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GE GTD75ECSLWS Dryer review: GE's midrange dryer trades speed for Alexa

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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.

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6.5

GE GTD75ECSLWS Dryer

The Good

For a relatively low price the GE GTD75ECSLWS dryer offers plenty of cycle options. You can monitor its status within GE’s laundry app. It works with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant.

The Bad

It runs through cycles slowly and its 7.4-cubic-foot capacity drum feels cramped. Its small display is dim and hard to see from across the room.

The Bottom Line

Choose the GE GTD75ECSLWS dryer for its modest price and wide range of cycles and app-connected abilities, not for speed or power.

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 LG DLEY 1701V. 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 Kenmore 65132 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 GTW685BSLWS and 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.

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On the outside the GTD75ECSLWS dryer looks very basic.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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.

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The 7.2-cubic-foot drum on this GE dryer is on the small side.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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 (Echo, Echo Dot, 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.

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Connect the dryer to Wi-Fi and monitor it through GE's mobile app. You can also ask Alexa or the Google Assistant to report the dryer's status.

Brian Bennett/CNET

After that you'll be able to say things like, "Alexa, ask Geneva if my clothes are dry" or "Hey, Google, ask Geneva Home about my dryer status." This prompts Geneva to verbally explain what the dryer is up to at that moment. Geneva also provides the expected time left in running cycles. You can also instruct Geneva to extend the dryer's tumbling time. Starting, stopping, or adding more active drying to the cycle though isn't possible remotely.  

Using the GE dryer's smart abilities, whether with the Google Assistant or through Alexa, went smoothly and functioned as advertised. It's a particularly helpful skill when you have your hands full, say while you're folding clothes or carrying laundry baskets, and can't reach your phone.

No dryer hot rod here

Despite the GE GTD75ECSLWS dryer's modern components and smarts, its performance was below average. This was the case both in terms of cycle speed and raw clothes drying power.

Our tests measure exactly how much water a dryer can remove from fabric within a given period of time. We also strive to eliminate as many variables as possible during testing, including from environmental conditions and test materials.We tested using the machine's Mixed Loads cycle (meant for "For loads consisting of cottons and poly-blends," as described by the manual) and selected its medium temperature setting.

The GE GTD75ECSLWS dryer took an average of 48 minutes to drying, slightly slower than the current average cycle time for dryers (47 minutes). The fastest dryer we've taken for a spin remains the Kenmore 69133 (38 minutes) but you'll pay a lot for that extra speed since it costs a cool $1,300. The LG DLEX 3570V (41 minutes) and Kenmore 65132 (41 minutes) were hot on its heels. Priced at $1,100 LG's model certainly doesn't run cheap. Surprisingly the $600 Kenmore 65132 is most affordable in the bunch.

The $1,500 LG DLEX 5000 hangs onto third place (42 minutes) while two other dryers, the $2,000 Samsung FlexDry DV9900 (43 minutes) and $1,000 LG DLEY 1701V (44 minutes) follow closely behind. GE's $650 GTD45EASJWS dryer matched the speed of the GE GTD75ECSLWS, needing the same 48 minutes on average to complete its loads.

Dryers compared

Dryer Electrolux EFME617S Perfect SteamGE GFDS260EFWWGE GTD45EASJWSGE GTD75ECSLWSGE GTD81ESSJWSGE GTD86ESPJMCKenmore 65132Kenmore 69133Kenmore 81383Kenmore Elite 81072LG DLEX 3570VLG DLEY 1701VLG DLEX 5000LG DLEX 9000VMaytag MEDB955FCSamsung FlexDry DV9900Whirlpool WED92HEFU
Capacity 8 Cu. Ft. 8 Cu. Ft. 7.2 Cu. Ft. 7.4 Cu. Ft.7.8 Cu. Ft. 7.8 Cu. Ft.7 Cu. Ft.8.8 Cu. Ft.7.4 Cu. Ft.9 Cu. Ft.7.4 Cu. Ft.7.3 Cu. Ft.7.4 Cu. Ft.9 Cu. Ft.9.2 Cu. Ft.7.4 Cu. Ft. (total)7.4 Cu. Ft.
Cycle Types 912414121449101412121414101210
Avg Cycle Time 54 Min.48 Min.48 Min.48 Min.67 Min.60 Min.41 Min.38 Min.46 Min.43 Min.41 Min.44 Min.42 Min.43 Min.47 Min.43 Min.57 Min.
Avg water amount removed 5.5 pounds5.7 pounds5.5 pounds5.5 pounds5.6 pounds5.6 pounds5.4 pounds5.3 pounds5.7 pounds5.4 pounds5.4 pounds5.5 pounds5.6 pounds5.5 pounds5.5 pounds5.45.4
Energy Star Certified YesNoNoYesYesYesNoYesNoNoNoYesYes NoNoYesYes
Avg Power Usage Per Year 608 kWhNANA608 kWh608 kWh608 kWhNA608 kWhNANANA607 kWh607 kWhNA608 kWh607 kWh607 kWh
App NoNoNoYes, Android/iOSYes, Android/iOS (optional upgrade)Yes, Android/iOSNoNoNoNoYes, but functions limited.NoYes, Android/iOSYes, Android/iOSNoYes, Android/iOSNo
Warranty 1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)

One figure we calculate to get a handle on just how effective a dryer happens to be is its water evaporation rate. This number expresses the average weight of the moisture a dryer manages to pull away from test loads of wet fabric within a set period of time.

Due to its sluggish cycles and midrange price, I wasn't surprised this GE dryer only scored an evaporation rate of 0.114 pound per minute. The low result currently puts the appliance near the bottom of the barrel of dryers we've tested to date. Right now, the premium $1,300 Kenmore 69133 is still king of the hill with a high evaporation rate of 0.139 pound per minute.

WATER EVAPORATION RATE (IN POUNDS PER MINUTE)

Kenmore 69133 0.139LG DLEX 5000 0.135Kenmore 65132 0.133LG DLEX 3570V 0.133LG DLEX 9000V 0.128Samsung FlexDry DV9900 0.126LG DLEY 1701V 0.124Kenmore Elite 81072 0.124Kenmore 81383 0.122GE GFDS260EFWW 0.121Maytag MEDB955FC 0.117GE GTD45EASJWS 0.115GE GTD75ECSLWS 0.114Electrolux EFME617S Perfect Steam 0.103GE GTD86ESPJMC 0.095Whirlpool WED92HEFU 0.095GE GTD81ESSJWS 0.084
Notes: Longer bars indicate better performance

A budget dryer deal?

The $799 GE GTD75ECSLWS dryer offers a decent amount of features at a reasonable price. On board are plenty of cycle options, not to mention steam modes to help you tackle a range of clothing and fabric types. With internal Wi-Fi and support for Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant plus a link to GE's mobile app, the machine is also well-connected to today's smart home.

Still, a home dryer ultimately has one main purpose. Unfortunately this GE appliance, while affordable, is behind the performance curve in this regard, which makes it hard to recommend. I suggest spending $200 more for $1,000 LG's DLEY 1701V which dries loads much faster. Its design also looks stunning, especially compared with the GE dryer's boring exterior. Likewise you can save $200 by choosing the basic $600 Kenmore 65132. Sure it's no-frills, but it powers through laundry with impressive speed.      

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6.5

GE GTD75ECSLWS Dryer

Score Breakdown

Design 6.5Usability 6.5Features 8Performance 5.5