July 17, 2024

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GE Profile Opal 2.0 Ultra Nugget Ice Maker Review: The Latest Smart Kitchen Gadget

GE Profile Opal 2.0 Ultra Nugget Ice Maker Review: The Latest Smart Kitchen Gadget

Some smart home gadgets can be considered essential. A smart thermostat can save you money, and a smart door lock can keep you from getting locked out. But unlike those gadgets, it’s hard to argue that these smart gadgets can’t save you money. Need Smart GE Profile Opal Ultra 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker ($579Or $629 with the side tank). However, you can Wants This tool – because it makes good ice.

The iceberg is a hill where many will die — including my family.

Yes, $630. a lot of money Spending that kind of money on a connected device whose intelligence is largely limited to scheduling time and asking Alexa to make more ice seems like a stretch. But ice cubes are a hill that many people — including my family — would die on. They make drinks taste better, as they say. And anything that encourages my kids to hydrate is a big win, in my eyes.

In case you’re not familiar with cubed ice (also known as chewy ice, sonic ice, granular ice, or as my family calls it, “good ice”), it’s small chunks of ice made from layers of flaky ice frozen together. It’s seriously addictive and goes with everything from a tall glass of water to iced tea and lemonade. It’s practically a must-have if you’re making tiki cocktails.

Cubed ice can turn a room temperature drink into a cold one in seconds and doesn’t melt as quickly as crushed ice. It’s also a lot of fun to chew on. My daughter loves getting a whole cup of ice and eating it.

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Unfortunately, no refrigerator can make real ice cubes. Samsung makes one Which produces “ice cubes”, which are small ice cubes, but Apparently not the same thingSo, you have to go to the table or go to the car.

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The Ultra is an updated version of the already great GE Profile Opal 2.0. It claims to make cleaning less of a chore by adding new features like a filter to deal with mineral buildup.

During the week that I had the Opal on the kitchen table, it became my family’s favorite kitchen tool. They love to eat the delicious chunks in a tall glass of lemonade or fill a Tervis before braving the summer heat.

The Opal is super easy to set up and use, and it makes ice very quickly—up to 38 pounds per day. It requires no plumbing, just power, but you’ll need an optional water tank if you want a steady stream of ice. All we have to do is refill that tank every two days on average so we have enough ice for all four of us.

Opal is my family’s favorite kitchen tool.

The biggest downside so far is that the Opal Ultra is noisy. The pipes make a sharp sound as they filter water, and the ice production is a little squeaky. But that’s where the smarts come in—you can schedule ice production in the Smart HQ app to avoid interfering with your movie-watching—or you can just tell Alexa or Google to turn it off.

Opal was first launched in 2015, and Ultra is the fourth version of the GE Profile’s popular nugget ice makerThe device comes with some behind-the-scenes improvements to make cleaning your device easier. These include a new water filter that prevents limescale buildup, a reusable air filter, and alerts that let you know when it’s time to sanitize or descale (both on the device and in the app).

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In theory, all of these improvements increase the time between cleaning and descaling, and should keep your ice tasting better for longer. (The good news for current Opal owners is that the new water filter is compatible with current models.)

Upgrades with the Ultra include a magnetic scoop holder and stainless steel scoop.

the Cleaning/Descaling Process It’s long and demanding. Special solution (Or vinegar, if you prefer) and up to a day of downtime while the machine does its job. And you need to keep up with it if you want it to keep producing fresh ice. In the short time I tested the unit, I didn’t get a descaling alert, but I did get a sanitizing alert, which happens after 25 hours of ice making.

The sterilization process was fairly painless and took about 30 minutes. However, with the descaling – which you will need to do once – Every two weeks to 4 months Depending on how hard your water is — this unit requires a lot of maintenance. (GE Profile notes that if you use distilled water in your Opal, you probably won’t need to descale it, but you will still need to sanitize and clean it.)

The Ultra comes in new colors, a magnetic scoop holder, and a stainless steel scoop.

Other updates with Ultra from the current version Opal 2.0 The new models include new colors (white or black in addition to stainless steel) and an improved touch screen for powering on/off, connecting to Wi-Fi, and checking status. Plus, there’s now a magnetic scoop holder and stainless steel scoop—making it easy to store the scoop on the side of the unit and should aid in cleanup.

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If you can get Opal 2.0 for sale Maybe that’s the solution. Overall, the Ultra upgrades feel like aesthetic tweaks and quality-of-life improvements. You’ll still have to clean the device manually, though not as often. Plus, you can buy the new water filter and new scoop with stand separately starting in August and use them with the Opal 2.0, though that could wipe out most of your savings.

The Opal 2.0 Ultra is very expensive, requires a lot of maintenance, and takes up a lot of kitchen counter space. But it does an excellent job of producing fresh, chewy, crunchy ice that makes any drink taste better. It’s also one of the few smart appliances I’ve brought home that everyone in my family loves—and that’s saying a lot.

If you also crave good snow and go into it knowing the struggles you will need to endure to keep getting it, you will be very satisfied with this tool.

Photos by Jennifer Pattison Toohey/The Verge