GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker Review (Updated 2022)

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If you are searching for a sonic ice machine for home, chances are you’ve already heard of the GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker. It’s the most popular and most reviewed portable sonic ice maker on Amazon.

It does make good ice. And it’s been around in the market for many years.

Tried and tested. But is it the best nugget ice maker for you?

And what has changed in the latest GE Profile Opal 2.0 vs 1.0?

Let’s dive into the details!

The Pioneer of Portable Nugget Ice Makers

In fact, Opal Nugget Ice Maker is the first portable nugget ice maker that helps sonic ice fans turn the dream of making sonic ice at home into a reality.

It all started when FirstBuild (a GE Appliances subsidiary and micro factory) brought Opal into the market in 2015. That was a gamechanger as it is a countertop ice maker, which is more affordable and suitable for residential use.

In the past, if you want to make pellet ice at home, you would have needed the more luxurious commercial units which is huge and cost thousands of dollars. Since then, GE has made some upgrades to give us the GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker as we know it today.

GE Opal vs Opal 2.0 – What has changed?

The GE Profile Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker is the latest model.

It comes with a sleeker look and some upgraded features. The new model is also quieter and produces less heat.

But it also costs more. Let’s check out if it’s worth it!

Smart Features – Wi-Fi and Voice Control

If you are a lover of smart home devices, you will be glad to know that the Opal 2.0 now comes with built-in wifi connectivity. You can now pair it up with the SmartHQ app to monitor the device’s status, schedule the ice-making and switch on/off or adjust the ice maker lights. You can even use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to turn the unit on/off or turn the lights on/off.

The new smart features are definitely better than the previous Bluetooth compatibility. At the very least, you can control it from anywhere, so that you can have the son ready before you reach home.

More Intuitive to Use With Additional Control Buttons and Indicators

Instead of the original 1 button design, there are now 3 buttons on right side of the front panel – Clean, Light and Power. I find this to be even more intuitive to use than the Opal 1.0. When it comes to activating the self-cleaning cycle, you will not need to toggle the switch at the back of the unit!

ge opal 2 front panel
The single round button on the GE Opal 1.0 front panel is now replaced by 3 buttons and text-based indicator lights.

On the left-hand side of the front panel you now have text-based indictors that will light up to show you the status of the unit – Making Ice, Add Water, Defrosting and Cleaning. This is great as you don’t have to remember what the different coloured-lights mean.

Looks Cooler on Your Countertop – New Color Option

The Opal 2.0 looks more elegant and sleeker with its finish and lines. In addition to the original stainless steel color, it is now also available in black stainless steel which is really cool.

More Compact than Before

The Opal nugget maker 2.0 is slightly smaller and lighter compared to its predecessor.

  • Dimension (without side tank): 10.5” x 17.5” x 16.5” (WxDxH)
  • Dimension (with side tank): 13.4” x 17.5” x 16.5” (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 38 Ibs

What We Like about GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker?

Sits Anywhere On Your Countertop

The Opal ice pellet maker is slightly bigger than your typical kitchen appliances but compact enough for the countertop.

There’s no need to hook up to a water source, so you are not restricted to placing it next to the sink. You put it almost anywhere in your kitchen countertop as long as it has access to a standard electrical outlet.

However, the ice machine does produce quite a bit of heat. So, you’ll need to ensure that you leave at least 3 inches of clearances around the sides and back of the unit for proper ventilation to prevent overheating.

Enjoy Chewable Ice in 20-30 Minutes

Even though the Opal makes its first plop of ice in around 10 minutes, the initial texture is kind of slushy and wet. However, the ice quality improves as the unit cools.

You should get your first batch of solid nugget ice in 20-30 minutes.

Holds 3 Pounds of Ice (pretty average compared to peers)

Opal has a production rate is about 24 Ibs of ice per day (i.e. 1 pound of ice per hour). So, it takes about 3 hours to completely fill the ice bucket, which has a storage capacity of 3 Ibs ice.

The unit stops making ice when it detects that the bin is fully filled with ice, hence preventing any overfill.

Stop Worrying About Running Out of Ice with Automatic Refill

In the centre of the ice maker is a transparent bin for storing the ice. You can clearly see how much ice you have on hand, without having to open the ice pellet maker.

GE Profile Opal also features automatic smart refill. As long as you keep the ice machine ON, it will automatically make ice when the ice is running low until the bin is full or until the water reservoir is empty.

