* Prices may differ from that shown
I tend to find that over Christmas, and also during the hot summer months, when and if we get hot days, the fridge in my kitchen becomes a bit over crowded with either festive food or bottled water to cool off in the summer. This is why, a while back, I invested in something that I could use to help out the bulging fridge by taking some of the food and drink from it whilst still keeping it as fresh and cool. This thing that I invested in is what in the trade is called a fridge. But not just any old fridge, it is a fridge that is smaller than the ones you'd see in your standard kitchen, be that a fridge freezer or just a stand up fridge. This fridge is smaller than that, although it's not a mini fridge that you see in someone's bed-sit cram packed with cans of 2% lager. This fridge is a fridge that is sort of in the middle of those sizes, not a mini but not a full stand up one either. It is a fridge that is in the middle size range and is from a well known company called AEG, with the full name being the AEG Electrolux santo 71700TSWO.
* So what does it look like..?
As I said, it's not a mini fridge, nor is it a full size fridge, it is on the middle, being a good 850mm high, 600 wide and about 630mm deep, weighing in at quite a bit so do be careful when it comes to moving it about.
It is a box shaped body made of a thin metal with a few splashes of plastic to give it a bit of style. The door is on the front, obviously, with a rectangular handle on the left side, although this can be put on the right side with a few minor adjustments.
On the underside there are four little feet, with the two at the front being adjustable so that you can get it sitting perfectly level on the floor.
And that's what the fridge looks like on first inspection. When you open the door you see the more important bits that fridges are best used for, the inside where the food stays cool and fresh.
Inside there are three glass shelves which sit on moulded 'sliders' that are on the walls of the inner fridge. These shelves can be set in several positions so the fridge can accommodate taller or shorted things such as bottles of beer, or wine if you're posh. The glass of the shelves are made of what is called tempered glass, which means that they take a lot of hassle before they even think about breaking. The are supposed to be able to take up to 25kg in weight on each shelf, which is an awful lot of eggs, lettuces, tomatoes and cucumbers, even a lot of cans of lager.
On the bottom section, right below the lower shelf, there is a single draw, which is mainly used to fruit and veg, but can hold what ever will fit into it. This draw is made of a thin but quite strong plastic and slides in and out using the floor of the fridge as support.
And that's the inside of the fridge. But that's not all there is for storage space. There's also the door, which has 3 removable and adjustable shelves, although one of the three is more container rather than a shelf, but I'll call them shelves.
Anyway, these shelves are made of a thin yet remarkable sturdy plastic material and, with the help of the small catch type knobs inside the door, the two lower shelves can be moved up and down to make extra room for such things as bottles and the like.
There are three glass shelves, with the bottom glass shelf covering the bottom draw.
Also, on the inside of the door, there is the standard colourful sticker, the one that tells you how happy the electrical appliance makes the eco warriors, with this particular appliance being a A++, which means that the eco warriors will be having a lie in as this one won't be making them get out of bed to protest about this one as it claims to only use a mere 94kwh per year... yes, per year.
Although the sticker on mine has been scratched and battered a bit too much now, but I can still see the little black mark pointing to the A++, just one down from the elusive A+++.
I nearly forgot, there is something else inside the fridge, on the right side, just above the area where the second shelf can go. There is a lovely little light that illuminates when the fridge door opens. And yes, it does go out when the door is shut as the edge of the door pushes against the little 'switch' and turns the light off.
Anyway, this light is encased inside a semi clear plastic casing and gives you the light you need when you are searching through the shelves for that last piece of cake.
And that's really all this fridge contains. But then again, that's all a fridge really needs to have really. So all you have to do is supply the food.... Which these days is easier said than done...
* Where can I put it..?
Anywhere you want really. Well, within reason. I mean, I don't think it's wise putting it into the boot of your Ford Ka, or trying to strap it to the basket of your daughters push bike. What I mean is that it will fit either under a work top or even on top of it too. Although if you do want to fit it under a work top then it does say that you have to leave a few gaps around the fridge and the wall/worktop so that the fridge has plenty of space for ventilation. I'm not talking a foot all around, all you need is about 15mm to the sides and floor with about 100mm from the worktop... (this is suggested in the booklet that came with the fridge).
You can also fit it directly to what is called a continuous worktop, which really means that it becomes part of the kitchen unit. To do this you need to remove the lid of the fridge and make sure there is a vent in the worktop above the fridge, (this again is on the instruction booklet, but looks a bit too much hassle really).
Personally, I have mine under a small worktop with plenty of room around the sides and top so that there's plenty of air flowing around it.
* What about setting it up
This depends on where you want to put it, be that o the floor or on a work top surface type table thing.... But either way, where ever you put it, you might have to make sure that the fridge is level so that it doesn't wobble when your beers are on the left and your cucumber are on the right.
