This kettle is useful to someone who needs to boil water for French press or manual drip coffee, tea, or even for preheating water for use in a vacuum pot. It seems faster and is easier to use than a stove. In some places, of course, there's no stove, and it's the best way to go.
When Braun released this kettle a few years ago, it was probably the first company to come out with the newest generation of hot pots, or kettles that boil water quickly and easily. It seems much faster than a gas or electric stove, shuts off automatically (but does not have a keep-hot feature), and the carafe part needs no plugging in. You lift it off a round "peg" that's part of the base, and put it back on the "peg" base heating element with an easy motion. The kettle rotates 360 degrees on the base, so you can put it back on the base in any orientation.
Steps for using it are simple. Fill the pot. A clear area on both sides of the pot lets you see the level, and levels are marked from two to seven cups. There are only two buttons on the kettle, both located on the top of the handle. One opens the lid for filling or cleaning, although you can fill it without opening the lid, through the spot. The other turns on the heating element. It clicks off automatically when boiled. You can't even turn on the kettle if it's not sitting properly on the base, which is a nice feature. That way in the unlikely event you didn't seat the kettle properly, you won't turn it on and walk away, waiting for it to boil.
There's an orange indicator light near the base of the kettle that tells you it's on. However, your ear tells you the same thing, as the water begins heating up so quickly that you can hear it bubbling as it reaches a boil.
Inside, the kettle is plastic with a brushed stainless base. The heating coils are hidden, so if you had to reach in to clean it, there are no coils to maneuver around. Inside the pot there's a removable plastic filter, so that if crud from scaling should develop, it won't land in your pot or cup. The hidden coils also mean you can boil a very tiny amount of water, as the water does not need to reach above any coils or particular level.
I actually have two of these Braun kettles, one at home and one at the office. At work I use spring water, and in two years, I've seen no deposits build up inside the pot. At home I use tap water, and a mild deposit is building up which eventually will require simple descaling.
To give you the specs, from the Braun web page:
AquaExpress Model WK200, in white or black, 1500 watt, 7 cup or 1.6 liter capacity, easy-read water level indicator on both sides, on/off pilot light on both sides, easy water filling through the spout, concealed heating element, four-way safety switch off (when dry, when oiften off base, when lid is opened, when water boils), cord storage, washable limestone scale filter, easy to clean. That sums it up.
I like everything about the pot except 1) The style doesn't thrill me. It's available in white or black plastic, and I think Braun's design teams could create something more beautiful. Functionally, however, it's simple and perfect. 2) The other improvement would be a "keep hot" feature, but I don't miss it.
When this pot first came out there were early imitators, but they weren't as nicely designed (the lid wasn't hinged, and the heating coil was not hidden). Lately I'm seeing some competitors, however. Some of the stainless steel ones are more beautiful but make sure they don't have an exposed heating element inside.