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GE GTD45EASJWS dryer review: Powerful budget dryer has cranky knobs, not bells and whistles

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The Good For a modest price, the GE GTD45EASJWS dryer provides relatively short cycle times and removes water from wet clothes with impressive speed. The dryer also comes equipped with moisture sensors that automatically shut the machine off to avoid overdrying.

The Bad The GE GTD45EASJWS dryer lacks steam modes and other specialty cycles. The bare-bones appliance doesn't have a display or status lights and uses all-mechanical controls, many of which feel frail and cheaply made. Also, the dryer's control panel is mounted in back, which rules out stacked configurations or placing the machine on a pedestal.

The Bottom Line The budget-friendly yet high-performance GE GTD45EASJWS dryer makes a lot of sense for penny pinchers, but those who expect higher quality design, controls and features should look elsewhere.

6.6 Overall
  • Design 5.5
  • Usability 7
  • Features 5.5
  • Performance 7.5

The $650 GE GTD45EASJWS dryer is a throwback to an age before laundry appliances resembled sleek home-theater gear or digital computer systems. Judging from its all-mechanical knobs and dials (not to mention the lack of a screen or even lights), this machine could easily be a relic from the 20th century. Don't be fooled by the GE GTD45EASJWS's antiquated looks, though, because inside its hospital-white facade are powerful components capable of pulling moisture away from wet laundry loads in short order.

This isn't a showcase product suitable for your dream home laundry room. For that, you'll have to spend at least twice as much on artfully designed dryers like the $1,100 Electrolux 600 series and $1,500 LG DLEX 5000. Still, while the GTD45EASJWS dryer is devoid of trendy steam cycles or the myriad of fabric-specific modes that you'll get with other modern competitors, the appliance's basic abilities also mean it's dead simple to operate. If you're in the market for a new dryer but must stick to a strict budget, this GE model is worth a serious look.

Design and features

If I didn't remove some of its packaging myself, I could have easily confused the freshly minted GE GTD45EASJWS dryer with a laundry appliance from decades past. This contraption cuts a classic profile meant to match traditional top-loading washing machines and has controls placed on a back-mounted panel. It contrasts the modern trend of appliance makers who now favor front-loading washers and dryers with forward-facing controls. As a result of the old-school control layout, this dryer doesn't support pedestal upgrades or stackable arrangements to save space or create more storage in your laundry room.

The control panel harkens back to classic 20th century design.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The GE GTD45EASJWS dryer's panel lacks LED indicators, a display, or lights of any kind. It's downright spartan compared with the confused mess on GE's own GFDS260EFWW model, and appears a half-century behind the cutting-edge consoles you'll find on the Electrolux EFME617S Perfect Steam and LG DLEX 5000. The GE GTD86ESPJMC, another dryer with a rear control panel, benefits from an updated design that sports eye-catching blue LEDs, and a smoothly spinning cycle dial.

This GE GTD45EASJWS dryer's cycle knob is anything but smooth. It takes a surprising amount of force to rotate and makes disconcerting grinding sounds while you do so. Whether the cause of the dial's jarring motion is due to gears, sprockets or chains, turning this control feels unpleasant, to say the least.

The main cycle dial handles the dryer basics.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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