To make sure it's level you simply rotate the small feet which are under the front part at the front. All you do here is put the fridge on the surface, then, if it's wobbly, you turn the foot on which ever side until the fridge stops wobbling. These feet turn with ease, by hand, so you wont need tools, and there's plenty of room to get you fingers onto the foot in order to turn it easily.
* Is it hard to keep clean and maintained..?
This is one of those fridges that can take care of itself, almost.
To keep the outside clean all it takes is a bit of a wipe down with a damp cloth.
For the inside it's a matter of a damp cloth for the wall and a 'take out and clean in the sink' for the shelves if they need it. This goes for the door shelves as well as they are removable and can be cleaned thoroughly if needs be.
As for the fear of condensation building up and flooding the fridge. Well, this is a self cleaner, in a way, with a little sort of 'flatter V' shape type channel on the lower rear of the inside of the fridge which has a small hole where the lower sections of the 'V' meet. This 'V' traps any condensation that may fall down the back wall of the fridge and send the moisture into the hole and out of the fridge.
So, as I said, there's very little cleaning and maintenance for this fridge really.
* Is it noisy..?
Hmmm, well, no, not really, although there is the usual 'slurping', 'whooshing' and a bit of 'whirring' noises that you always get with fridges, any fridges, as the inner system goes about keeping the inside as cool as it should do.
There's no excessive noises from this one, not enough to keep anyone awake at night, but as I don't have mine in my bedroom I can't say whether it would keep you awake at night really?
* Is there anything else to mention..?
The door comes with the hinges on the left, although this can be changed so that they are on the right by simply unscrewing them and re-fitting them in the pre-drilled holes on the other side of the fridge. One hole on the underside of the top, with the other hole being underneath the fridge itself. This, again, is explained in the booklet that comes with the fridge and you get all the bits and bobs to do this without leaving anything to chance.
If you do decide to change the hinges, then you will have to swap the handle as well, which is as simple as unscrewing two screws, swapping them onto the other side of the door and re-screwing them back into place. Popping the plastic stoppers into the holes to cover up any ugliness.
But no matter which side you have the handle and hinges on, the door opens wide enough to get the shelves in and out without snagging on anything.
* What do I think then..?
For a 'small' fridge I have to say that this is one of the best ones I have come across. There's no bells and whistles, as they say. No fancy controls to get confused by and no fuss when it comes to keeping my food as fresh as possible and my drinks nice and chilled for as long as possible.
It is a good size for not only fitting into either smaller kitchen, garages or even sheds, but it can also hold quite a bit of food inside it, being nicely separated with the tough shelves and little trays, together with the ample room in the doors, which in turn can hold a fair few cartons of milk in weight without causing any hassles on the door hinges.
The shelves are strong, even though they're glass, and can take a fair bit of weight by themselves, with no threat of collapsing under the stress of your string beans and lentils.
The plastic tray at the bottom is a single one, which is quite big and can take your average size lettuce without having to ram the tray back into place. I thought I'd have preferred two trays myself as I like to keep certain foods separate, OCD sort of, so the wife tells me, but a bit of cling film around the food and this single tray is not a OCD problem at all.
The door tray are removable and make them nice and easy to take out and clean when needed, and the shelves are just as easy too, which makes cleaning a doddle, so to speak. Either a full soaking in the sink or a good wipe over with one of those multi-surface wipe things.
As I said, you can have it set under a worktop, but, if like me, after you've read the destruction manual and realised that there's a lot of work in doing it this way then, like me, you'll find that it sits just as well under the worktop as long as you leave enough space for ventilation.
* And the price tag..?
This is the jaw dropping part really, especially as I have had to check the price and really think that I either got a bargain when I bought mine last year or the prices have rocketed faster than Mr Bolt chasing Mr Ginger beard for his sponsorship money.
I bought mine last year for just short of £125, which I though at the time was a bit pricey but as I wanted a smaller fridge and this one caught my eye, I hastily parted with my money, (credit card). But when I searched the price for this whilst writing this review I ma either looking at a more advanced modal with the same name or, as I said, inflation really has got out of control. The price mark on this fridge is a staggering £300 or more.... I said jaw dropping... which is more than the price of a full size fridge freezer in some shops....
* Would I recommend this..?
If you're after a small fridge to put into a small room or need a cool area to store your extra beers ready for the football season to kick off, then a small fridge is something that is a must, and this one is well worth looking at.
But, as there as many fridges that offer the same storage space for a lot less than the asking price of this one then I'd say that this one is way over priced for what you get. Although, if you can grab a bargain, like I believe I did, then it's well worth investing is as it fits nicely into those small spaces and keeps your beers at a constant cool temperature for those happy days ahead.
In all, a good price would make this a good fridge, a high price may just make you think twice, maybe going somewhere else....
The AEG S71700TSW0 Undercounter Fridge is perfect for any home / With a surprisingly large 152-litre storage capacity, offering safety storage shelves for heavy items, a full-width covered dairy compartment and extra-large slide out salad drawers, the AEG /