Laundry

Fisher & Paykel SmartLoad DE62T27GW2 Dryer Review

With a unique top-loading design, the Fisher & Paykel SmartLoad has no problem getting clothes dry. It just takes awhile, however, and its control panel is oversimplified.

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Introduction

As a top-loading dryer, the Fisher & Paykel SmartLoad may be one of the most unusual appliances on the market. When it comes to drying clothes, however, the SmartLoad is just above average.

Front

Top-loading dryers are about as common as ivory-billed woodpeckers, so we'll take you on a tour of this laundry room rarity.

Front Image

Controls

Controls 1 Photo
Controls 2 Photo

Interior

The drum tumbles on a horizontal axis that's perpendicular to the side of the washer. That means the door is an opening in the drum, and must be electronically aligned with the dryer each time it's opened. A door lock prevents the dryer from opening otherwise.

Interior Photo

If you have nightmares of forgetting to empty the lint trap, the SmartLoad is your dryer. A self-cleaning lint filter automatically empties into a bucket that you can clean whenever you remember. It's an unusual system, but it sure beats messing with a wire screen.

Lint Trap Photo

Sides

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Back

Back Photo
Back Detail Photo

Speed & Performance Overview

With cycles that varied in length from 20 minutes to nearly an hour and a half, the SmartLoad took awhile to do what it had to.

Normal Cycle Performance

After about 70 minutes, clothes emerged from the SmartLoad's regular cycle as dry as an Arizona summer. That's ten to twenty minutes longer than similarly-priced dryers, but still not too shabby.

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Delicates Cycle Performance

On the delicate cycle, the SmartLoad reached 114.7 degrees. That's a little warmer than some dryers, but not enough to damage clothes. After an 81 minute cycle, the clothes emerged entirely dry -- a feat most dryers can't replicate.

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Bulky Cycle Performance

The SmartLoad's "Denim" cycle is meant for bulky clothes, and got our bulky test load 100 percent dry in 65 minutes after reaching 146.7 degrees.

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Quick Dry Cycle Performance

The SmartLoad doesn't have a dedicated cycle labeled "quick," but it does have a 20-minute Time Dry cycle that we used. In just 20 minutes (surprise!) clothes ended up almost two thirds dry, which is about as good as any other dryer can do.

Related content

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Dry Cycles

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.

Controls 1 Photo

Even the owner's manual doesn't give estimates of how long cycles take. Judging from the ones we tested, be prepared to wait.

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Customization

Curiously, there's no temperature adjustment on the SmartLoad, which means you best put all low-temperature items on delicate.

Controls 2 Photo

Additional Drying Options

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.

Controls

It's always good to see simple, one-touch controls. However, we were disappointed that the SmartLoad featured no countdown timer. Nearly all other washers in this price range have some sort of display that shows how long it'll take before a wash is done, even if such timers usually offer pretty rough estimates.

Controls 1 Photo
Controls 2 Photo

Door

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.

Interior Photo

Lint Trap

If you have nightmares of forgetting to empty the lint trap, the SmartLoad is your dryer. A self-cleaning lint filter automatically empties into a bucket that you can clean whenever you remember. It's an unusual system, but it sure beats messing with a wire screen.

Lint Trap Photo

Conclusion

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 lint trap, and it was easy to dump wet clothes into a top-loader. The straightforward control panel was a plus, but its lack of custom temperature controls or a timer were very noticeable omissions.

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