The Stoneware version of the Dualit Lite 4 Slot Toaster is yet another handsome toaster from the company. The Stoneware bit means it has a rough texture to the front and back sections, with the Granite version here having something of a concrete-like finish. It’s decidedly modern without being slick or sleek, I really like it. It’s also available in shinier and more colourful finishes, if you prefer, and they all function identically.
Unlike Dualit’s trademark designs, the Lite is a more traditional pop-up design that works much like any other toaster on the market. It has all the features you could reasonably want, though, with frozen bread and bagel buttons – the latter warms on one side while toasting on the other.
All the buttons and dial have great feedback with nice positive clicks. The cancel buttons are neatly hidden in the middle of the browning dials (it confused me to begin with, though unless you’re buying a toaster for a rental property it’s not really a worry). There are two browning controls, so you can toast different things at the same time, and lift-and-look lets you check the progress without having to cancel the timer.
This is the first toaster I’ve seen with Dualit’s new Perfect Toast Technology. The toaster has a thermometer inside that takes into account the ambient temperature, as a result of hot weather or from the toaster being hot from previous use. It takes this into account when you make toast, reducing or increasing the time taken. The idea is that you don’t have to adjust the timer setting to account for such changes.
I tested the new Perfect Toast Technology by making rounds of toast in rapid succession. The first pair of slices came out in exactly two minutes, a little quicker than our previous from-cold test. For the second set, the toaster sliced 10 seconds off that time in order to try and maintain the same browning. The change succeeded in preventing the toast from burning but it wasn’t enough of a reduction to match the first pair of slices, as you can see below.
I’m not convinced you really need to adjust your toaster for weather conditions but it’s a nice idea to reduce the time on consecutive rounds of toast. It could do with being a little more proactive and the addition of a humidity sensor to detect changes between fresh and dry bread would be an obvious next step here.
In my tests, the Dualit Lite 4 Slot Toaster was faster than most, though not as quick as some of the Dualit models I’ve tested in the past. At 2 minutes and 10 seconds it produced a good pair of slices, using 0.036kWh to do so. That’s on a browning setting of 3.8, with the highly-controllable Dualit having five clear clicks between each number on the dial. Browning was fairly even, though I’ve seen better.
The slots are long and wide, I measured them at 38mm and Dualit claims you can toast bread up to 36mm in them. When finished, the amount of toast protruding from the toaster isn’t great at just 41mm but there’s plenty of extra lift, raising it up to 60mm and making even small items like crumpets accessible. As with other Dualit toasters you can pick up a pair of toasted sandwich cages for just £11 from Amazon.
Around the back are two crumb trays that come out together as one. The design means you wouldn’t know they were there, so it’s a good choice if your toaster is going to be on show from both sides, such as on an island.
The Dualit Lite 4 Slot Toaster, whether in this Stoneware or its more colourful standard finish, is a well-built device that makes good toast. It has all the features you’d want and though the Perfect Toast Technology doesn’t quite live up to its claim in my testing, it did save a few rounds of toast that otherwise would have burnt. At around £75 it’s a little on the expensive side but then it’s very well made and toasts well, it wins our Recommended award. For other options see our Best Toaster 2016 picks and buying guide.
|Number of slots||4|
|Defrost mode||on dial|
|Toast lift height||41mm|
|Additional lift height?||60mm|
|Slot width||38mm (36mm)|
|Crumb tray||Single, rear (2 in 1)|
|Cool to touch?||yes|
|Warranty||One Year RTB|