GE GFD45ESSKWW Dryer review: This dryer lacks both speed and style

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The Good The dryer has many cycles including steam modes. Its large display is easy to read and controls are simple to use. You can stack it or place it on a pedestal accessory.

The Bad It dries loads slowly. It has average looks and a bland design. It doesn't have smart features and can't communicate with a mobile app.

The Bottom Line The GE GFD45ESSKWW dryer's faults aren't worth living with unless you're committed to owning a front load laundry combo.

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5.8 Overall
  • Design 5
  • Usability 7
  • Features 6.5
  • Performance 5

If you're hunting for an affordable dryer that runs fast and turns heads, the $899 GE GFD45ESSKWW isn't it. This machine is slow and looks just like scores of other laundry appliances on the market. It does have a few worthwhile selling points, though. Its controls are simple to use and its large display is easy to read. On board are lots of cycles plus a few steam modes too.

But to get the most for your money, you're better off spending your money elsewhere. High on your shopping list should be the $649 Samsung DV7750. It's blazingly fast, for a dryer, and quite attractive considering its low price. GE's own $799 GTD75ECSLWS dryer is also a better deal, as it's packed with impressive smart home features and lots of cycle options, and performs with a bit more pep.    

This dryer has a bland design that's not very exciting.

Chris Monroe/CNET

An unremarkable exterior

With looks this bland, you could walk right past the GE GFD45ESSKWW dryer and immediately forget it. It's front-loading, with a completely nondescript white finish. Its control panel is plain white as well, which makes the dryer's front face appear almost featureless. By contrast, the Samsung DV7750 dryer is white too but offsets this with an eye-catching charcoal backsplash for its control panel.

At least the GE dryer's controls, keys and buttons are clearly labeled and laid out with enough space between them. Its LED screen is bright enough to see from across the room, and it's easy to read from various angles and heights. Compared with previous GE models, specifically the GE GFDS260EFWW, this dryer's controls are a welcome improvement.

Interpreting the cycle knob is simple thanks to well-spaced labels. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Turning the big cycle knob flips through the dryer's numerous cycle options. Besides the standard "mixed loads" program, you get 12 additional cycles for handling everything from "cottons" and "delicates" to "towels" and "bulky items." Also in this mix are a few steam modes. A "steam dewrinkle" hits full loads with water vapor to smooth fabric creases. The "steam refresh" cycle will tackle small loads (up to five items) to banish odors and wrinkles.  

The display is big and bright enough to read from across the room.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The dryer's 7.5-cubic-foot-capacity drum is slightly larger than the norm for budget and midrange models (7.4 cubic feet). For a machine with a more spacious 8- or even 9-cubic-foot capacity, expect to pay anywhere from $1,100 to $1,500.

The drum has a capacity of 7.5 cubic feet.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Thanks to its front-load design, built to pair with front-loading washers, you have the option of stacking it on top of a washer to save space.

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