LG LTNC11121V review: A decent little top-freezer fridge (emphasis on little)

It didn't ace our tests, but the LTNC11121V keeps the body of the fridge right where you want it.

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Performance

Like all of the fridges we test at CNET Appliances, we put the LTNC11121V through a rigorous battery of tests, including several days in our climate-controlled testing chamber. And, when all was said and done, the LTNC11121V did a fine job.

The fridge stayed consistent at its coldest setting, with most sections of the interior dropping by about three degrees.

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Its cooling power isn't remarkable by any stretch. The door shelves consistently ran warm, as did the crisper, and we weren't able to adjust the fridge temperature without affecting the freezer temperature, too. Still, the shelves in the body of the fridge always stayed on point, with the top shelf scoring a perfect bull's-eye of 37 degrees F when we tested the fridge at its default setting of 4 out of 7.

We saw more of the same when we cranked the fridge up to 7 out of 7, its coldest setting (and yep, dialing up to lower the temperature is a bit counter-intuitive). The temperature on that top shelf, the coldest spot in the fridge, fell to 34.3 degrees F, which is another good result (most refrigerators aim for 33 or 34 degrees F at their coldest setting). The rest of the fridge followed suit, with most sections dropping by about three degrees. The one exception: the fridge's top shelves, where you might keep your butter -- the temperature actually rose by 3 degrees.

The real takeaway is that LG's engineers seem to have calibrated this small-sized refrigerator's limited cooling power around the top shelf of the fridge compartment. I think that's the right approach, as it keeps the most most important part of the fridge at an appropriate temperature. With a little more oomph, they might have been able to bring those door shelves along for the ride, but at $700, I think it's an acceptable tradeoff.

One other performance consideration: efficiency. The LTNC11121V burns through 339 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which will add about three and a half bucks to your monthly power bill. That's right on par with similar-sized fridges from Whirlpool and Kenmore, each of which consumes 338 kWh per year.

That's obviously less than it costs to run a bigger fridge -- but not by as much as you might think. For instance, LG's biggest top freezer (the one that's more than twice as big as the LTNC11121V) uses 501 kWh, and will add about five bucks to your bill each month.

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The verdict

At an MSRP of $700, the LTNC11121V isn't anything flashy, but it isn't an eyesore either, and it did well enough in our tests for me to say that it'd be a fine fridge for a cramped kitchen. It might be an even better fit as a second fridge for the garage or for a makeshift man-cave in the basement. There's no reason to pay to cool more space than you actually need, so for limited uses like that, where you aren't relying on it for the bulk of your groceries, less is probably more.