Advantages It does toast bread. Cheap
Disadvantages Looks cheap, buttons and dials don't really control the settings,
|Ease of use|
|Cleaning & Maintenance|
|Value for money|
When it came to the kitchen appliances I had to buy for my caravan I had one thing in mind; how much they cost. At home I already have everything a fully equipped kitchen should have, a kettle, fridge, microwave and fridge freezer etc but rather than having to transport these items up and down from the seaside everytime I wanted to get away from it all I decided that it was far easier just to buy them again but rather than buy top end, expensive items I would settle for cheap and functional instead. As it is the caravan season at the moment and my time is split between home and away I am currently working through the appliances I bought specifically for the caravan to review and this toaster, Asda's XB8313S was the one I decided to buy.
As a functional toaster the XB8313S is simply adequate, why asda bothered to put 3 buttons on the front of this baffles me as only 1 of them (the cancel button) seems to do the job it was supposed to do. Both the Reheat and Defrost functions seem to generate the same amount of heat from the toaster as the normal toasting process does and so to me these other options are surplus to requirements. All of the buttons, the lever and the dial have a cheap feel to them, they look flimsy but to be fair have stood the test of time and are still operational to this day despite being used, pressed and pushed on a regular basis. Numbered 1-10 the dial is supposed to control how toasted your bread comes out but in reality this just appears to be there for no other reason than to give you something to twiddle as no matter what setting I have the dial pointed to my toast always comes out looking anaemic and has to have a second blast of heat to get it cooked enough to be considered 'toasted'. It's always been like this though so I can't say that over time it has deteriorated, I can't remember a single occasion when I have put 2 slices of bread into the toaster, been able to walk away from it whilst it has cooked them and then been presented with a couple of rounds of deliciously toasted looking bread. It does 'toast' in the broadest sense of the word and as an appliance it is far better than having to faff around with the grill on an oven but as far as user-friendliness goes this leaves a lot to be desired in all honesty.Don't expect to be able to toast anything other than supermarket-bought sliced bread in this toaster, the slots are non-adjustable and too narrow to cope with anything other than bread and even extra-thick slices make for a very tight squeeze. Stick to medium or thick sliced bread would be my advice if you buy this toaster for yourself as anything other that just wont fit. A positive point to note is that the lever mechanism is good, toast does pop up and is easy to retrieve, I have had toasters in the past that have produced toast which couldn't be got at and much fun ensued trying to avoid electrocution whilst fishing around in the slots with a knife trying to prize out a slice of bread (don't try this at home, by the way!, knives and toasters don't mix and if you do do this then at least turn the switch off at the electricity supply - I learned my lesson the hard way with this when I managed to blow up a previous toaster by being a little too heavy handed with a knife - oops!) The walls of the toaster do become warm whilst in use so do be careful with this, they don't get hot and won't burn you if touched but don't expect this model to feature cool-walls in its design because it doesn't. Its grey colour does prevent fingerprints from being too noticeable so I was correct in my initial assumptions about this, the toaster is easy enough to wipe over after use although does leave water marks behind if the cloth you use is too wet so it's probably worth just sticking to a damp piece of kitchen roll if there are any noticeable marks that need removing.
Overall then for functional and reliable toaster I have little to grumble about. It does toast bread (eventually) and it is still going strong 18 months after I bought it. There's little to get excited about with how it looks but for something that cost under £6.00 I didn't expect a work of art or a piece of cutting-edge stylish design. There are many, many budget and basic toasters available from supermarkets and places such as Argos and whilst I wouldn't go out of my way to either recommend or put people off from buying this one from Asda in all honesty you do get what you pay for with this one. If you are looking for something that simply toasts bread then this one should be a consideration the same as the basic ones from Tesco or Sainsburys, personally my advice would be to spend a little more and get something which looks and performs better as there are toasters which can offer so much more than being able to toast just sliced bread and if you want to be more adventurous and toast paninis or crumpets then you are limited to what you can do with this one from Asda.In conclusion, as far as my rating goes I'm awarding 2 stars, the XB8313S from Asda toasts bread adequately, that's the only really positive thing about it.
Thanks for reading, please note that this also appears on dooyoo under my username.
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