Fisher & Paykel SmartLoad DE62T27GW2 Review
Lacks the necessary substance that its competitors have to offer.
This $799 MSRP dryer will no doubt catch your eye, with its odd top-load design, but it lacks some necessary substance that many of its competitors regularly have on offer.
It is not wholly uncommon for dryers in this range to offer a decent set of customizable options, a number of features, and maybe even a specialty cycle or two, but this oddball comes up short on every count. On the other hand, despite what it lacks in bows and frills, and despite lengthy cycle durations, this top-loader can still boast gentle temperatures and thorough drying. As a top-loading dryer, the Fisher & Paykel SmartLoad may be one of the most unusual appliances on the market. When it comes to substance though, the SmartLoad is only just above average.
Design & Usability
The SmartLoad has some innovations, but some disappointments as well
Interestingly, instead of a removable lint screen, the SmartLoad has a permanent filter that automatically empties into a bucket to prevent airflow from being blocked.
Though there's no other dryer quite like it, this SmartLoad DE62T27GW2 is actually easy to operate. At the same time, while it's always good to see simple, one-touch controls, we were a little disappointed that the SmartLoad featured no countdown timer. Nearly all other dryers in this price range have some sort of display that shows how long it'll take before the clothes are dry.
The most unusual thing about the SmartLoad is that its entire top is a door, made of heavy-duty, lightweight plastic. Paired with a top-load washer, it's actually pretty easy to dump clothes in and pull them out.
Performance & Features
The SmartLoad DE62T27GW2 packs a punch on performance... in slow motion.
With just five pre-set cycles, the SmartLoad doesn't offer the impressive array of sanitizing, bedding, wool and steam dry cycles that similarly priced units have. However, the cycles are well-chosen for most users.
Noticeably, the owner's manual doesn't give estimates of how long cycles take. Judging from the ones we tested, users should be prepared to wait anywhere from 20 minutes to upwards of 80 minutes. Curiously, there's no temperature adjustment on the SmartLoad, which means it would be wise to put all low-temperature items on delicate.
Instead of drying clothes based on a pre-set cycle, the SmartLoad lets you choose a time dry—either 20, 40 or 80 minutes—or an automatic cycle that depends on the unit's internal humidity sensor.
The best part is that using gentle temperatures, the SmartLoad will return wet clothes to their bone-dry weight practically every time, though somewhat slowly. There are many, many machines that cannot boast the same.
Is this oddball right for your home?
The top-loading Fisher & Paykel SmartLoad is certainly an oddity. While it's an admirable performer, getting clothes bone-dry on most cycles, it does take awhile to do so.
We loved the unique, self-emptying lint trap and the easy, top-loading design. The straightforward control panel was a plus too, but its lack of custom temperature controls or a timer were very noticeable omissions. If simple is the name of your game, this machine is a competitive buy, but if specialized cycles and a flood of extra features are what you're looking for in an appliance, then this $799 MSRP SmartLoad won't be the right fit for you.
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