Importing a full-size appliance to the US is a bold move — bolder than the colors on the K-pop videos that blared from TV screens throughout the Moneual booth. Though the company shows a lot of promise and their wares had innovative designs, we wonder how much of their lineup might get lost in translation when crossing the Pacific.
Aside from its sleek control panel, there wasn't anything special about the design of the . In fact aside from that transparent front panel that the company cut into the front of the machine for CES – production versions will get a traditional exterior – it looked like nearly every other dishwasher we have seen. Physical buttons on the panel didn't feel particularly sturdy, but that may have been due to it being a floor model that gets poked and prodded all day. The display itself was pretty clear, at least.
Though we could peek in through a plexiglas window, we were unable to open the machine to inspect the racks or start a cycle. These two factors are crucial to the machine's ease of use, so we can't comment on whether it's ready for the States. A lot is up in the air regarding the final US-bound product, however, so any potential issues could be fixed before it goes on sale.
Something lost in translation
The is designed to be part of a smart home, and we were shown how the dishwasher can be controlled with a tablet or smartphone. That makes a lot of sense for a dishwasher, since many people place dirty plates right from the table into the dishwasher. Now, if you forget to start the machine, you can do for your bedroom before you go to sleep or when you're at work.
This seems like a good move, but yet again, our excitement was muted: the dishwasher is only smart when it's connected to a WiFi-enabled Home Server, and the only available Moneual Home Server is attached to an air purifier. To clarify: It only comes attached to the air purifier. In markets where air purifiers are a common home appliance, that's apparently not a deal breaker. But in the US, air purifiers are less common in homes. Needing another appliance to get the full function of the one you just bought could be a tipping point against switching to a new, relatively unknown brand.
Moneual is taking a big step coming into the US market.
The will face a lot of stiff competition if it ever launches in the US. The dishwasher market is pretty well saturated: In addition to Whirlpool, GE, Bosch, Miele, LG and Samsung, consumers can buy dishwashers from smaller manufacturers in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Sweden, France and Slovenia. The Moneual has few features that set it apart, and the one that does make it different — remote automation in a smart home network — requires a separate air purifier to make it work.
Moneual might have a chance to make it right. Company representatives were eager to talk about their upcoming products on the CES show floor, and the US-bound lineup isn't set in stone yet so the company has plenty of time to refine its design. We'll eagerly await the to throw its hat into the dishwasher ring. Stay tuned for more from Moneual.
Meet the tester
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
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