Recipe books still sell by the boatload, but more and more people are turning to websites for their cooking instructions, and one company wants to see more of this, with the upcoming release of a kitchen-friendly tablet

Set to be released soon by Australian company DigiFrame, the NetChef is a WiFi-enabled Android tablet encased in a small dock with speakers that you can sit anywhere in your kitchen and use as a digital cookbook.

The casing makes it a fair bit bulkier than your traditional wafer thin tablet, but that looks to help it survive the cooking environment, yielding a touchscreen computer that won’t worry about being touched with kitchen hands, as it’s heat and water resistant.

Featuring an 8 inch screen with 800×600 (4:3) resolution, the tablet features 2GB of storage, but can be upgraded with an SD card for more capacity.

While we haven’t been told what version of Android is included, the screenshots lead us to believe it will be something predating Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

That said, DigiFrame is customising the system to feature quick link to 500 recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as shortcuts to apps for Coles, Woolworths, and popular recipe sites in Australia.

Social networking is also possible through the tablet, allowing you to share what you’re cooking up on Twitter and Facebook, while other apps can be grabbed from the Google Play store.

From an early preview, we don’t expect that this will compete with the likes of Samsung, Apple, Toshiba, Asus or any other high-end tablet brand, but the DigiFrame Netchef offers something different, potentially providing a tablet for the kitchen of someone who isn’t sure they need one, perhaps your parents or grandparents.

The NetChef should be arriving in the coming weeks for $349, where it will come with a stylus – in case you don’t want to get the screen grubby – and an 8GB SD card.