Frigidaire Affinity FAQE7001LW Review
The Frigidaire Affinity FAQE7001LW is one bland dryer.
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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, 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 $749 MSRP makes this a clear budget model among stackable units, 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 prefer Phish Food, or at least some hot fudge.
Design & Usability
A simple machine with lots of enamel
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.
The control panel is fine, but we question the use of a cycle knob. Adjusting the settings and turning the few features on and off is quite easy. It's all done using a clearly marked panel of small round buttons. The timer display is easy to read, but using the cycle select knob is a bit odd. 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. Beyond that, everything else is pretty standard.
Performance & Features
Features? What features? Where?
It looks like the has six individual 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.
Surprisingly, this simple machine is actually quite comprehensive with respect to its customizable options. 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 to choose from here.
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.
Regarding performance, this Affinity misses the mark. It generally took an average amount of time across the board to finish a load, 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.
An Affinity for mediocrity?
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 dry clothes, 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 $749, it's in the proper budget range, but it's surpassed by fellow 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.
We ran tests on this Affinity to find out how much moisture each cycle removed from a load, how hot it got, and how long it took. Take a look below to learn more about these results.
Normal and Delicate Cycles
See how these two everyday cycles did on our set of performance tests
The Normal cycle is actually perfect. The maximum temperature of 141 degrees lands right in the 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 bull's-eye with it.
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 frustrated. The peak 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.
Quick and Bulky Cycles
Tests reveal how these two basic cycles did in terms of dryness, heat, and run time
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.
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.