<< UPDATE AT END OF REVIEW >>
Kenwood SJM350 aka Kenwood Response Kettle
Having dropped our glass Morphy Richards Illuma Jug Kettle , I was despatched to buy a replacement . I was in a hurry , so chose Argos as my only point of call . A quick glance through the in-store catalogue and I was left with a choice of two , so I weighed up their pro's and con's of each and decided to opt for the Kenwood SJM350 aka Kenwood Response Kettle , which retails at £34.99 ( Argos cat. no. 422-9942 )
Back when I was a young lad , kettles were simplistic , you either had a whistler that was used on a gas hob or an electric variant - always steel finished , always corded and with an on/off switch .
Nowadays manufacturers have brought the humble kettle up to date and this kettle is in the forefront when it comes to features , just look at these :
1) 1.7 ltr. capacity - brushed metal casing.
2) 3 kw concealed element and rapid boil
3) Jug type , with easy pour spout and fillable via spout or flipping the lid up ( not removable , but has safety locking function ).
4) Corded base with approx. 3 feet of cable which can be stored in the base if not all required.
5) Jug kettle has 360 degree movability .
6) Boil dry safety cut out
7) Removable and washable limescale filter.
8) Twin water windows with graduated water measurments .
9) Automatic switch off
10 Illuminated power indicator and progressive colour changing illumination during boiling.
11) Keep warm mode .
12) Built in speaker / buzzer
Whilst the majority of the above are common to most kettles , I will elaborate on the few that are not , namely :
1) Progressive colour changing illumination :- yes as the water boils the colour through the windows changes from blue when cold to red when boiling . In total there is a six colour sequence . During boilingthe on/off switch is illuminated red .
2) Keep warm mode :- whilst you push the on/off switch down to boil water , once boiled you can lift the switch upwards . At the point the kettle stays illuminated orange and the switch is illuminated blue . The ketle then keeps the remaining water at 80 degress c. .
3) Built in speaker :- this sounds once when the kettle is placed on its base . It also beeps once when you press the on/off button and it beeps three times once the kettle has boiled fully. It is audible without being overly loud .
So there you have a decently priced kettle , feature full , reliable and a greating talking point to those who see it for the first time. Well worth investing in.
<< UPDATE 07/11/2008 >>
Three replacements after the initial review , and I have finally given up on this kettle and got a new kettle .
Why ? - initially it would boil 1.7 litres of water without a problem , then slowly but surely the volume it would boil reduced , and any amount of water over this new level would result in a continual warning beep . After about two months use you couldn't even boil a cup full of water .
I did persevere and had three replacements , but each time , the same thing happened . Additionally , the water tasted awful for about two weeks after replacement , despite boil / empty *3 routine before using for the first time - it was so bad I even contacted my local water company to see if anything was wrong with the water supply.
In the end I got a refund and opurchased a different manufacturers kettle.
New ratings given below to reflect on problems encountered.
Brushed metal kettle with SMART technology / Secured hinged lid / Wide angled spout for easy pouring / 3 illumination features: Blue to red when boiling Orange glow when heating to 80 degrees Orange glow then pulse at keep warm 3kW power Polished Stainless Steel 1 Year Guarantee Weight 1.4kg 1.7L Capacity Water Indicator/Window Removable Filter Cord Storage Concealed Element 360 Degree Base Cordless Size 23L x 15W x 23H / Short name: Kenwood SJM350