Side Tank for Extended Ice Production Without Refilling Water

The main water reservoir sits just beneath the ice drawer. You can manually refill the water reservoir by removing the ice bin and pouring portable water to the max fill line.

What’s really nice and different about the Opal nugget ice machine compared to its peers is that it comes with a side tank accessory!

The side tank has 3 times the water capacity so that you don’t have to refill the ice maker so frequently.

The water tank attaches easily to the side and is held in place by a magnet. You can conveniently fill the water tank without disrupting the ice creation. It also detaches easily for cleaning.

You’ll also notice that there are 2 drain hoses at the back of the ice machine. One of it is to drain the main water reservoir prior to cleaning, the other is to connect and drain water from the side tank into the main reservoir.

It’s Not a Freezer…

It’s important to understand that this is an ice machine, not a freezer.

If you keep it on 24/7, what is happening is that the ice is going to melt and the melted ice water will drip down into the main reservoir at the bottom. The water is then recycled and made into new ice, while topping it up with the water from the side tank.

You’ll probably need to refill the side tank every 2-3 days depending on how fast you are consuming the ice.

Adding Freshness to the Water

Initially I thought it was a little gross if the water is being recycled indefinitely. But this only happens if you are keeping the unit on all the time while not consuming any of the ice produced.

More importantly, I’m glad to know that the nugget ice taste fresh as the water is passed through a water filter and a built-in sanitizing UV light in the reservoir.

Again, having a water filter in the sonic ice machine is a feature lacking in other brands.

Portable Nugget Ice Maker (but you don’t really want to move it around)

The Opal sonic ice maker is easy and ergonomic to carry due to its simple rectangular design.

While it is possible to move it around in the kitchen, the Opal is not exactly lightweight as it still weighs over 40 Ibs. But the way I see it, you wouldn’t be shifting it around too often after setting it up. It is definitely not something that you want to be taking in and out of the cabinet regularly.

p.s. Even though the Opal ice maker (or in fact, most countertop pellet ice makers) is commonly referred to as portable, it doesn’t mean that it can be used outdoors. I guess the name came about to differentiate themselves from the traditional bulky standalone or under cabinet commercial ice makers?

Easy to Access Ice Bin

You can easily access and scoop up the ice by pulling the ice bin out. The bin can be left tilt open so you don’t have to hold onto the door while you scoop the ice.

GE opal ice maker ice bun

The bin can also be easily removed when you want to empty out the ice or clean the ice drawer.

There’s also an LED light inside the ice bin so you can see it even in the dark.

Easy to use

GE Profile Opal 1.0 – 1 button with different indicator lights

In the Opal 1.0, there is only 1 button on the front panel, which is used to toggle between the various functions. The different color LED light ring surrounding the button indicates the current status.

To turn the ice pellet machine ON or OFF, simply press the button once. To dim the interior LED light, simply touch and hold for 3 seconds.

What does the different light ring mean in the GE Ice Maker 1?

– Falling white: Ice making in process.
– Solid white: Ice bin is full. Opal is not making ice currently.
– Switching blue: Add water.
– Pulsing yellow: Cleaning mode – awaiting drain and refill
– Rotating mode: Cleaning mode – rinsing in process
– Slowly falling white: Opal is defrosting. Do not unplug or turn off for 30 minutes.

GE Profile Opal 2.0 is even more intuitive to use

Opal 2.0 now comes with 3 buttons on the front panel, with clear text labels. The text-based indicator lights clearly show you the status of the unit (Making Ice, Add Water, Defrosting and Cleaning) so there’s zero guesswork needed.

Make Ice “On Demand” or Keep it Running

If you are not consuming much ice, you can choose to run the Opal ice maker “on demand”. Continuous re-circulation of the melted ice water may affect the taste, which is why it is also recommended that you drain away the water and turn the unit off if you are away for a couple of days on vacation.

However, if you are an ice lover, you can gladly leave the unit on so the bin will always be full of ice.

Easy to Clean

The GE Profile Opal has a self-cleaning feature so you don’t have to take the unit apart to scrub and clean.

Prior to starting the cleaning cycle, first unplug the unit, replace the reservoir filter with the screened cap and drain the water from the reservoir using the drain hose on the back of the unit.

To start the cleaning cycle, plug in the unit again and slide the toggle switch on the back of the unit from “Ice” to “Cleaning” position. The ring light surrounding the front button will now turn into pulsing yellow. From here, you can follow the instructions in the owner manual using a bleach solution or Opal’s cleaning solution kit.

