Our recent toaster we owned (a basic one costing about £5 from asda!) had given up on us so when shopping in Argos they had the usual deal of spend £50, get a £5 gift card, spend £100 you get a £10 gift card. As I was buying birthday presents, and odd bits like bedding and some furniture, we decided to use the free £10 gift card and purchase this toaster as it cost £9.99. It seemed like a good option as it wasn't the ultimate cheapest, (around a fiver again!) but also wasn't top of the range expensive. In all fairness we don't use it all too often as I probably eat toast on average once a week myself so we were happy to settle on this toaster.
*** Look and Design ***
It is a grey toaster, which is quite a light grey and suits a basic kitchen. We don't have a particular colour scheme going on in our kitchen as it is adjoined to our living room, but we have tried to keep it subtle dark colours with a black cooker and kettle so this kettle doesn't stick out like a sore thumb to much but blends in the corner nicely.
It is a slight oval shape which looks quite nice, and is a refreshing change from our old basic rectangular block toaster! I find it looks quite unique and slightly more expensive than it actually is!
*** Features ***
It is an 870 watt 2 slot toaster, so can hold 2 slices of bread, or 2 sides of a bagel (1 bagel cut in half) so makes it quick for making a sandwich or if I want to make some toast for myself and my daughter simultaneously.
It has 7 toast settings which I am rather impressed with! On my old toaster it had 5 and to be honest it does take some fiddling about with the settings before you discover which makes your toast just perfect. I like my toast quite dark but not black/burnt and have found no.5 setting optimal for this. However my sister likes her toast practically white so no.3 is her ideal setting! It is easily adjustable with a quick turn of the knob to the setting desired for making the toast as scrumptious as you like :)
It has a cancel function like most toasters these days do, so sometimes I put the toast in and my daughter changes her mind (kids eh?) or when my sister put it in on no.5 setting (after I left it on this setting of course!) and realised it was in longer than she hoped for so it is quick and easy to give a press of the button and the bread pops up straight away and there is no hassle or waiting for it to burn and ruin!
It has a defrost button, but in all honesty I have never given it a try as I have never frozen bread and attempted to defrost it in the toaster....I always expected that if I did ever freeze bread I probably would have defrosted the loaf in the first place before attempting to toast it or is this just me? In any case, I can only imagine it would do a good job as the toaster has been top notch in all other respects.
Next up is the reheat button...I have put bread in the toaster and gone for a little wander off to come back and realise it has popped up and gone extremely cold. Pressing the reheat button warms up the toast again but without burning it so is good for allowing me to butter it nicely. It is good for this, however I find that once my toast goes cold, it also goes quite hard and stiff and even though the toaster is able to reheat it, it doesn't make it soft as it would have originally been when freshly toasted so I wouldn't rely on this function too much.
It has a removable crumb tray so after extensive use, it is easy to pop out from underneath and throw away the excess crumbs so the toaster doesn't become clogged and slow.
*** Usage ***
Of course the toaster is easy to use, and I am sure everyone out there knows how it works so doesn't need me to explain how to use it! So far I have used this toaster extremely happily and with no complaints for Argos (which makes a change!). I mainly used it for toasting bread, in our household we enjoy Warburtons thick sliced bread and these bread slices fit in the slots comfortably. When we pop it down, the entire slice is lowered and so is toasted with even coverage as opposed to our old toaster where it used to toast about 3/4 of the bread then I would have to switch the slices upside down to ensure the other end was toasted too! Also the slots are wide, as we occasionally buy a hardough bread which we cut ourselves and can sometimes be a lot thicker than supermarket bread slices and it still fits in the slots just as well and are toasted to perfection. I have also used this to toast my New York bagels which I love and the toaster does an amazing job with these aswell.
My only qualm is that the cord has melted! Oops! More due to the layout of our kitchen than the fault of the appliance, the toaster cord has to stretch over the side of the cooker to where the socket is on the wall for me to plug the toaster in. As a result, when I accidentally left the cooker on, I was unaware and the lead slightly melted which I was very annoyed about! Luckily, it has cord storage so I can hide the melted cord when the toaster is not in use so most people who visit are none the wiser!
*** Would I recommend? ***
Overall I am happy with this toaster and we couldn't ask for anything more from it. Considering we got it for free and it toasts our bread/bagels etc we are over the moon and I would certainly recommend it to anyone wanting a nice looking toaster for a handy little tenner!