GE's $699 GTW680BSJWS is a good top-load washer at a good price. It'll clean your clothes and even remove most stains, but that's it. The GTW680BSJWS doesn't have any advanced features or smart functionality; it's a simple washer that does the job with minimal hassle.
Get it if that's what you're looking for -- especially since it's currently on sale at Home Depot. But GE's $699 GTW685BSLWS is also on sale and it performed better than the GTW680BSJWS in our testing. And if you don't care about modern design, consider Kenmore's top-performing $600 25132 instead (on sale here).
Check out the chart below to see how GE's GTW680BSJWS stacks up against two other affordable top-load washers:
|GE GTW680BSJWS||GE GTW685BSLWS||Kenmore 25132|
|Capacity||4.6 cubic feet||4.5 cubic feet||4.3 cubic feet|
|# of cycles||14||14||12|
|Energy consumption||143 KWh/year||150 kWh/year||300 kWh/year|
|Dimensions (width, height, depth)||27 x 46 x 27 inches||27 x 46 x 27 inches||27.5 x 36.8 x 27.8 inches|
|App||No||GE Laundry app, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT (with ConnectPlus Wi-Fi module sold separately)||No|
The GTW680BSJWS and GTW685BSLWS -- both from GE -- have roughly the same design and basic features. They each cost $699, offer 14 cleaning cycles, come in white (or gray, for an additional 100 bucks), have see-through lids and identical dimensions. At 4.6 cubic feet, the internal capacity of the GTW680BSJWS is slightly larger than the 4.5-cubic-foot GTW685BSLWS, but it isn't a noticeable difference. The GTW680BSJWS also has a better estimated annual energy consumption.
But the GTW685BSLWS has optional smarts, if you buy GE's $49 ConnectPlus Wi-Fi module. Read my full review of the GTW685BSLWS for a better idea of how the ConnectPlus module works. Here's the gist: Plug it into the back of your washer and download the GE Laundry app to get started. After that, you can enable the related Alexa and Google Assistant integrations to get information about your washer with voice commands. This optional accessory unfortunately isn't available on GE's GTW680BSJWS.
Kenmore's 25132, in contrast, has the fewest features. It's smaller, it doesn't have as many cycles and it has a higher estimated energy consumption. However, as you'll read in the next section, the 25132 is ridiculously good at removing tough stains.
Many of the least expensive washers I've reviewed are also the best performing washers. That makes the entry-level top-load washer category surprisingly competitive. Check out this article for more details on how we test washers, but in short, we score overall performance based on how well a washer removes a series of stains, which includes sebum (skin oil), carbon (mineral oil), blood, cocoa and red wine. The lower the percentage of stains remaining after a cycle, the better it removes stains.
We also look at how gentle a washer is on clothes by counting the number of frayed threads that appear on fabric after a wash cycle. The lower the number, the gentler that washer is on clothes (using the normal cycle).
Examined alone, GE's GTW680BSJWS did a great job removing stains, with just 46 percent of its original stains remaining. But the GE GTW685BSLWS had only 44 percent of its original stains remaining and the Kenmore 25132 beat them both with only 39 percent of its original stains remaining post-cycle.
The washer graphic below gives an overview of how each of the three washers performed per stain.
In terms of wear and tear, the GTW680BSJWS had only 222 frayed threads on average, whereas the GTW685BSLWS had 279 and Kenmore's 25132 had 293. That makes this GE washer significantly gentler in the normal cycle than its two main competitors. Better stain removal does often (but not always) translate to tougher wear and tear scores, though, so this result isn't surprising.
GE's $699 GTW680BSJWS top-loader is a reasonable option if you're in the market for a decent looking washing machine with respectable performance and easy controls. But for the same price, or less, you can get GE's $699 GTW685BSLWS or Kenmore's $600 25132. Both competitors remove stains better than the GTW680BSJWS, ultimately making them more desirable.