Tower Compact air fryer review: A small but fast and efficient appliance best suited to solo eaters

It might be limited in capacity but this air fryer gets the job done if you like to have fries with everything

Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer
(Image credit: Tower)
T3 Verdict

Small but perfectly formed, the Tower T17025 Compact 1.5L air fryer is an ideal solution if you’ve got a cramped kitchen but want the convenience of air frying. It works best for one or two people, with a fairly limited capacity that’s suitable for smaller portions of things like fries, wings, spring rolls and more. While it’s not the most powerful air fryer out there, the Tower is brilliant for its simplicity and ease of cleaning. Get it for the right price and it’s a bit of a steal.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Small footprint

  • +

    Super simple operation

  • +

    Cleaning it is a doddle

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Capacity is limited

  • -

    Some design compromises

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Tower Compact air fryer review in a sentence: Ideally suited to singles or couples who want to enjoy more efficient cooking without the need to take up lots of countertop space.

Not everybody wants or needs a large capacity air fryer, even though there are plenty on the market if you have multiple mouths to feed. One look through the best air fryer models currently on the market though, reveals there is slightly less available for solo eaters or couples. I’ve recently tried the Instant Vortex Mini 4-in-1 Air Fryer, which is a great example of a smaller machine, but there’s also this, the Tower T17025 Compact 1.5L air fryer.

What you get with this air fryer is all of the benefits of cooking using this method, but you also gain from having an appliance that’s really quite small. Compared to some air fryers, this thing is tiny. At the same time though, it comes with enough features and functions to meet the culinary needs of most folks. Add in ease of use, low power usage and a practical easy clean design and you’ve got a really neat addition for the smaller kitchen space.

Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer

(Image credit: Tower)

Tower Compact air fryer: price and availability

The Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer, to use its full product credentials, is available right now and from the usual array of online stockists, including Amazon (opens in new tab). The RRP is £80 although if you’re lucky enough to time it right you may well find one discounted. That said, air fryers are currently seeing huge demand so it may be harder to get one for less than list price, given that sales of these appliances are through the roof.

Tower Compact air fryer: what is it?

Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer


(Image credit: Tower)

You get the benefit of a brand name that has a proven track record, with lots of sales to compound the appeal. At the same time, this smaller capacity machine comes with an ease of use that puts many more advance models to shame. It’s got less power to play with at just 900 Watts, while the capacity of 1.5 litres tops isn’t quite limiting.

The Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer is a small kitchen appliance, finished in shiny black plastic, that does everything more standard-sized machines do, but using a much smaller footprint. It’s just 20cm deep and has a width of 22cm while the 30cm height completes the fairly diminutive dimensions. 

While the more compact design means there’s less capacity, it comes complete with controls for air frying your favourite foods, just as long as you don’t want portions that are too big. It is therefore best suited for use by one or two people, or for anyone keen to reduce portion sizes.

Nevertheless, you get the ability to air fry, roast, grill and bake food. A 30-mimuter timer and a temperature spectrum between 80-200°C allows you to tackle more mealtime chores. Adding to the overall appeal is a design that’s also easy to clean.

Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer

(Image credit: Tower)

Tower Compact air fryer: is it any good?

Considering the Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer only has 900 Watts of power to play with it’s also got the benefit of that 1.5 litre basket. What that means is there’s less space to heat, although I’ve found it’s a bit of a fine line between getting the heat right versus how much you put in. 

As an obviously example, a solo-sized portion of frozen chips needs to be quite small to allow you to easily shake it midway through cooking to ensure even crispiness.

So, just as long as you know that portion sizes are going to be fairly limited then Tower is a good bet, especially for anyone with lower capacity needs. If you’ve got a family you’ll soon find yourself getting frustrating with those shortcomings, which therefore means looking for more power and a larger capacity machine. 

I find it hard to fault the overall usability of this super-simple machine though, with little in the way of controls to master. I’m also chuffed with just how easy it is to keep clean, though not via a dishwasher.

Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer

(Image credit: Tower)

In terms of usability, the temperature dial that sits just about the slide out based can be a little tricky to read, especially if you wear glasses. Equally though, setting the temperature is a doddle to twiddle and the way it times out when it reaches zero means there’s no worry of it staying hot or overcooking your food assuming you’ve set that right in the first place.

Tower Compact air fryer: performance

Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer


(Image credit: Tower)

Maybe it’s the lower power, or the fact there’s less capacity or perhaps it’s both, but the Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer is refreshingly quite during operation. Sure, it’s fan-based, so there is a degree of operating noise, but it gets on with the job in hand without drowning out the radio in my kitchen. That’s always a good thing, while the other appealing aspect is just how quickly it warms up.

Granted, it’s not the most powerful machine on the market but if you’re sure to not overfill the basket and keep airflow maximised then chips done at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes turn out a treat. Just be sure to keep the contents moving, with some occasional shakes. 

The basket is actually locked when the machine is in action, which is no bad thing compared to some models that have a tendency to lets their baskets become a bit wayward mid-cook.

I guess the biggest issue I’ve had with the Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer is how it proves pretty much impossible to cook more than one thing at a time. Larger air fyrers, especially the twin basket variety, let you chuck in chips, plus fish or meat, as well as veg and get everything done in one fell swoop. 

This model, on the other hand, is more suited to say, supplying you with a side order of fries to go with a meal that has been prepared alongside. That obviously means it’s not a replacement for an oven or hob in the same way as other models and this needs to be considered when you’re shopping for your preferred air fryer.

Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer

(Image credit: Tower)

Tower Compact air fryer: verdict

There are compromises to be had from the Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer, with that limited capacity likely to be a put off for some. For me though, it turns out to be. A real bonus as I frequently like to have a portion of chips on the side with a main meal, and for that job it is perfect. The Tower is also pretty good for cooking things like chops and chicken breasts too, though again the fact that you can’t really chuck everything in and cook it all at the same time is a downside.

Apart from that though, the Tower T17025 Vortx Compact 1.5L Air Fryer is cheap and cheerful, gets the job done easily enough and doesn’t require much in the way of cleaning when you’re done. If you can find it discounted and have only limited portion requirements this model could be the one you’re looking for. Even more so if you’ve got a galley-style kitchen that’s on the decidedly small side.

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.