The Magic Chef MCBR170 (MCBR170WMD in white, MCBR170BMD in black) is a 1.7-cubic-foot cube-shaped mini fridge with a half-width freezer that's large enough only for one small ice tray. It does use a compressor rather than thermoelectric cooling, however, so it keeps drinks and leftovers safely cold. Owners say it's quiet and it's small enough to fit on a countertop or under a table or desk. In performance tests, the freezer did poorly, which is common for most mini fridges of this size. If you want a fridge this small but don't care about having a freezer, the 1.8-cubic-foot Danby DAR195BL (*Est. $120) is Energy Star-compliant and gets good reviews from owners.
The Magic Chef MCBR170 is included in ConsumerReports.org's ongoing testing program and is included in the latest ratings chart at ConsumerReports.org, available only to subscribers. ConsumerGuide.com reviews it as well, although the review is not based on testing. Owners weigh in at HomeDepot.com, giving it generally good reviews.
The Magic Chef MCBR170 is among the mini fridges included in the ratings chart here. General advice about buying a refrigerator is available to nonsubscribers on the site.
Review: Refrigerators, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
About 25 owners weigh in on HomeDepot.com website with ratings and reviews of the Magic Chef MCBR170WMD (the white finish). The average rating is 4 out of 5 stars, and most comments are positive. A couple of people complain that the mini fridge never worked properly (even when brand new), and one person points out that in cases of power outages, the refrigerator must be turned back on manually, which he finds annoying. Owners concur that this model is quiet overall.
Review: Magic Chef 1.7 cu. ft. Compact Refrigerator in White, Contributors to HomeDepot.com
The editors of ConsumerGuide.com rate each mini fridge they cover on value, features, ease of use and performance. They give the Magic Chef MCBR170WMD an overall rating of 4 out of 5, giving it a lower score for features than for the other aspects they consider. They explain, "It has only basic features, but it comes at a nice low price that will make owning this fridge a snap." It's not clear that any testing was done, however.
Review: Expert Review: Magic Chef MCBR170WMD Compact Refrigerator, Editors of ConsumerGuide.com, Aug. 1, 2006