The cleaning cycle will involve circulating the cleaning solution through the ice pellets machine and rinsing with fresh water.

However, you’ll still need to manually change the water and also use a wet cloth to wipe clean the walls and ice bin. Not fully automated, but easy enough.

The Opal 2.0 is slightly different in that it has more buttons on the front panel, including the “Clean” button.

You can check out the video below on how to clean the Opal 2.0.

Smart Features

The Opal 1.0 Nugget Ice Maker has built-in Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect to it on your phone via an app. Honestly, this is neither a deal maker nor breaker.

The app can be used to start or stop the ice creation. You can also use it to check on the status, for example whether the water tank is empty.

However, the functionality of the app is rather limited. Furthermore, Bluetooth connectivity means that you can only program the unit within close distance which, in my opinion, pretty much defeats the purpose of having a smart feature.

So, I’m happy to know that in the latest Opal 2.0 Nugget Ice Maker, the Bluetooth connectivity has been replaced by WIFI connectivity and voice control.

PROS

  • Good quality nugget ice
  • Makes nugget ice in 20-30 minutes
  • Ice bin holds 3 Ibs of ice
  • Automatic/Smart refill when ice runs low
  • Sensor to detect when ice bin is full to prevent overfill
  • Removable and easy to access ice bin
  • Extra water side tank to reduce frequency of refilling water
  • Water filter and UV-sanitizing light in the water reservoir
  • Self-cleaning feature
  • Compact for countertop
  • No need to be hooked up to a water supply
  • Easy to carry with its simple and ergonomic rectangular design
  • Detailed user manual (but very long)
  • Easy to use – Opal 1.0 comes with 1 button operation with different indicator light to show status, while Opal 2.0 comes with 3 buttons and text-based indicator lights
  • Smart features – GE Opal 1.0 comes with Bluetooth connectivity (but limited function), while Opal 2.0 comes with built-in wifi connectivity and voice control

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Ice production rate slower than some of its peers
  • Makes humming noise due to the compressor running
  • Advisable to get extended warranty

The Opal ice machine is no different from other portable sonic ice maker when it comes to making humming noises. In fact, the user manual even included a section explaining the types of unfamiliar noises you might expect. If you are sensitive to the noses, you might want to move it to the furthest corner of the kitchen. Some have even relegated it into the basement.

While the nugget ice made by Opal Profile is very much well-loved, it seems that the unit may not last for years. Considering how expensive the unit is, I would recommend getting the extended warranty.

The technology for portable nugget ice maker is still relatively new. So, I do hope that we’ll see more improvements in the future.

Key Specifications of Opal 1.0

  • Dimension (without side tank): 10.5” x 15.5” x 16.5” (WxDxH)
  • Dimension (side tank): 3.75” x 7.5” x 17.2” (WxDxH)
  • Clearance needed: 3 inches on the sides and back
  • Weight: 44 Ibs
  • Ice production rate:  24 Ibs of ice per 24 hours
  • Ice storage capacity: 3 Ibs
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Refrigerant: R600
  • Drip tray and Ice scoop included
  • Stainless steel exterior

Key Specifications of Opal 2.0

  • Dimension (without side tank): 10.5” x 17.5” x 16.5” (WxDxH)
  • Dimension (with side tank): 13.4” x 17.5” x 16.5” (WxDxH)
  • Clearance needed: 3 inches on the sides and back
  • Weight: 38 Ibs
  • Ice production rate:  24 Ibs of ice per 24 hours
  • Ice storage capacity: 3 Ibs
  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Refrigerant: R600
  • Drip tray and Ice scoop included
  • Stainless steel exterior

Is Opal the right portable pellet ice maker for you?

If you are a lover of sonic ice, you’ll enjoy having the chewy nugget ice made by the Opal. More so when it’s readily and freshly available as and when you want it. I know that it is not easy to justify such an expensive device, but if you are already regularly buying bags of sonic ice, purchasing an ice maker that makes sonic ice can actually pay for itself it no time. And it’s more convenient.

The Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker is more expensive than its peers, but it’s tried and tested. It also comes with features such as and water filter, UV sanitizing light and extra water tank, which are lacking in most brands.

looks really sleek and is even more intuitive to use with the additional buttons and text-based indicators.

The latest Opal 2.0 looks really sleek and is even more intuitive to use with the additional buttons and text-based indicators. But if the smart features are not important to you, the Opal 1.0 can offer great value too!

Not convinced? Check out our review of the best countertop nugget ice makers to find out how Opal compares with the other models.

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