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CES 2013: Bosch puts the kibosh on smart appliances for now

Consumer Reports News: January 08, 2013 03:53 PM

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas you can find connected appliances that turn on from a smart phone, refrigerators that let you know when the milk is sour and washer-dryer pairs that talk to each other. But you won't find any of these whiz-bang innovations at the Bosch booth. The company, known mostly for its dishwashers, said it will forgo those features until smart apps are smart enough to talk to all brands of appliances.

Instead of developing a proprietary "smart home" system that doesn't work with other appliance brands, Bosch's appliance division wants to wait for a standard that allows the company's washers, dryers, refrigerators, ranges and dishwashers to connect with competitors'. "I can't imagine in the long run that customers will go for a generic approach of one maker only," Bosch CEO Werner Struth said during his appearance at the show, reports Reviewed.com.

And if Bosch's performance in Consumer Reports dishwasher tests is any indication, the company's products don't need any more bells and whistles to make an impression. Of the 39 models on our list of dishwasher picks, 15 are made by Bosch including the top-rated Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR7[5]UC, which at $700 is also a CR Best Buy. The Ascenta aced our wash test, which uses a full load of very dirty items, and was very good at drying plastic items. It was also among the quietest models during fill, wash, and drain and was especially energy-efficient. Other pluses include a soil sensor, delayed start, ample flatware slots, an adjustable upper rack, adjustable tines and hidden controls.

Bosch also excelled in our tests of electric wall ovens where the Bosch HBL5450UC, $1,700, a recommended model, was very good at baking and broiling and easy to clean. The oven has a convection mode and extras include a temperature probe and touchpad controls. We also recommend several electric and gas cooktops made by Bosch. And if you do want a single-brand kitchen suite, you can add our recommended side-by-side refrigerator, the Bosch Linea 800 B22CS80SN[S], $2,700, to the list. Its temperature performance and energy efficiency were very good and it was quite quiet, always a point of pride for Bosch.

Check out the rest of our CES 2013 coverage.

Mary H.J. Farrell

   

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