GE Artistry ABE20EGEBS Refrigerator Review
Make a statement with an appliance that delivers.
The GE Artistry ABE20EGEBS (MSRP $1,199) is part of the larger Artistry series launched in the fall of 2013. Tomas DeLuna, a young industrial designer, created these machines with an eye for retro style and affordability.
Those retro touches include rounded-off lines and large metal handles that are also reversible. The aesthetic is clean, not gaudy, and would work whether your kitchen was decorated by Harriet Nelson or Philippe Starck. It's also substantially less expensive than many other full-blown retro products. That means young millennials—like DeLuna himself—who are working with a tight budget can deck out their kitchen without emptying their savings accounts in the process.
Not only does this fridge look awesome, it’s one of the best performing bottom freezers on the market today. With a great sense of style, superb performance, and a low price tag, this fridge really has it all.
Design & Usability
Unique exterior, but familiar on the inside
The unique design elements on the Artistry fridge are actually quite subtle: Horizontal chrome handles hearken back to the heavy chrome hinges on your grandparents’ icebox. They’re placed high enough that opening the door felt easy and natural without forcing us to stoop.
Near the top of the fridge is an old-school GE logo. It breaks up the expanse of the fridge door, and creates a sense of balance with the handles.
The high gloss black really pops compared to a typical matte finish, and looks great with the chrome handles. Unfortunately, smudges can appear very prominently depending on how the light in your kitchen hits the fridge, so keep some cleaner handy if you've got a house full of kids.
Each appliance in the Artistry series is also available in white—for the fridge, it's the ABE20EGEWS—which should do a better job of hiding fingerprints.
On the inside, you're met with an otherwise basic GE bottom freezer. Full-width shelves don’t offer as much customizability as half-width ones, but are still relatively light for easy removal and cleaning.
The freezer uses wire shelves, so make sure any bags of frozen vegetables don’t have any rips that could lead to an avalanche of peas. Both sections have plenty of door storage to supplement, but none of it is adjustable.
Performance & Features
A fundamentally great job
Performance wise, there really wasn’t anything wrong with this fridge. Sure, the thermostat uses a 0-9 scale, but that didn’t stop the fridge from churning out perfectly ideal temperatures. (For reference, we used the 5 setting for both compartments.)
The freezer did run a bit warm, but it was consistent both over time and throughout the compartment. Just turn the freezer dial to 6 or 7 instead of 5 to lower the temperature, and you’ll be just fine.
Crispers did a fantastic job retaining moisture despite the lack of an adjustable humidity slider. I mean, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? With great energy efficiency to boot, the Artistry really manages to serve up a complete package of superior performance.
When it comes to features... well, there aren't any. Controls can be used to adjust the temperature, and that’s it. You do get a removable ice bucket, but there's no icemaker to go with it.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Why We Love It
Bringing retro back
If you want an appliance that will blend into the background, don’t buy the GE Artistry ABE20EGEBS. If, however, you want a fridge with an unusual aesthetic that will make a statement in your kitchen, check it out.
Superior performance, excellent efficiency, and a comfortable user experience only add to the package.
Retailers sell this beauty for about $1,000, give or take thirty bucks, in both black and white. That makes it more affordable than most other bottom freezers of a similar size. What’s more, the entire series—fridge, oven, microwave, and dishwasher—has a collective MSRP of about $2,416.
Whether you’re looking for a new fridge or plan to deck out your entire kitchen, the Artistry series provides consumers with a great choice for an even greater price.
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