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LG adds a hidden compartment to its French-door fridge

Consumer Reports News: July 18, 2012 04:08 PM

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Refrigerator doors continue to get more innovative, with the debut this week of LG's Door-in-Door French-door bottom-freezer. The 31 claimed-cubic-foot fridge features a magnetically sealed compartment on the right door that you can access without opening the entire refrigerator. Besides making it easier to reach frequently used items, say a milk carton or bottle of ketchup, the door-in-door is a potential energy saver.

While LG calls the feature proprietary in its news release, it's similar to Kenmore's Grab-N-Go door on its Elite 7206 French-door refrigerator, which we recently reviewed. Don't expect any patent infringement lawsuits, however, since LG actually manufacturers many Kenmore refrigerators. The question is, how will the LG's performance compare with that of the Kenmore? In our review, the Kenmore delivered very good temperature control and efficiency, though it narrowly missed our recommended list. We'll report more on the LG has soon as we get it into our testing labs.

If you haven't shopped for a refrigerator in awhile, you'll notice other innovations affecting door design. For example, several manufacturers have added a horizontal drawer between the freezer and refrigerator on some French-door models. See our reviews of the Samsung RF4287HA, $2,600, and the GE Profile PGSS5PJX, $2,400, to learn more about this configuration.

Refrigerator doors are also becoming more interactive with the advent of Wi-Fi enabled LCD screens embedded in the front panel. Samsung's French-door model RF4289, $3,500, includes one of these displays, and it comes with various apps designed to generate recipe ideas, store your household's calendar, and more.

Enhanced ice and water dispenser design is another innovation you'll find on some of the latest refrigerators. Our top-rated French-door refrigerator from LG is one of several models on the market with an extra-tall dispenser that can fit pitchers and other oversized containers. And GE's brand new French-door refrigerator is the first of its kind to dispense hot and cold water alike.

These new refrigerator doors are nifty, but if you're in the market for a new fridge, you should pay close attention to what's going on inside the unit. Consistent temperature control, convenient storage features, and optimal efficiency will deliver the most satisfaction over the long haul. We've reviewed more than 250 refrigerators to help you find the model that's right for you.

Daniel DiClerico

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