance to check it out at IFA.
BERLIN—Is it a fridge? Or a tablet? It's both! Sort of. At IFA this year, LG revealed the Smart Instaview Door-in-Door, a connected refrigerator that runs Windows 10. It sports a translucent display right on the front door, which doubles as a massive 29-inch Windows tablet. I got a chance to see the fridge up close and personal at the show.
In general, the Instaview is pretty similar to the Samsung Family Hub we saw earlier this year at CES: both are sleek refrigerators with gigantic touch screens on the right side door. But whereas the Family Hub runs Samsung's homegrown Tizen software on its 21.5-inch display, the Instaview is running a full version of Microsoft Windows 10 on a built-in 29-inch screen.
You can post notes, share calendar reminders that sync up with your phone, run apps like Pandora, and drag icons around the screen to indicate various things, like a countdown timer for the roast in the oven, an expiration date for the milk you just bought, or a cake graphic for birthdays. Since this is Windows 10, you can also do things like browse the Internet, watch videos, and look up recipes.
I asked an LG PR rep if you can run any app that a standard Windows 10 tablet or PC can, like, Skype or a video game, but didn't get a firm answer. That said, I wouldn't expect to be playing No Man's Sky on it anytime soon. But you can use Microsoft's digital assistant Cortana for voice control, something Samsung's Family Hub lacks.
Sure to become a smart fridge standard, the Instaview comes equipped with a built-in 2-megapixel panoramic camera, so you can view what's inside on your phone while you're at the grocery store. And the built-in tablet display can go translucent to show you what's inside.
And smart features aside, the Instaview Door-in-Door looks like a pretty nice refrigerator in general. It has two large front doors up top, two smaller freezer doors below, and plenty of spacious shelving inside.
LG has no details on pricing or a release date yet, but be sure to check back for more updates.