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Kenmore 79009 19.7 Cu. Ft. Bottom Freezer Black Review$1,119.99
Like most black things, the front matte finish can pick up stains and dust. Luckily it's easy to clean, as long as you don't put anything gooey on it. If you prefer tape or stickers to magnets, make sure you invest in some Goo-B-Gone.
While dust and and goop may be readily visible on this fridge, the matte texture means you'll almost never see fingerprints or smears.
The Kenmore has controls that are located at the top center of the fridge interior. It consists of two meters that adjust both the fridge and freezer temperatures independently of each other. With an arbitrary scale ranging from 1-7 and a manufacturer recommended setting of 4, it lacks any real degree correspondence. If you want to know the actual internal temperature that you're refrigerating or freezing your foods, you'll have to invest in a thermometer.
The handle is one of those facets keeping the Kenmore set firmly in a mid-quality feel. Unlike the front of the doors, the handle has a glossy black finish. It's somewhat ironic, really, that the part of the fridge you'll like touch the most finished in such a way that it will always smudge and smear unless your hands are perfectly clean and dry. The freezer handle runs left to right, making it look like a pull-out drawer. It opens like a regular door on a hinge, though, but thankfully doesn't feel that awkward to use.
Lots of shelves and drawers in the fridge make the unit look deceptively small, and the wired storage in the freezer give it a very busy look. The white plastic edging feels sturdy and durable, and just barely manages to avoid looking cheap.
The fridge compartment places lots of food at eye level, or very near it. Four half-width shelves make up the bulk of the storage space, with a full-width shelf on the bottom. There are also two very tall crisper trays on the bottom, as well as a smaller deli drawer that sits smack dab in the middle of the shelf space.
The door has the obligatory dairy tray, but otherwise offers a surprising amount of storage flexibility. A selection of thin, wide, and full-width bins sit on the door and can be slid around in order to add variety to your storage options.
This standard freezer layout and a wire shelf on the top and large pull-out drawer, also wire, on the bottom. In the upper left corner is a simple ice maker, as well as an optional bucket for bulk ice storage that can be removed if you should so desire.
The freezer door has a small, shallow tray that runs the full width of the door, but not much else. As is the case with many bottom freezers that are designed to have a set of pull-out drawers, the door isn't really designed for storage.
A simple ice maker sits in the freezer compartment in the upper left corner. It can turned on or off by flipping a clearly labeled switch on the actual device.
The back is covered from top to bottom in a sheet of metal. There is a water port on the bottom right corner for the ice maker, and a removable panel just left of center that can be removed if any repair work is needed.
Like the front, the sides have a matching black matte finish. It gives the appliance a nice, uniform look, but if the sides are exposed, be sure to watch out for dust build-up.