In this first edition of Feature Friday, we are going to forego the boring old bat cave and million dollar living room in favor of a wee bit of creativity. Brilliant user Oliver Owen, of the UK, has been using various versions of XBMC since 2003. He has had XBMC installed on at least one box in nearly every room in his flat. Recently, he decided to add another room to the XBMC fold by building a custom touchscreen version of XBMC in his kitchen, primarily for music playback and easy access to the weather application.
XBMC on the iPad, of course, would not do, because Oli’s twin goals were minimal expenses and girlfriend approval. As such, portability wasn’t a major concern, but cost was.
Cost is the biggest problem for nearly all modern tablets. They look nice. You can attach them to a refrigerator. You can create a kitchen stand out of chopsticks. You can even equip them with meat thermometers!
But you can’t get a tablet cheap. XBMC is free and can run on relatively simple minimal equipment. There’s really no reason to get fancy on the hardware, when XBMC can handle fancy all on its own. And that’s doubly true when you have no need or interest in playing HD content.
So Mr. Owen picked up an Acer Travelmate C110 off of ebay for 40 pounds sterling and a touchscreen kit for another £35. If you’re counting at home, that’s £75, a savings of about £325 off the £399 price of the cheapest iPad.