Laundry

Frigidaire Affinity FAQE7001LW 7.0 Cu. Ft. White Electric Dryer Review

A budget dryer that knows how to cut corners, the Affinity FAQE7001LW is very good at just getting by.

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Introduction

If the appliance industry can be likened to that of the world of ice cream, full of experimental new flavors and good ol' favorites, we may very well have found one of the most vanilla dryers on the market today. (That said, we mean no disrespect to vanilla.) The produced mediocre drying performance that was easily forgettable, had almost no extra features to spice up the drying experience, and so few cycles as to be laughably plain. It even looks like a cubic scoop of the dairy original, with its bland and barren white front. True, the price may be right for lots of people: a $699 MSRP makes this a clear budget model, and we even found online sales that dropped it down to about $625. There are other products in that price range which do a much better job and give you more bang for your buck, however. Frankly, we'd take good ol' Phish Food over a bowl of this any day.

Front

White enamel all over the place: the front, sides, and interior drum are all finished in the stuff. The controls are simple to use, with clearly marked cycle options and well-lit setting indicators.

Front Image

Controls

Controls 1 Photo

Six options hide the fact that it's really only four cycles: the three on the right are all Timed Dry.

Controls 2 Photo

The controls are pretty basic in terms of interaction, but the amount of customization is surprisingly comprehensive.

Interior

Interior Photo

A plain white enamel drum to match a plain white enamel exterior.

The lint trap is of normal shape and size, but not of texture. The almost silken surface of the screen is unusually soft compared to other models, and is almost a pleasure to clean. It wasn't any better at picking up lint than traditional screens from what we could tell, but its gentle texture makes a dirty task just a little more enjoyable.

Lint Trap Photo

The lint trap feels like a silk screen; it's probably the fanciest thing about this whole machine.

Sides

Sides Photo

The white side may look run-of-the-mill...and it is!

Back

Back Photo

Nothing fancy on the back here, just a standard metal rear.

Speed & Performance Overview

The generally took an average amount of time across the board, not really exceeding or failing to meet expectations with respect to cycle length. The biggest problem we had with it was that only one cycle—the Normal setting—achieved perfectly dry clothes. Every other setting resulted in damp clothing ranging in degrees of how wet they still were, regardless of the standard length of cycle time or occasionally warmer-than-average temperatures.

Normal Cycle Performance

The Normal cycle is actually perfect. The maximum temperature of 141 degrees is right in the ideal and expected range, the cycle takes just over an hour—an average and expected duration—and clothes got completely dry. Normal is the workhorse cycle, and the hits a bulls eye with it.

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Delicates Cycle Performance

Delicate cycles are often frustrating; the Casual cycle setting (the only other sensor setting available aside from Normal and Bulky) was no exception. It almost got clothes dry, reaching moisture removal rates of 96%. This may be ideal for consumers that like to iron things, but folks that want truly dry clothes may be slightly more frustrated. The high temperature of 129 degrees is also just a bit warmer than we like to see for our Delicate tests, though the cycle did manage to finish in just under an hour.

Related content

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Bulky Cycle Performance

The bane of nearly every dryer we examine, the 's Bulky cycle produced the worst results out of all our tests. Removing just 71 percent of moisture, the sensor told the dryer to stop after one hour and 13 minutes. It's an unusual combination of circumstances: usually dryers that get that much moisture out stop sooner, while others that take that long can get better results. Either way, the was not able to get all the moisture out of our test comforter despite exhibiting a valiant effort to do so.

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Quick Dry Cycle Performance

Better than the performance seen on smaller machines, the 's 30 minute Timed Dry achieved 83 percent moisture removal in half an hour. That's not bad, but we've seen others do this in less time; conversely, we've also seen machines take the same amount of time and remove more moisture. Temperatures peaked at just 115 degrees, despite the fact that we had it set to the hottest temperature setting available.

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Dry Cycles

It looks like the has six cycles, but really it's just four. There's a Normal, Bulky, and Casual, as well as three Timed Dry options. These last for 30, 60, and 90 minutes—there's no adjusting the duration.

Controls 1 Photo

Six options hide the fact that it's really only four cycles: the three on the right are all Timed Dry.

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Customization

Surprisingly, this simple machine is actually quite comprehensive with respect to its customizable features. There are a total of five temperature settings including an air dry option, as well as four different dryness levels. With so few options everywhere else on this machine, it's unusual to have so many different settings available.

Controls 2 Photo

The controls are pretty basic in terms of interaction, but the amount of customization is surprisingly comprehensive.

Additional Drying Options

Countering the large range of settings is the disappointing lack of features. You can turn the dryer's chime on or off, as well as the option of a wrinkle release setting. Other than that, the only adjustment you can make to a drying cycle is an external one: whether or not you want to lock the control panel while a cycle is in motion.

Controls

Adjusting the settings and turning on or off the few features is quite easy. It's all done using a clearly marked panel of small round buttons. The timer display is easy to read, and the lack of other dark surfaces really makes the remaining time pop. Using the cycle select knob is a bit odd, though. There are only six settings you can use, yet the knob rotates a full 360 degrees. There are 10 cycle slots between Bulky and the 90 minute Timed Dry, and if you turn the knob into one of these voided zones, the dryer just won't start. It seems like an inefficient layout for a machine with so few cycles.

Controls 1 Photo

Six options hide the fact that it's really only four cycles: the three on the right are all Timed Dry.

Controls 2 Photo

The controls are pretty basic in terms of interaction, but the amount of customization is surprisingly comprehensive.

Door

Like the rest of the machine's physical components, the door works fine while failing to do anything remarkable. It's easy to open, could usually shut without needing a heavy slam, and contributes to the overall visual uniformity of the white finish.

Interior Photo

A plain white enamel drum to match a plain white enamel exterior.

Lint Trap

The lint trap is of normal shape and size, but not of texture. The almost silken surface of the screen is unusually soft compared to other models, and is almost a pleasure to clean. It wasn't any better at picking up lint than traditional screens from what we could tell, but its gentle texture makes a dirty task just a little more enjoyable.

Lint Trap Photo

The lint trap feels like a silk screen; it's probably the fanciest thing about this whole machine.

Conclusion

It's understandable that, if you're shopping for a dryer on a budget, you'd have to purchase a machine which has fewer bells and whistles than mid-range models. On the other hand, you certainly can find one that will gets clothes dry, offer an intuitive and sensible control layout, and perhaps give you a little bonus or two for your troubles. The ...is not that dryer. With an MSRP of $699, it's in the proper budget range, but is surpassed by even other budget models. It suffers from the lack of cycles and features common to dryers in its price class, but the overall performance just isn't comprehensive enough to garner much attention. Add to that a slightly inefficient control layout, and even the online sale price of $625 just doesn't seem attractive enough.

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