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Valentine's Day 2007 Buyer's Guide

Dualit Cordless Jug Kettle In Pink

Here again, color provides a clue as to the intended audience for this interesting combination of old-fashioned functionality and high-tech, high-powered capability. Even those who don't drink tea will appreciate this slightly retro but incredibly powerful electric kettle from British appliance maker Dualit. (Your authors have long drooled over their oh-so-expensive, but oh-so-very-nice, two- and four-slice toasters at high-end retailers like Williams-Sonoma).

The kettle isn't really cordless, but it does detach from its base for easy pouring and use.

Beyond its good looks, the real value of this electric kettle comes from its quick operation: it can boil a full load of liquid (1.5 liters, or nearly 51 ounces) in just 11 minutes. In an informal, at-home test on a gas range, this beat our Copco range-top kettle by a full 7 minutes with the gas turned all the way to max. The kettle is also designed for safety as well as looks: it features heat proof handles set well away from the kettle body, and the lid has a heatproof ball knob with finger guards. It also has a removable limescale filter inside to prevent minerals from building up on the heating element, and features large water indicators on both sides of the kettle, between handle and spout.

Apparently, the pink model is available only in the UK, so it will cost you at least $125 including shipping: the black version may be found online for about $75. This may sound like a lot of money to spend on an electric kettle, but buyers should take comfort in Dualit's reputation for creating appliances that provide many trouble-free years of hard use. It's not only pretty in pink, it's likely to keep quietly at its job for many years to come.