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LG LFXC24796D InstaView Door-in-Door Counter-Depth Refrigerator review:

The biggest knock on this fridge is the price

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LG Smart Instaview Door-in-Door Counter-Depth Refrigerator (Stainless Steel)

(Part #: LFXC24796S)
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The Good The LG LFXC24796D is a great-looking, high-end fridge that offers consistent performance and a good mix of features, including the unique and eye-catching InstaView window.

The Bad The Door-in-Door compartment offers questionable utility at best, and it ran warm throughout all of our tests.

The Bottom Line This is a decent fridge, but the knock-to-see-inside novelty wears off fast, and it comes at an awfully high premium.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.2 Overall
  • Features 7.0
  • Design 8.5
  • Performance 7.5
  • Usability 6.0

Another day, another "Door-in-Door" refrigerator from LG. With Door-in-Door, you can push a button on the handle of the fridge to open the front panel of the right door -- this lets you grab the butter or a bottle of beer out of the in-door shelves without opening the refrigerator itself.

Now, the Door-in-Door compartment in LG's latest refrigerators comes with an "InstaView" window. Give it a double knock, and the fridge's interior lights will come on, illuminating your groceries inside. That lets you browse for a snack or a beverage without opening anything at all. It's an interesting feature, but a niche convenience at best.

Still, as niche conveniences go, InstaView is admittedly nifty, and it makes LG's Door-in-Door feature more visible than ever. That, more than anything else, is what LG is probably going for here. The Korean manufacturer has made Door-in-Door a keystone feature of its fridge lineup; it needs people to know about it, and to want it. InstaView isn't about seeing your groceries -- it's about seeing Door-in-Door.

All of which brings us to the LG LFXC24796D. It's a counter-depth French door model in an attractive black stainless steel finish, and the InstaView window is its marquee feature. The price: $4,300 -- or $500 more than a nearly identical counter-depth Door-in-Door model without the InstaView window. That's a very steep premium for the trivial privilege of peeking at your groceries, and it makes the otherwise decent LFXC24796D a poor value.

Chris Monroe/CNET

This fridge is a looker

The rise of black stainless steel offered LG a fresh coat of paint for its high-end fridges. It's an aesthetic that makes everything feel more modern, and it looks great on the LFXC24796D. Add the InstaView window, and you're looking at a distinctive French door model that your house guests will be sure to "ooh" and "aah" over (they'll probably want to knock on it, too).

Size-wise, this counter-depth model offers 23.5 cubic feet of total storage space, 15.6 of which get allocated to the fridge compartment. It's a decent number for a counter-depth refrigerator like this one that's designed to fit flush with the front of your cabinets and countertops. But keep in mind that counter-depth models offer less depth than their full-size siblings. Try to stuff an extra-large pizza box inside, and the doors won't close.

The fridge compartment offers 15.6 cubic feet of storage space.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Still, I had no trouble fitting our full load of test groceries inside, and, pizza box aside, I fit our large stress test items in, too. My only quibble was that there wasn't a good spot for 2-liter bottles. The Door-in-Door shelves would be the optimal place for them, but none of those shelves are tall enough to fit one, and none of them are adjustable. You can slide one of the main body shelves toward the back of the fridge to make room for tall items below it, but it only slides back so far. Our test 2-liter sat awkwardly over the edge of the shelf below as a result.

As for features, there's some good stuff going on inside of this fridge. My favorite is the SlimSpace ice maker, which packs the entirety of the ice maker into the left door. It saves space inside of the fridge and keeps the interior of the door perfectly flat, which makes it easier to fit things into the in-door shelves. You've also got a temperature-adjustable pantry drawer that runs the width of the bottom of the fridge -- a nice feature, but one that didn't prove all that useful when we tested it (more on that in just a bit.)

Chris Monroe/CNET

Door-in-Door: What is it good for?

It's an honest question. What's the point? LG pitches it as both a convenience and an energy saver, but I don't see it as either. On the convenience front, you're still opening a door and grabbing your bottle of beer -- it's just a different door than before. As far as energy goes, we've yet to see a Door-in-Door compartment have any appreciable impact on performance, and we've tested several of them.

If anything, you could argue that the Door-in-Door compartment actually cuts against performance -- and against convenience, too. Door-in-Door temperatures are almost always a little bit warmer than the rest of the fridge, a pattern that held true with the LFXC24796D. And if you want to access those shelves the old-fashioned way (from the inside of the fridge), you'll need to open -- wait for it -- another door. Yep, Door-in-Door has another door inside of the door.

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