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GE PFE28KMKES review: GE's Profile Series fridge has a killer filler feature

It's largely the same interior design as last year's models, which is fine with me. The ice-maker is housed entirely in the door, which frees up space in the body of the fridge. The black rubber slip-mats that line the right door shelves come out for easy cleaning. The "Drop Down Tray" that descends from the bottom of the butter bin offers a sneaky little bonus shelf.

The Profile Series fridge got a passing grade in our performance tests, but it wasn't at the top of the class.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

There's also a pantry drawer beneath the crispers called the "TempSelectZone," another hold-over from last year's models. It has its own dedicated thermostat and offers three temperature presets. The range is pretty tight, though, with a total swing of just four degrees separating the coldest setting from the warmest one. The dedicated deli drawer in the Samsung RF28HMEDBSR was more impressive, with a 13-degree swing and better temperature accuracy all-around.

Performance

Speaking of temperature accuracy, the PFE28KMKES was a good-but-not-great performer in our cooling tests.

At the default, 37-degree setting, it successfully held the body of the fridge below 40 degrees F (a benchmark for food safety set by the FDA), but only just barely, and not without yielding a couple of hot spots in the in-door shelves. That's still a perfectly decent result, though, and I figured that the fridge would do even better once I dialed it down to its lowest setting of 34 degrees. It actually didn't.

Despite dialing the temperature setting down by 3 degrees, the actual average temperature in each section only tended to go down by about a degree or less. That was enough to pull one of the in-door hot spots down below 40, but it was still a weaker result than I had anticipated (hence the weaker shades of blue on heat map number two).

Down below in the freezer compartment, things stayed consistent. We kept it set to 0 degrees F throughout both tests to see if changing the fridge setting would affect its performance at all.

The freezer wasn't affected one bit, which is good, but it also stayed about 4 degrees too cold throughout the entirety of the tests.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The verdict

There's a lot to like about this refrigerator and not a lot of notable weaknesses. It looks simple but stylish, it offers a good mix of features, and, at a retail price of $3,000, it's actually one of the more affordable high-end models new to market this year. I wish the inside was just a bit roomier, and that the cooling performance had been a touch more accurate, but it's a fine fridge, overall.

Other, similar GE Profile Series and Cafe Series models offer different mixes of features, including Precise Fill and settings for making hot beverages, so keep those in mind as well. But if you're tempted by that Autofill feature and you like the way this fridge looks, consider it a pretty safe splurge.

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