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Here's a Whirlpool fridge that really keeps its cool

It's pretty basic-looking, but this top freezer from Whirlpool is the coldest we've ever tested.

Ryan_Crist2.jpg
Ryan_Crist2.jpg

Ry Crist

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1 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

At $1,100, the Whirlpool WRT511SZDM is a large top freezer fridge that might be too powerful for its own good. Click through to see more of it.

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2 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

Door storage

Out of a total 21.3 cubic feet of storage space, 15.2 are allocated to the fridge. That includes an excess of storage space in the door, where you get plenty of shelf space.

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Flexibility

You can rearrange those shelves to your heart's content, thanks to a plethora of slots.

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Flexi-Slide bin

Inside the fridge, the only real feature of note is this drawer: the "Flexi-Slide Bin."

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In action

That drawer slides back and forth beneath the top shelf, making room for items on the shelf below.

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Crisper bins

You also get a set of crisper bins at the bottom of the fridge. They feel a bit flimsy to the touch, and don't glide in and out as smoothly as I'd like.

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Problem shelf

This bottom door shelf felt flimsy, too, and it kept popping out of position during my tests. In the end, I was forced to tape it in place.

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8 of 12 Ry Crist/CNET

Performance

At the recommended setting, most of the refrigerator held tight in the low-to-mid thirties -- but that bottom shelf (light blue) ran way too cold.

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9 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Heat map

Here are the average temperatures in each region of the fridge from that same test. You can see that the bottom shelf is the coldest part of the fridge, but in general, everything is colder than it should be. In most cases, fridges aim for 37 degrees at the default setting.

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10 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Colder still

Things obviously get even colder when you crank the fridge down to its coldest setting, which we did. I was surprised just how cold it got, though. The entire body of the fridge sits well below 30 degrees.

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11 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Getting warmer

Of course, you could dial the fridge up to try and stave off frozen milk, but don't dial it up all the way. At the warmest setting, it runs too hot to recommend.

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12 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

Price point

At $1,100, the Whirlpool WRT511SZDM isn't an inexpensive top freezer -- is it worth the cash? Check out our full review for more.

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