Bosch Integra SHX98M09UC Review
The Bosch SHX98M09UC is a nice dishwasher, but a bit more complicated than we'd have liked.
The Bosch Integra SHX98M09UC is all over the place.
Let us be clear: some of its cycles were among the best we've ever tested, but overall it’s a bit more complicated than we would have liked. For example, the interface is frustrating and takes some patience to figure out, and while the wash performance and efficiency scores were pretty darn good, they varied greatly between cycles. Much of this has to do with the fact that all of the main cycles are automatic, so the intensity of the wash depends on soil levels.
These complaints would be easy to overlook were this a mid-range dishwasher, but it’s not. This is an extremely pricey machine (good luck finding it for less than $1,400), and that fact is difficult to ignore. Even so, the outstanding efficiency scores, large capacity, and speedy cycles are enough to warrant some favorable recognition for buyers who aren't concerned with price.
Design & Usability
The fancy touch-screen control panel is more convoluted than it's worth.
Like most high-end dishwashers, this Bosch has a certain elegant simplicity. While this is evident in most aspects of the machine’s design, it’s unfortunately lacking in regards to the interface. The electronic control panel is cool—one of the niftiest we’ve come across—but it’s not exactly practical. To scroll through the options you must hold a finger above a touch-sensitive button for what seems like a long time. Also, menus don't loop around when you've finished scrolling through cycles. Choosing customizable options can be a bit tricky, too, since some are buried within other settings. Honestly, as cool as the interface looks—including the display on the front that shows cycle data—we prefer a standard button arrangement.
Like the exterior finish, the wash tub is also stainless steel; this makes for a quiet wash—not to mention a more thorough drying stage. Both racks are sturdy and adjustable. While we wish some of the tines in the top were closer together, it doesn’t blight the machine’s large capacity. The six rows of angled tines on the bottom of the dishwasher made for a challenging loading process—especially with bulky dishware like pots and pans—but we were still able to fit plenty of items. The detergent dispenser features two lines for measuring detergent volumes. It also has a standard rinse aid container.
While the actual number of options is pretty standard for a high-end machine, it’s the presentation that sparked our interest... and then our frustration.
This appliance offers four main cycles, all of which can be modified or customized. They include Party Wash (a quick cycle—not a sprayjet soiree), Auto Wash, Super Auto Wash, and Auto Delicate Wash. The wash options and customization features—all of which can be added to any cycle—include a delay (up to 24 hours), three drying programs (Economy, Normal, and Extra), an Eco function, and four wash programs (Regular, Enviro Care, Glass Care, and Extreme Wash). Whew!
The wash arms themselves are a bit flimsy and feel surprisingly cheap for such an expensive machine, but in our tests their curved design did help spread water and maximize rinse exposure.
Sure, it's fast and thorough, but inconsistent results make it hard to justify this machine's high-end price tag.
Like so many other things with this dishwasher, the wash performance was a bit temperamental. For instance, the Super Auto Wash probably ranks among the best heavy cycles we’ve tested, but the Party and Auto Washes were average.
The Auto Wash, aside from being extremely efficient, showed decent performance. For any dishwasher under $1,000, we’d be impressed, but at $1,600, "decent" isn't good enough. Once again, although we can call this dishwasher technically proficient, because of its inconsistency, we can't say it's a great value.
This is an European model of elegance and efficiency, yet all the positive elements are weighed down by shaky performance and an overblown price tag.
The Bosch Integra SHX98M09UC is an impressive, elegantly designed model of German appliance manufacturing. It performs pretty well, looks nice, feels like a high-end appliance, and uses a minimal amount of water and electricity. For a $1600 MSRP, though, it was too inconsistent for our tastes, and the controls had a somewhat steep learning curve.
If you can get your hands on one of these for less than a grand, then we’d say go ahead; it’s a worthy investment. You'll be hard pressed to find a new one for less than $1500, though, and that's just too much money for this Bosch's shaky performance.
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