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When my partner and I moved down to London after university, we equipped our new kitchen with the cheapest appliances that we could find! Just about to start our first jobs our only consideration was cost; quality didn't even factor into the equation. Four years later the flat has been somewhat revamped, however one appliance in the kitchen is still there working as well as ever. Our toaster.
We bought the toaster during a shopping trip to ASDA, along with cheap pans, cheap crockery, cheap cutlery and a cheap kettle. It cost us £4.99 and while it may not be the most attractive toaster, we were happy enough. The model is very basic to look at and made of a lightweight grey plastic and quite compact, so it's easy to store away. It's smooth and quite a round shape with two slots for bread. On the right hand side is the lever to lower the bread into the toaster, again made of the grey plastic. On the front there are three buttons which are quite standard on a toaster; defrost, reheat and cancel. The cancel button is obviously quite useful as not many people leave their toast in until it pops out! I like to keep an eye on it as I don't like my toast too burnt! The defrost button is again quite useful if I have to dive into my emergency stash of frozen bread! However, I have never needed to use the reheat function, nor can I think of a reason I would need to. I'd rather eat cold toast than put it back in the toaster! On the underside of the toaster is a removable tray which catches crumbs from the bread. I empty it every few times that I use the toaster and it is very easy to remove and keep clean.
So the toaster is undeniably cheap looking but has all the necessary functions to do its job. I do find that the dial on the front which has heat settings up to 7 is slightly redundant as whatever the setting, the toast always comes out the same! If I leave it on, the toaster will pop up naturally after a couple of minutes and the toast is generally a light brown colour all over. However, I prefer soft toast so as I said, I tend to stand over it and pop it up when I think it's ready. The one niggle that I do have is that the two slots aren't quite deep enough for anything other than square bread so you get the issue that the top bit of the bread is untoasted. I often pop it up and turn it over which isn't a big deal, but I know would annoy some people. The slot size can't be adjusted so you can only toast ready sliced bread and anything thicker would be impossible. Saying that, the pop-up mechanism is very good and the bread is always easy to retrieve and doesn't get stuck in the grills.
The toaster isn't much to look at but the colour and matte look at least keep it looking presentable. Unlike silver and black shiny toasters, a damp cloth will have this one looking clean quickly and it doesn't need much maintenance.
In summary, this is a decent little toaster which has performed brilliantly considering how little we paid for it. We've had the toaster for four years now and it is still working and we've never had even a slight problem with it. In fairness, it will be the next thing that we replace in the house but only because we want something that looks a little nicer. It will be quite sad to throw it out! I would recommend this toaster for students and those moving into their first rented house. It certainly won't impress anyone, it doesn't look great but it does a job and for that reason I will award it 3 stars.
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