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Marching to the beat of simplicity and style

The new Piano Black small appliance series from Haier makes music from sleek design and great function.

It really is as black and shiny as my piano. Haier

You can always count on an exhibition to inspire companies to create and display some pretty cool stuff, and the International Housewares Show in Chicago is no exception. Among Haier's showings this year is the new Piano Black line of small appliances.

The blue LED illumination looks good, but it's the features, like cool-to-the-touch handles, that will really win you over. This is a full line of appliances, including a cordless electric water kettle in standard and dome shapes, digital toasters in a variety of configurations, a food processor and blender combination, a citrus juicer, and more.

I've always resisted the pull of electric kettles, but these look so good I might have to make an exception. My favorite feature from the line is on the digital toaster: a countdown display. If you've ever stood in your kitchen, coffee in hand, waiting to grab your toast and go, you will know exactly what I'm feeling.

These appliances don't need to hide out in cabinets or behind doors; they're right at home out on the counter for everyone to see. The line was just unveiled at the show in late March, so look for it to hit stores shortly.