KitchenAid's iconic mixers are now smaller, but just as costly (hands-on)

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As if bakers round the world didn't already covet KitchenAid's array of colorful stand mixers, the company is making it even harder to resist with its new Artisan Mini line.

Available in the US this summer for $400 and elsewhere later this year -- that translates to roughly £280 in the UK and AU$540 in Australia -- Artisan Mini's are cute 3.5-quart (4-liter) versions of KitchenAid's classic mixers.

KitchenAid had the Artisan Mini mixers on display at the International Home and Housewares Show here in Chicago this weekend. The Mini is noticeably smaller than the legacy mixers when you put them side by side, but the downsizing isn't immediately apparent to the naked eye. The Artisan Mini also works with existing KitchenAid mixer attachments, so you can still spiralize vegetables to your heart's content.

The new KitchenAid Artisan Mini (right) holds 3.5 quarts in the mixing bowl. It's noticeably smaller than larger KitchenAid stand mixers (left and center).

Chris Monroe/CNET

The KitchenAid Artisan Mini comes in 10 finishes.

Chris Monroe/CNET

It's worth noting here that KitchenAid hasn't downsized its iconic stand mixers since 1962, so this update is pretty significant. The new dimensions make the Artisan Mini "suited for limited counter space and 'smaller batch' lifestyles," the company said in a statement. Millennials and city dwellers, that means you.

KitchenAid's existing models, some of which have been around for more than 50 years, include mixers that range in price from $350 to more than $1,000 -- with sizes from 4.5 quarts up to 8 quarts (5.1 to 9 liters). That makes the new Artisan Mini's the smallest KitchenAid stand mixers, but not the cheapest.

And cheap isn't exactly a fair word to use when we're talking about a single, nonessential kitchen appliance that costs 400 bucks. There are literally top freezer refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines that cost less than that. KitchenAid says the price reflects the fact that the Artisan Mini has the same engine as the bigger models, just housed in a smaller profile.

Price aside, KitchenAid's mixers have become something of a status symbol in the American home, a design piece that's both functional and beautiful. And the fact that the Artisan Mini mixer comes in 10 colors (including new matte finishes) means there's bound to be one to suit your kitchen decor.

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Where to Buy

KitchenAid Artisan Mini Stand Mixer

Part Number: CNETKitchenAid Artisan Mini Stand Mixer

MSRP: $399.99

Visit manufacturer site for details.