Better drying for a better price
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We love the new Electrolux 617 dryer, withs its gorgeous design and top-notch moisture removal. But if the $900 retail price makes you balk, we've got a great alternative: The Electrolux 517 series is just as good, and each comparable product costs about $100 less.
The only difference? The 517 lacks an Allergen cycle and its Fast Dry takes 18 minutes instead of 15. If neither of those bother you, then the 517 is a great way to get superior drying with style for less money.
With the 517 series, our only complaint is the length of the Normal cycle which runs about 1 hour 2 minutes—longer than many competitors. However, it also ran cooler than most of the machines we've tested over the years, peaking at just 132.1°F. And clothes came out 100% dry, so really... who's complaining?
The Delicates cycle was similarly impressive. An average run time of about an hour and temperatures below 120°F removed about 98% moisture. That's ideal for the kind of clothing usually associated with Delicates, since a warm iron or some line drying is usually the best way to finish the process.
Stainless interiors are always welcome—they're quieter and prettier—but we also like Electrolux's new interface, which is both attractive and easy to read. Front and center is the Nest-like cycle knob, which turns smoothly with a clean mechanical catch for each cycle. Move to the control panel on the right, though, and things get a little clunky. Navigating through the customization options and extra features requires repetitive button pressing, a surprising miss given the excellent new dial.
This model comes with a specialty 18 Minute Fast Dry option. It's intended for one or two outfits—roughly three or four items at a time—but for consistency's sake we always test a quick cycle with a 4-lb. load of roughly 10 garments. Despite the overload, this cycle still removed 64% of excess moisture in 18 minutes, with internal heat peaking at 121.8°F. When used properly, we think this cycle will have you ready to go before you finish your morning coffee.
Heavy Duty also impressed: After about an hour and a half, our large comforter was 85% dry. As is often the case, you'll need to fluff any large or bulky item that fills the drum for best results.
We already know Electrolux's new dryers tend to offer some of the most gentle and thorough drying, and the 517 is no exception. True, it's not quite as spectacular as the 617, but the differences are barely perceptible.
The Normal cycle takes just over an hour and results in 100% dry clothes, all while keeping temperatures around 130°F. Folks in a rush will also love the 18-Min Fast Dry. While it couldn't quite handle a full 4-lb. load, it's perfect for drying one or two outfits in a hurry.
There are eight cycles to choose from, including Instant Refresh which takes advantage of the dryer's steam hookup. And while this machine may lack the 617's Allergen cycle, it does still feature a Sanitize temperature setting.
Perfect Steam and Anti-Static make further use of the steam hookup, while Eco mode maximizes your dryer's efficiency. Delay Start is also available for consumers who like to run their dryers overnight or during work.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
As with the 617, Electrolux offers an extensive warranty. The drive motor is covered for 10 years, with a lifetime warranty on the wash drum. All other parts are covered for two years, but labor is only covered for one.
The Electrolux 517 gives you almost the same kind of drying and versatility as the 617 series, but for about $100 less. While some consumers may really need that Allergen cycle, many folks will get by just fine without it—especially with the option to crank up the heat with the Sanitize setting.
At the end of the day, there are virtually no dryers out there that'll do better at this price point.