KitchenAid's smart display shrugs off sauce and running water

Of course KitchenAid made the perfect smart display for cooking.

A hundred years since its inception, KitchenAid is ready to drop its most modern product yet. It unveiled a smart display here at CES 2019 and managed to differentiate from other similar products by making its device water-resistant. Thanks to its IPX5 rating, the KitchenAid will survive even if you held it under running water.

Don't take it from me, it was KitchenAid's own rep who told me that when you dirty the device, as you're wont to in a kitchen, you can wash it under a tap. That feature alone makes it pretty compelling for use while cooking. Just imagine -- you're following a video tutorial on how to bake the perfect scone, and an ad pops up while you're mid-mix.

You might have to use your flour-covered fingers to flick the ad away or mute the device to avoid getting hypnotized. Of course you could easily wipe the gadget clean with a towel later, but clean freaks like me might prefer a more thorough rinse.

Another reason the KitchenAid display is helpful for aspiring chefs is its Yummly integration. You can ask Google Assistant to search the service for recipes of your favorite food. Since Yummly is owned by KitchenAid's parent company Whirlpool, the smart display also comes with an exclusive Yummly Pro portal that offers premium chef content. Otherwise, Yummly is also available on the Lenovo Smart Display.

Unfortunately, the demo unit we saw wasn't actually up and running, and was looping a video instead, so we didn't get to test most of the features. But I did get to lift the device, and based on our experience, it's a bit lighter than the Lenovo Smart Display.

It's also a bit different seeing the KitchenAid display in person as opposed to looking at the press pictures. Rudimentary, functional, basic and practical were a few words my colleague and I threw about when thinking about how to describe the device's appearance. Don't get me wrong, I like it (as you can tell from my subheadline), but its design is indeed quite generic. There's nothing wrong with generic, though.

KitchenAid's option looks like a slightly less rectangular, a little curvier alternative to the Lenovo Smart Display. Its white plastic shell is plain, but will easily blend into your kitchen countertop. I'm not sure how I feel about its protruding rear, but it does provide balance and houses four speakers that were loud enough for me to hear over the noisy convention floor.

I would wait till we can test out a working version of the KitchenAid Smart Display before recommending you buy one, but if you already want it, good news. It'll cost between $200 and $300, which is about the same price range as competing devices. But you might have to wait for awhile, as KitchenAid said it's only shipping the display in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, please don't chuck your smart displays under running water. Cook safe.