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Revolution Cooking R180 2-Slice High Speed Smart Toaster - Review 2020


Some smart appliances can genuinely enhance your experience in the kitchen, offering a notable improvement over a traditional model of the same product. Others employ their smarts as more of a gimmick. The $299.99 Revolution Cooking R180 2-Slice High Speed Smart Toaster does a little bit of both. It toasts just about anything quickly and evenly, and has a touch screen for dialing in your ideal toasting level. It’s also a $300 two-slice toaster, which makes it hard to recommend no matter how good it is.

Design

The R180 looks like a stylish, high-end toaster, with a brushed metal body and chrome accents on the edges. It’s large for a two-slice toaster, at 8.4 by 6.0 by 11.5 inches (HWD), with two open slots on the top measuring 5.4 by 1.4 inches each. The back has a dark gray grille, with the power cable running out from under it, near the base. Four black, L-shaped feet lift the toaster slightly off of your counter or table.

Revolution Cooking R180 2-Slice High Speed Smart Toaster

Instead of a lever or tab for starting your toast, the R180 has a 6.5-inch touch LCD on the front. It displays the time when not in use, and lets you choose a variety of options when you’re ready to start toasting. A button below the screen ejects a small crumb tray for easy cleaning.

Tapping the touch screen brings up a row of various toastable items you can swipe through, including bagels, bread, English muffins, toaster pastries, and waffles. Once you’ve selected the food you want to toast, you can choose whether it’s fresh, frozen, or if you just want to reheat something that was presumably already toasted. For all foods except toaster pastries, you can also select your level of toastiness from 1 (lightest) to 7 (darkest).

Revolution Cooking R180 2-Slice High Speed Smart Toaster

Smart Toasting

With your food inserted into the toaster’s slots and your settings dialed in, tap Start to begin toasting and the slots will slowly lower the food down to expose it to the heating elements. The R180 will then toast your food according to your specifications. The touch screen will show how it is currently browning, warming, or crisping whatever you’re toasting, and when it nears the end of its cycle, it displays a countdown. The toaster chimes pleasantly when finished, as your freshly toasted food slowly rises from the slots.

While the R180 has a touch screen and is a smart appliance, it doesn’t have any connectivity or expandability. The toasting presets built into the toaster are there permanently, with seemingly no way to update it with new recipes. Of course, there’s a limit to what you can do with a two-slice toaster, but as far as smart appliances go, it’s fairly limited.

Toast

This a what toasting at level 4 gets you (it’s actually toastier in person than it looks here)

The Crispy Results

The R180 toasts very well in almost all cases. Regular toast comes out just right, to the ideal level of darkness based on how you set it (the lightest setting still has a nice crispness to it, while the darkest setting doesn’t quite hit burnt). Frozen waffles come out nicely cripsy on the outside and fluffy within (especially Eggo Thick & Fluffy waffles). Pop-Tarts come out perfectly warmed, without any burnt edges.

Even bagels come out ideal, and I’m talking about proper, big New York bagels. All but the fattest bagels I got from my local shop fit into the toaster’s slots when sliced in half, and they came out with a nice crunchiness on the exterior that contrasts perfectly with the chewiness of the dough inside. (And yes, New York bagel purists, I know that you should never toast a freshly baked bagel.)

The only time the R180 tripped up was with Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, the frozen pastry version of Pop-Tarts. The toaster made the crust hot and flaky, but it didn’t warm up the frozen filling, even after I selected the toaster pastry option and set it to frozen. Experimenting with toast settings can produce better results in an outlier case like this, but out of the box, the toaster pastry preset isn’t tuned well for Toaster Strudel.

Revolution Cooking R180 2-Slice High Speed Smart Toaster

As for speed, the R180 seems to toast quickly. Toast at the lightest setting was done in 1 minute, 16 seconds, while toast at the darkest setting was ready after 2 minutes, 5 seconds. Waffles took about a minute and a half, and toaster pastries were a bit quicker. The heating elements warm up rapidly, which means the R180 can start toasting almost as soon as you tap the touch screen.

It’s a $300 Toaster

Yes, the Revolution R180 is an excellent toaster. It’s also a $300 toaster, which is pretty hard to swallow, even with its speed and performance—after all, a stylish, high-end, non-smart toaster can be had for around half as much. So considering the R180 doesn’t have any connected features or expandability to really hammer home its “smart” status, it’s a hard sell. It’s a very nice appliance, but it’s far too expensive for what you get, and some kitchen gadgets just don’t need touch screens.

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