For a retro design in a beautifully modern and functional style, the Hamilton Beach 1.7L Stainless Steel Electric Kettle gets top nod here. Although this is a basic electric kettle, the Hamilton Beach unit does have an easy to read water fill window on the back, and it will auto stop before it boils dry. It's 1500 wattage rating will heat an entire pot of water to boiling in less than five minutes, and if you only fill it to one-quarter, it will boil in just a couple of minutes. This fast and efficient electric kettle looks as good as it works, and if you like a bit of retro in your kitchen, you can't do any better than this.
If the perfect temperature is what you are after for coffee, tea or hot chocolate, then the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle will get it done. This kettle has six pre-programmed temperature settings for virtually any hot beverage that you drink. The 1500 watt powered base heats the 1.7 liter water filled kettle to boiling in about six minutes, less if you chose a lower temperature. It will maintain your desired temp for up to 30 minutes, it features a back-lit water fill window and boil dry auto shut off. This is one of the most expensive units on this list, but it gives you maximum versatility with temperature set options and it comes protected by a three year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
If you like glass kettles, none are better than the Ovente KG83B Glass Electric Kettle, 1.5-L which is illuminated in a blue light as it boils for a bit of visual stimulation you won’t see on other kettles. The 1100 watt base brings the kettle to a boil in about six minutes, and it comes with a boil dry auto shut-off to prevent scorching the kettle. This is the least expensive electric kettle on the list, and granted it’s a no frills unit. However, for a basic kettle that adds a new visual dimension to boiling water, the Ovente Glass Electric Kettle stands alone.