GE puts out a steady stream of refrigerators under the Profile Series name. Last year's fleet included models with a sensor-powered water dispenser capable of automatically filling up your glass, pitcher or pot. It scored as one of our favorite fridge features of the year.
This year's refreshed lineup includes new models with that same Autofill water dispenser, including the $3,000 GE PFE28KMKES. It's a good-looking fridge with easy-to-use touch controls and an understated slate finish (a stainless steel model is also available at the same price, if you like your fridge a bit shinier). It doesn't have quite as many bells and whistles as last year's models, but as a well-refined high-end appliance, there's still a lot to like about it.
Design done right
First things first: This fridge looks great. It's one of a growing number of slate-finish appliances from GE, and it might be the best-looking one yet, taking full advantage of the style's modern aesthetic and inherent subtlety.
To that last point, I think GE was wise to switch from the full-color LCD touchscreen of last year's models to a simpler, cleaner-looking touch panel. It isn't technically as fancy as before, but it blends right in with the slate finish and seems like a much more appropriate choice than the flashy touchscreen would have been.
That touch panel is straightforward and easy-to-use, too, with all of the obvious buttons for controlling the temperature, the icemaker and the water dispenser. Key among these is the "Autofill" button in the middle. Set a glass, pitcher or pot down below and give that button a press. The fridge will fill it up all on its own with sensors that tell it when to stop.
It's an undeniably cool feature and a surprisingly nice little luxury for your kitchen. I first tested it out a little more than a year ago, and I still "ooh" and "aah" a little bit on the inside whenever I watch it at work. It's the exact sort of "little thing" that I wish more appliances got right.
That said, I wish that this model also offered Precise Fill, an option available in certain other GE fridges that lets you tell the water dispenser to dispense a specific quantity of liquid -- say, four cups for a pot of pasta. In its place, you get a counter in the display that keeps track of how many ounces of water you're dispensing as you're dispensing it. It's a nice touch, but not as helpful as Precise Fill.
A look inside
The PFE28KMKES is a 27.8 cubic foot refrigerator, 18.6 cubic feet of which are allocated to the fridge compartment. That's pretty much average for a French door model in this price range, so if you're feeding a large family and space is at a premium, know that you can probably find something at least a little bit bigger if you shop around.