Product Type: Delonghi toasters
Newest Review: ... was with our vouchers we decided to treat ourselves and get something really classy that would provide the finishing touch to our kitchen. ... more
'But I've always wanted a Red Toaster!'
Member Name: The Daz
Advantages: Nice retro design, good controls and features.
Disadvantages: A Bit pricey.
'Ooh shiny' - I believe, is what my Wife uttered when she saw this Toaster sitting proud on the shelf in the upmarket department store the other week. 'Can we have that one?' - she said, and indicated the Red version (Blue, Brushed Silver and Cream also available). I spluttered at the sight of the price tag, but then remembered that we were spending our wedding vouchers which we'd had stashed away since last year, not having had the time or the decisiveness to spend them earlier.
I had to admit - it was a very shiny Toaster, and unlike most gadgets that promise the ultimate in connectivity, width of picture, depth of colour or flexible entertainment options, this one actually does make toast. Marvellous.
I shall point out now that we also bought the matching kettle - but that's for another review. I'm just glad they didn't have a matching freezer and three piece suite in Red, or I'd have ended up trying to fit those in the boot along with the pram too. At least it will make visitors think we're smart and trendy...
The toaster in question is the Delonghi Icona. Aimed at the sort of person who likes statement pieces and thinks £68.75 is a perfectly reasonable price to pay for a small metal box with some heated elements in, this is a spiffily designed hunk of plastic and metal. Attractively curved, with a bright red shell that gets warm but not painfully hot to the touch when in operation, and with 4 slots (the main reason for binning our old 2 slot £15 budget toaster by the way), this is a pretty useful bit of kit. Well - in the realms of tasted goods at least. It doesn't, for instance, put your rubbish out or come with a radio for listening to the Cricket on the sly. (It might though - I just haven't found the button for either yet).
The retro controls are quite nifty. The lowering arms - one for each set of 2 slots - are long metal rods with a scalloped plastic bead on the end, and also have an extra half inch of give above the resting level to allow you to lift smaller toasted items (teacakes and muffins etc) above the level of the top of the toaster so that you don't burn all of your fingers trying to get them out, and obviate the need to stick a knife into the toasted item, but miss and fuse the elements (you've all done it once...).
The dials are probably the best feature for me - again, one for each set of 2 slots - operated by a twisty rod and bead combo and offering browning settings from 1 to 6. This means that you can have a his and hers side of the toaster (Some like it just browned, others cremated).
Also on the front panel are 4 buttons for each side. Cancel is moderately obvious and will spring your limp and warm bread back up. Bagel is the clever option that turns off the outside element of each slot, allowing you to toast only one side of the aforementioned savoury doughnut, or teacake if you prefer, whilst keeping the other side warm. The Defrost button slowly warms a solid lump of bread to a precooked state, saving you from starvation if you managed to forget to retrieve the bread from the freezer the evening before. The final button - Reheat - simply rewarms your already toasted items in the event that you've foolishly made your other half's toast already, but they're still trying to decide which clothes to wear.
Other features include a cord wrap underneath the body of the toaster, which works like those on the bases of kettles, safely stowing away excess cable so that your plug sockets don't become a labyrinthine mess of black leads and tangles. There are also 2 removable crumb trays for easier cleaning - although to be fair, even our budget toaster had one.
Not amazingly heavy, thankfully, the toaster came in a needlessly large and overpackaged box - obviously to allow the sides of the boxes to be covered in shiny pictures and blurb about how amazing the toaster is. Seriously, are we that desperate to be convinced we need it? Inside you will find the usual panoply of multi-lingual instructions, guarantee form and warning leaflet (The Toaster gets hot when in use. Really? I'd best not get this one then....).
Does it work? This is of course the important bit. It'd be little use if it just stood there looking pretty. If I'd wanted that I could just have hired a glamour model to sit on my kitchen worktop and given her a carton of orange juice to keep her quiet (It says Concentrate on the side).
Well - as far as Toasters go, it was very good. The toast came out brown and cooked, as expected, and only mild tweaking of the selector dial was required to find the perfect level of toastiness. Obviously this level will vary according to the thickness of the bread - and Toaster Scientists will need to work hard at this to come up with a sensor that knows the relative density of the bread and toasts accordingly. (If they can put ABS, EBD and ESP in cars, I'm sure they can make a Toaster clever).
Overall I was quite happy with my purchase. As impulsive as it was, we did need a 4 slot toaster - as breakfasts together do take more time if you have to do one round at a time - and with a rapidly growing anklesnapper already weaning her way through porridge and mushed up veg, it won't be long before she demands toasty goodness to satisfy her hunger.
I would recommend this toaster as a luxury treat, or an ideal buy if you have gift vouchers as I did - but it is a considered purchase after all, and you could conceivably get the same cooked satisfaction from a cheaper unit - if not the same elegance in your kitchen.
Summary: Makes toast, looks flash.
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