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* The Black and Decker T2 Arize, $60, treats toast as entertainment. The Arize is a stylish glass-sided appliance that allows you to watch the bread brown as it slowly drops and then rises up in the toaster slots. It makes terrific toast, and the defrost/reheat setting thawed frozen waffles well enough. But a special setting for bagels and English muffins didn't toast either well.
We judged the Arize very good overall. It's easy to clean, and it shuts off quickly if bread jams in a slot. But at nearly 17 inches in length, it takes up more space than most other toasters. It's also fairly noisy.
A more economical choice is the GE …