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There is no doubt that this Bosch kettle has its advantages, it's robust, modern, quick, easy to use and reliable, but I have failed to fall in love with it. It has several major problems which I would not expect of such a modern and expensive product. It makes me think that a cheap kettle boils water just as well as this rather difficult to live with more extravagant Bosch version.
The kettle is far from perfect and I feel that the desire of Bosch to get noticed hasn't really helped either. For a reason which I cannot understand a decision has been made to place the area where it is possible to see into the kettle to view the water level exactly behind the place where the handle is. This defeats the object in every sense. I get the feeling that practicality has been somewhat sacrificed in favour of getting noticed in the shops but the designers need to remember that an unsatisfied customer doesn't return. Bosch are not the only manufacturer who this problem seems to affect but I really struggle to see why they cannot place the area where you check the water level somewhere other than behind the handle.
By far the worst problem that the kettle has is the ridiculous beep noise that it makes as soon as you set it to boil water and when it has completed boiling the water. It may sound like a good idea because it is easy to judge when it has finished but in reality it has become just a nuisance to my family. The loud beep is fine when everyone is awake but it is far from ideal if you want some quiet. My house has very thick walls but the beep can be heard both upstairs and in almost all of the other rooms. There is no way to turn down the noise either which makes me once again think that the kettle lacks thought to the design.
To continue with the theme of noise the kettle is ridiculously noisy. Prior to buying it I used a much cheaper plain kettle with none of the design features that the Bosch has and it made half as much noise as the Bosch. I can only assume that noise has been disregarded in favour of a speedy boiling time. If future versions of the kettle can reduce the noise it has the potential to be market am excellent product but without doubt it needs some further development in this area. The kettle makes a deep rumbling noise as it boils up the water, similar to that of a jet engine powering an aeroplane down the runway, although when standing next to the kettle you can just about get away without wearing ear muffs!
Size is not something that I would usually bring up when it comes to kettles but the Bosch TWK takes up a considerable amount of unit space. The fact that the base is the is actually a rectangle means that it perhaps seems to be larger than it actually is hence why most kettles adopt the circle shape. The base is not unsightly and fits very neatly into the corner of my kitchen though.
Does It Burn A Hole In The Wallet?
You will have no problems finding a place to buy the kettle, it is stocked by all of the usual suspects both online and also on the high street. As usual there is little between the main high street competitors with Argos, Currys and John Lewis all charging £59-99 but it was the online retailer Amazon who are marginally the cheapest with a price of £56-69. However, if you need the kettle quickly they may charge a hefty delivery charge which can result in little price difference between shopping online and in the shops. Avoid House Of Fraser and very.co.uk as they both charge ten pounds more than Currys, Argos and John Lewis with a price of £69-00. The pick of the big supermarkets is ASDA who are only a penny more expensive than its high street rivals charging the round figure of £60-00.
The Redeeming Features
The most obvious attribute of the kettle has to be how speedy it is at boiling water. This is without doubt why I award the kettle three stars, at the end of the day the job of a kettle is to boil water and it does do this effectively. Not only does it boil the water quickly it also has three buttons with lights on the base part of the kettle, these show how far toward boiling point the kettle has got to. The lights are not something that I would go out of my way to praise but they do make it stand out from some of the many other kettles. Furthermore they have a dual function because you can choose how hot you want the water to be. There are four options in total (70°C, 80°C, 90°C and 100°C) and it is a great idea for people who do not like drinks to be piping hot like I like them.
I think that we have all had that situation where different people get home at different times, and they all want a cup of tea. This can sometimes mean that the kettle is boiled three of even four time in a ten minute interval, this uses more energy and is often unnecessary. Well Bosch have a solution that is simple and easy to use. The 'keep warm' setting means that if you want to put the kettle on and dash out for a short while, when you get back the water will not have lost all of its heat. It does this by using sensors to see when the water goes below a particular temperature and then doing a mini boil instead of boiling the water up completely once again. I must admit I love little clever ideas that remove small problems from my life and this is a top innovation. Although not a vast amount of energy is saved, in these time of price hikes, every little helps.
