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GE ADT521PGJBS review: GE Artistry dishwasher looks so good you'll forget it cleans dishes

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MSRP: $499.00

The Good The GE Artistry dishwasher features an appealing retro design and a solid list of features. It cleans quickly, quietly and more-or-less effectively.

The Bad It's not as good at cleaning as similarly priced competition. You'll want to rinse your dishes before you load them. You might not be able to fit large pots and pans -- this dishwasher lacks any fold down tines and changing the height of the upper rack is a pain.

The Bottom Line You can find more well rounded and better performing dishwashers for the same price, but if you factor design heavily in your buying decisions, the GE Artistry dishwasher does everything else well enough to be worth your consideration.

Visit for details.

7.3 Overall
  • Performance 7
  • Features 8
  • Usability 6
  • Design 8

Review Sections

It feels like we've been down this road before. The GE Artistry Series dishwasher looks a lot like the other GE Artistry appliances we've reviewed -- simple colors accented by curved silver handles and an old fashioned GE logo. That's not a bad thing -- the designs would go well together if you bought them as a set and all of the models in the series look great in a cool, retro fashion that reminds me of a classic Cadillac.

Other than its cool design, though, the $500 ADT521PGJBS doesn't have any competitive edge over the similarly priced $700 Kenmore 13699 or $650 Frigidaire FGID2466QF. Both are better cleaners and have comparable features. If you prioritize design when buying appliances, the ADT521PGJBS holds its own as a cleaner and is worth your consideration. Otherwise, go with the Kenmore for the best cleaner in this price range, or the Frigidaire for the most well-rounded dishwasher of the bunch.

Making way for modernity

Thankfully, the beauty of the GE Artistry ADT521PGJBS isn't just skin deep. Pull the curved silver handle, and the old fashioned exterior gives way to modern features and design trends -- such as the control panel hidden on the upper lip.

The ADT521PGJBS is missing a delicate cycle, but otherwise has a useful quartet -- AutoSense, Heavy, Normal, and Light. The Light cycle does a good job of cleaning up recently dirtied dishes in a snappy 40 to 50 minutes. The Frigidaire FGID2466QF has a 30-minute quick cycle, but 40 is suitably fast and much better than the hour and a half "quick" cycle on the $700 LG LDS5040ST.

GE's quartet of cycles provide a standard but useful variety.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The options on the ADT521PGJBS help its limited selection of cycles feel more robust. You can run a cycle on the upper rack or lower rack only. You can change the temperature of the water, and you can add a steam pre-wash to help the dishwasher loosen stuck on dirt.

Make any changes to the cycles or the options, and the display will update the estimated time to completion, which stays on and updates as the cycle runs.

The Artistry's list of options is plentiful.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You can buy the GE Artistry ADT521PGJBS dishwasher at AJ Madison, Home Depot, JCPenney, and other large appliance retailers. Head to GE's site for a list of retailers in your area. As usual with large appliances, you'll find the ADT521PGJBS for less than its $500 price tag. Currently, Home Depot has it for $450. You won't be able to find the ADT521PGJBS overseas.

Inflexible interior

The inside of the ADT521PGJBS is plain, and not in the understated, striking way of the exterior. It has a plastic tub -- which will be a drawback for some as a stainless steel tub helps save energy over time -- but the plastic tub is a big part of the reason the cost of the ADT521PGJBS is so reasonable.

The Artistry lacks fold down tines, but I like the movable silverware basket.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The racks themselves lack flexibility -- none of the tines fold down, so you'll have a tough time fitting larger pots and pans. That said, they're not poorly designed, and comfortably fit standard plates, bowls, and the like. We had plenty of room for our ten place settings and the ADT521PGJBS can fit as many as 15 of them.

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