Pros: good medium size, good power rating, does not seem to heat up the room
Cons: minor manufacturer mistakes, coils on back
We were looking for a secondary fridge for our main living area upstairs, and most models we found on our search were either too big or too expensive or had a cheap plastic top freezer. Then we found this one.
11.4 cubic feet is a nice in-between size. It also makes excellent use of the space, and the freezer is surprisingly big. Freezer and fridge have separate doors, and the doors can be changed to open the other way (see further below). There is only one dial in the fridge that controls the temperature in both fridge and freezer. The fridge part has an automatic light, the freezer does not.
All specifications can be found at GE's website at http://www.geappliances.com/shop/prdct/ (click at Top Freezers, then choose under $500), so I won't bore you with them.
The website offers a PDF Energy Guide file for download which put the energy use of this fridge at the top of the range of the average energy use for this type of fridge, but it looks as if this is the wrong file - when we looked at it at the store we found a different Energy Guide in it that put it not only at the bottom, but below the average energy use.
The shelves in the door can be taken out, but the position cannot be changed. There are two shelves in the main part, and their position can be changed. The space can be used without the shelves without any division. There is also a vegetable tray at the bottom that has a movable divider - very nice!
We needed to change the doors from one side to the other, and the manual gave detailed instructions for most of the parts, but it does not mention two separate screws that also need to be placed into different locations.
Our main problem with changing the doors was one screw at the bottom of the fridge. It would turn both ways but not come out of the casing. We tried all kinds of tools to pull it out and worked on it for an hour without success. At the end we used the same screwdriver again - and all of a sudden it came out. I do not know if this problem only occurs on our fridge or only on one series or all of the same model. Originally, the door opens towards the right, so if you do not want to take a risk and have to change the side, make certain you can return it, or ask the store if they can change it for you. My rating for Ease of Use does NOT include changing the doors.
We finally got the doors changed, and it works just fine. Any temperature changes in the fridge take 12 hours (according to the manual), and now it has been running for over 40 hours just fine. We put it into a small room without air conditioning, so we were at first nervous about the coils at the back heating up the room. Surprisingly, this has so far not been the case - it does not seem to heat up the room at all, or maybe just a little.
We are very happy with our choice and the price we paid - list price is about $400, we got it for under $300 (not including tax).
We cannot say much about durability yet, but everything seems to be quite sturdy - after all, it survived a ride in the car (it can be tipped on one side for transportation) and a very bumpy heave up one narrow flight of stairs.
We once read that the cooling coils are always best when located on the bottom of the fridge - this one has them on the back, but that does not seem to be any disadvantage with this one - it cools nicely, has good power rating and does not heat the room.