We Tried the Revolution R180 Toaster & We Loved It!
Stated as “the biggest advancement in heating technology for over one hundred years” and “the world’s first high-speed smart toaster” on the company’s market video, the R180 Smart Toaster guarantees digitally calibrated, fast toasting for different kinds of pastries. This may sound amazing in theory, only if it really “revolutionizes” toasting in all the ways that count.
Revolution R180 Toaster Review
By now you’re curious about whether it can solve a few challenges associated with conventional toasting. Can it accommodate a large piece of homemade bread? Will it be able to completely defrost as well as toast frozen bagels? Will you be able to remove toasted foods without getting burnt? In summary, is the extraordinarily high price be justified by the unit’s performance? After all the tests conducted using the toaster, we weren’t sure that we had a satisfactory answer. Continue reading to find out why we thought so.
Design: Modern Touch
At first glance, the unit is quite beautiful. It not only has a brushes stainless steel finishing and a classic box design, it also has a slanted front as well as a glass touch screen edged in black and chrome plastic accents. Its profile is moderately slim and would be the perfect pick for someone with minimal counter space.
The top has two wide slots that are engineered to hold on to food, lower them automatically into place and raise them once toasting is done. We liked the smooth, controlled lower-and-lift feature because it was fun and cool to use. There is also a shallow crumb tray which can be removed by pressing the bar underneath the screen.
If you’re going to have it on the counter at all times, there’s a handy clock (with both digital and analogue display options) that operates as a screen saver. However, if you disconnect the toaster after use, you’ll have to reset the clock. The unit has a chime that signals the end of the toasting process which is much better than the old-fashioned “ding”! The best part is that you can adjust the volume on the settings.
Features: Smart and Fast
The Revolution R180 toaster is easy to use even for people who are technologically challenged. Its high-resolution screen situated at the front is almost the same size as a large smartphone, and it comes on with a simple touch. Incase you experience problems when booting the program, you’ll have to unplug the toaster, wait for at least 30 seconds and try booting it again. (Though we didn’t experience any problems, some customers mentioned having some.)
The manufacturer’s website states that the toaster functions using “smart sensor technology” that assesses the moisture levels of pastry products and adjusts accordingly to the right toasting times. However, its unclear whether it applies this on individual slices or it uses a specific algorithm for let’s say, for what an averagely frozen waffle requires to toast well. The unit replaces the heating coils found in convection toasters with “InstaGlo Technology”, a helix-shaped, propriety, etched metal heating component which glows red hot immediately.
So, is it really fast? Toaster bread and pastries get ready in at least one minute and ten seconds, which is not enough time for someone to take out a knife and butter dish. On the other hand, frozen products will take a bit longer to heat up. During the final few seconds, the toaster displays a countdown that maximizes the toaster-to-table interlude.
On display are five different kinds of pastries – bagels, bread, frozen waffles, English muffins and toaster pastries – enabling even younger users to easily identify and select the right setting. You’ll also be able to toggle and select larger bakery-fashion bagels as well as adjust the alert chime’s volume and brightness.
Performance: Mixed Results
Although toasting was found to be foolproof, there were some few issues. We discovered that after placing a pastry into the slots, we had to select the kind of food is being toasted and select whether it is fresh or frozen. We further had to select the level of browning we wanted on a seven-point scale that ranged from light (1) to dark (7).
Unfortunately, the default setting (which is set at 4) cooked all the test pastries (with an exception of toaster pastries) to a dark brown, which is overdone for most people. However, we discovered that the second lightest level (2) offered much better results. It made well stripped, crispy and golden-brown toast. Therefore, having to use lesser than have of the browning levels on a toaster is quite inoperable and not desirable.
The other feature that did not perform as expected is the 15 second reheat setting which doesn’t brown bread well. The feature is good for reheating cold toast, and crucial to tackling other flaws: our standard-sized English muffins and frozen bagels stayed frozen at the top when toasted using normal settings. This issue was intensified when the outside part of the bagels kept browning too much since they couldn’t be re-toasted without getting burnt. When we just used the reheat setting, the pastries cooked just as required in the center.
The other disappointing thing is the sizing of the slots which are generously sized at 1 x 5.25 inches, but aren’t wide enough to fit homemade bread as well oval rye loaf that was bought from the store. This means that you can only make the shelf-stable square shaped bread, in turn limiting people who are health conscious.
After many attempts, we didn’t manage to get the slices of bread to stick for troubleshooting purposes. However, if this happens, you can find a solution from the Revolution Cooking website as they include a resources section which states that you’ll have to unplug the toaster, wait for it to cool down, then find a way of retrieving the toast by yourself.
They recommend that you clean the toaster by wiping it using a soft, damp piece of cloth and then buffing it using a dry cloth. Just like most stainless-steel kitchen appliances, fingerprints are normally visible at the front, sides and on the glass touch screen. You can remove them by polishing the toaster.
There is a small crumb tray found at the front of the toaster, which can be removed for cleaning. If you keep forgetting to clean the crumb tray, there is an alert signal that pops up from time to time on the touchscreen display with a reminder.
The Revolution Smart Toaster is available at a retail price of $300, which sets it on luxury side of the market. If you’re looking for a toaster that will look good on your counter tops and will toast your pastries quickly, then the unit’s high price might be worth it. However, if you want a toaster that will evenly brown your pastries, even if it takes a couple of rounds, then go for a more affordable model.
Competition: Longer Slots or Toaster Oven
This toaster definitely has edge compared to its competition because of its speedy toasting and smart screen, but the price becomes the main inhibiting factor for a lot of customers. If you don’t mind some of the mentioned limitations and will be using it to toast store-bought pastries and bread, then this is the best unit for you.
KitchenAid 4-Slice Long Shot Toaster
If you bake your bread at home or buy your bread from a bakery whose products are wider that the average loaf, then the KitchenAid 4-Slice Long Shot Toaster is a better choice as it has extra-wide slots. With this toaster you’ll be able to toast long bread slices using a wider range of browning levels.
Oster Large Capacity Toaster Oven
When it comes to the Oster Large Capacity Oven, you’re sure of increased functionality compared to any other toaster found in the market. Though the toaster requires more time to make toast, you’ll be able to see what is going on through its glass door and it also has the additional features that enables you to toast bread with cheese as well as other toppings. Also, the size of the slices isn’t a challenge.
What We Like
- Touch screen is easy to use
- Multiple setting
- Innovative system heats fast
What We Don’t Like
- Very small slots
- Doesn’t completely thaw frozen products
If you’re looking for a toaster that will help you shave some time off your normal breakfast routine or you only get store bought pastries and bread, then the Revolution R180 High-Speed Smart Toaster will be perfect, otherwise you could go for other brands that seem more practical.
Although the Revolution R180 High-Speed Smart Toaster features propriety digital technology and has a high price tag, it’s easy to use and fast but doesn’t really perfect the complete toasting process.