Here's a budget-friendly dryer that's better equipped than you might expect. One step above basic models, the $799 GE GTD75ECSLWS certainly looks like a bare bones laundry appliance. Packed inside its vanilla exterior are sensors to dry clothes automatically plus numerous cycle options and steam modes. There's onboard Wi-Fi to let you monitor the dryer remotely through GE's Laundry app.
This dryer's smart features also work with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, so laundry info is just a voice command away. Of course the machine's boring design and less than average performance place it far below a top-shelf appliance. For that you'll have to spend more on a dryer like the $1,000. It runs through cycles faster and is drop-dead gorgeous as well. If looks don't matter but drying speed does, then go with the more affordable yet nimble $600 instead.
More modern than meets the eye
There's nothing groundbreaking about this GE dryer's appearance. Designed to match the style of top-load washers, particularly GE's GTW750CSLWS, the appliance's controls sit in a panel that runs along its back edge. This classic shape goes back decades and traces its lineage to mid-20th century laundry machines.and
On the inside, the dryer is equipped with more modern components. A moisture sensor keeps an eye on humidity levels inside the drum. That enables it to dry clothes gently and automatically, with more precision than timer or thermostat controls. You have 14 different dryer cycles to choose from too. They handle a range of clothing and garment types such as "Mixed Load," "Casuals," "Cottons," "Jeans" and "Delicates," just to list a few. There are two steam modes here as well. There's a "Steam Refresh" cycle to remove odors and wrinkles from a few lightly creased items, and "Steam Dewrinkle," which is meant to process larger loads.
The GE dryer's 7.4-cubic-foot capacity drum is typical for low-end and midrange dryers. To get a more roomy 8- and even 9-cubic-foot capacity, expect to spend between at least $1,100 to $1,500 for a larger appliance.
Lots of smarts inside
What sets this otherwise mundane midrange appliance apart is GE's suite of smart home functions. An onboard Wi-Fi radio lets the dryer link to home wireless networks. When properly connected, you'll be able to keep tabs on running cycles via the GE Laundry app (iOS and Android). Additionally, the dryer works with both Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. As a result you can check whether your clothes are dry by simply speaking voice commands to compatible devices.
Besides mobile phones, these gadgets include the growing number of Amazon smart speakers (, , etc.) plus Google Home products. You'll first need to enable GE's Geneva skill for Alexa, or ask Google to "talk to Geneva Home," which invokes the function for the Google Assistant. You must also have a GE WiFi Connect account, or create one within the GE laundry app.