A fast toaster with well-designed controls but it can't quite justify its high price
Number of slots: 4, Reheat mode: No, Defrost mode: Yes, Bagel mode: Yes, Muffin rack?: No
With the Architect, Dualit tries its hand at the traditional pop-up toaster. As you’d expect the design is pretty stylish, in a chunky, no nonsense kind of way. If you want to soften the look, you can remove the metal side panels and replace them with coloured plastic alternatives – like a nineties Nokia mobile. There are three fascia options, all fairly garish, but someone might have a kitchen to match or complement them we suppose.
As is usual on a four-slice toaster, the controls are split into two, with each set controlling a pair of slots. The controls themselves are sparse but pleasingly chunky. Big knobs that turn smoothly, click as they rotate and light up when you’re toasting. In the middle of each knob is the clearly labelled eject button. Below are buttons to extend the normal toasting time for frozen bread and a bagel setting – which then only toasts one side of each slice.
It’s all very smart-looking and intuitive with big clear icons. Unusually there’s no reheat button here though, we’re not big fans of reheated toast admittedly (it’s usually dry and inedible) but it’s also useful for giving a round of toast an extra blast without having to worry about it getting totally incinerated.
So far then a fairly typical pop-up toaster, but Dualit has brought something special from its marquee, catering-quality line up. During toasting you can lift the handle on the Architect and have a quick peek at the toast in progress, without pressing the eject button and cancelling the current timer. It’s a brilliant feature for those who like to lurk by the toaster and get every slice done to a turn.
The slots themselves are longer than most, which allows typical sliced loaf fare to just about be laid down sideways, ensuring complete coverage and no untoasted top edges. However, should your normal slice be any larger than this then the Architect isn’t very deep and you’ll get a substantial untoasted segment at the top – see our test slice that we toasted upright for consistency. The heating elements are more closely spaced than on most toasters we’ve seen, but they’re not protected by a transparent sheet as on the classic Dualit.