When it comes to cleaning the product also scores very well, the lack of large amounts of see through material means that smearing is not anything like the problem that it used to be when I have cleaned kettles in the past. Furthermore the black exterior means that you don't have to worry about visitors noticing any lime scale build up. The sturdy build of the kettle means that I never feel afraid to give it a full going over, I have never had any bits fall off it and it is just as strong as the day that I purchased it.
I went for a solid three stars because without a doubt there are some design flaws, especially the beeping noise. Bosch could have discovered the faults if they had done a little more customer research, it is clear that during the design phase nobody actually tried living with the kettle for a long time. As the kettle is not cheap I believe that it is only reasonable to expect that many of the design issues will have already been ironed out. However, if you can get over some of the design issues it cannot be matched for boiling speed and there are also several added touches that make me think that the product could have been five star very easily.
This review is of the Bosch TWK8633GB jug kettle, which retails at a recommended price of 69.99 pounds.
At the time of writing Dooyoo don't have a product image for this kettle, just an image which says the manufacturer doesn't allow a picture to be displayed, which I'm not sure that I understand. But to describe the kettle, it is primarily made of black plastic, although the top section is silver. There is quite a robust look to the kettle, which I find looks quite stylish.
The kettle has a capacity of 1,500ml, which is nearly always more than I need, and so it is useful that there is a minimum capacity of 300ml, which makes one cup of coffee or tea nicely. I found that the kettle boils quickly compared to other kettles, and it doesn't seem to make an excessive amount of noise when boiling.
Although I'm not sure how to measure this, it did come in a box which noted that it was a low energy kettle and thus saved on electricity and helped the environment just a little bit more than other kettles. However if you're keen to save a little by getting an energy efficient kettle, this seems to be a good option.
The feature that I like, and haven't had on my previous cheaper kettles, is that you can choose which temperature to boil the kettle to. Instead therefore of having to boil the kettle to 100 degrees you can heat the water to lower levels, which are 70, 80 or 90 degrees. I don't use boiling water in coffee, which is probably not the correct way to make it, but this feature is therefore useful for me in this regard.
Another very useful feature is the "keep warm" option, which lets you boil the kettle and then allows it to keep the water warm if someone else needs to use the water a few minutes after. Although I don't use this feature very often, I can see how it would be useful for some.
In terms of the reliability I have been using this kettle for around three months, replacing a different earlier cheaper model where the plastic started to crack. This kettle seems much more robust, I've had no problems with leaks, cracks, jams or anything else, and I feel that on balance it appears to be a well made kettle.
I haven't really noticed any negatives about this kettle, although it does make quite a shrill beep when the water is boiled, and although this doesn't particularly bother me, I haven't found a way of turning this off. For those that aren't keen on the colour, there is also a white model available, and Bosch also make some matching kitchen appliances in the same colours, although this is the only product that I have from this manufacturer.
This kettle was acquired at Comet's before the retailer closed down, so it was purchased for a cheaper price, of under 40 pounds. However, looking at some web-sites of retailers, you would expect to pay between 50 and 60 pounds for this kettle at the moment, although there are probably some cheaper options around.
Overall I would recommend this kettle, although some may not like its look. It is more expensive than other kettles, but it boils quickly and efficiently. I feel that the kettle itself is robust, and it has some features such as variable temperature options and a keep warm function which are quite useful.
I bought this on the strength of a Which? review. I like products to last, and my previous Jug kettle was a Russell Hobbs which lasted 10 years, before it began to leak.
This is not a run of the mill kettle, as the controls are on the base, rather than the kettle. There are some useful features, like being able to heat water to different temperatures - (handy if you have herbal teas, which don't have milk added to cool them down), and theres a useful keep warm feature too.
However! I have to be honest - I don't use any of these features at all, in practice just doing what I've always done with a Kettle - hit the button and wait for it to go beep when its done (a useful feature incidentally).
There were some initial teething troubles with the lid - you have to press it to open for refilling, but it would take several presses before it successfully opened. This problem seems to have disappeared as the kettle has worn in.
I have to say, it does look pretty sexy in the kitchen (can a kettle be sexy?!!), and it's much easy to keep clean being only part stainless steel.
All in all, recommended, if you're prepared to meet the rather steep price tag and are confident you'll be using the extra features you're paying extra for.
Short name: Bosch TWK8633GB