Review of the LG Panorama 20.5 cu. ft. side-by-side refrigerator with bottom-mount freezer.
Kim Girard has written about business and technology for more than a decade, as an editor at CNET News.com, senior writer at Business 2.0 magazine and online writer at Red Herring. As a freelancer, she's written for publications including Fast Company, CIO and Berkeley's Haas School of Business. She also assisted Business Week's Peter Burrows with his 2003 book Backfire, which covered the travails of controversial Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. An avid cook, she's blogged about the joy of cheap wine and thinks about food most days in ways some find obsessive.
This stainless steel LG offers many bells and whistles, including a door alarm, tilting drawers, and temperature customizing options. Like all of LG's freestanding refrigerators, this model is Energy Star qualified and retails for about $3,500.
This model has French doors, which puts the refrigerator at eye level. Inside the refrigerator, "multi-airflow" cooling vents on each shelf provide even cooling, while five digital sensors ensure your food is kept at the proper temperature. LED lighting both conserves energy and brightly lights the inside of the refrigerator, and an antibacterial seal on the door is designed to stop mold and mildew.
For storing food, there are four split tempered-glass shelves with stainless steel trim and a snack pan. Of the four door baskets, three are a roomy gallon size. The bottom freezer offers a one full-width wire drawer that tilts for easier access to food.
Outside, there's an 11-inch by 4.5-inch water dispenser on the refrigerator door, the tallest water dispenser available on the market that accommodates larger pitchers. The dispenser offers both filtered water and ice in a choice of three sizes. (There's also an accelerated freezing function on the icemaker and a stainless steel drip tray instead of a plastic one.) A digital control center allows you to set the temperature of the freezer and fresh food compartment and monitor when the water filter needs to be changed.
For the energy-minded, the fridge sounds an alert when the door is left open. If you aren't close to the fridge, a hydraulic hinge system automatically shuts the door once it reaches a 40 degree angle. "LoDecibel Quiet" operation eliminates distracting kitchen noise.
Several reviewers at Best Buy found that this model had "lots of storage for a counter-depth model" and "stunning interior lighting"; however another buyer found that the unit never cooled correctly and required replacement twice.