Complete with a large 5.1 cubic-foot capacity, 13 cleaning cycles and a see-through lid, GE's GTW810SSJWS already offers more than your average top-load washer. But that's not all: This model is also compatible with an optional $49 Connect Plus accessory. With this Wi-Fi add-on, you have access to the GE Laundry app for Android and iOS, as well as GE's new IFTTT channel for connecting to Philips Hue bulbs and other smart home devices. The beauty here is that the whole app-enabled bit is entirely opt-in, so you aren't paying a premium for Wi-Fi access you may not need or want.
This washer looks nice too, is easy to use, and costs just $900 ($1,000 if you want the gray metallic finish instead of white). Unfortunately, it didn't do particularly well when we tested its stain-removal power. So despite its high-end-ish lineup of features, I can't readily recommend this washer.
$900 is a decidedly midrange price for a top-load washing machine. But GE's GTW810SSJWS has some features that put it in the realm of premium models like GE's own $1,200 GTW860SPJMC and the $1,199 Samsung WA52J8700.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the three washers:
|GE GTW810SSJWS||GE GTW860SPJMC||Samsung WA52J8700|
|Color finish||White, Metallic (for $1,000)||Metallic, White (for $1,100)||Stainless Platinum|
|Capacity||5.1 cubic feet||5.1 cubic feet||5.2 cubic feet|
|# of cycles||13||13||15|
|Energy consumption||152 kWh/year||152 kWh/year||165 kWh/year|
|Dimensions (width, height, depth)||28 inches x 44.5 inches x 29 inches||28 inches x 44.5 inches x 29 inches||27 inches x 46 inches x 29.3 inches|
|Warranty||1 year, limited||1 year, limited||1 year, limited|
|Voltage rating||120V 60Hz||120V 60Hz||120V 60Hz|
|App||Yes, Android and iPhone||Yes, Android and iPhone||No|
The takeaway here is that the GTW810SSJWS and the pricier GTW860SPJMC are the same in terms of basic specs and features. And aside from the premium 860 model's auto-dispensing detergent reservoir, the only other obvious difference is that the 860 already has built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, whereas the 810 model doesn't.
Specifically, you have to buy a separate Connect Plus gizmo, available for $49 on this GE site to give the GTW810SSJWS Wi-Fi connectivity. But it's pretty simple. Use the included Ethernet cable to plug Connect Plus into the Ethernet port on the back of the washer, download the GE Laundry app, and follow the steps to connect.
After that, you'll be able to view the status of your current laundry cycle on your washer -- and any compatible GE dryers -- remotely. You'll also have access to GE's new laundry-specific IFTTT channel that links compatible washers like the GTW810SSJWS (if you have the Connect Plus accessory, that is) to smart home products from other manufacturers. I connected the washer to a Philips Hue BR30 downlight so that the LED blinked whenever a wash cycle ended; it worked consistently well.
While these connected integrations are somewhat useful, the GE Laundry app in particular is pretty limited. You can't actually start or stop a cycle from the app; viewing the time remaining on the cycle is about as good as it gets. The IFTTT channel adds a little more value, but of course you'll need smart home gadgets like Philips Hue LEDs to make it worthwhile.
When it comes to testing performance, we measure both how well a washer removes stains and how gentle (or tough) it is on clothes.
To score stain removal, we use stain strips slathered with sebum (skin oil), carbon ash, blood, cocoa, and red wine. We compare the precycle saturation of each stain with a reflectance colorimeter (Learn about our test procedures here.) to the post-cycle saturation and arrive at a percent stain remaining score.
In the GTW810SSJWS's case, 50 percent of the stains remained after each cleaning cycle. Compared to the GTW860SPJMC's 53 percent stains remaining, that's decent. But it isn't very good when you compare it to the $1,099 Electrolux EFLS617S, which had only 40 percent stains remaining.
Here's how the GTW810SSJWS scored by stain:
It did much better in terms of gentleness, though. To score wear and tear, we put thin fabric squares in each wash cycle and measure the number of attached, frayed strands that measure at or over 2 millimeters long after the run. The lower the score, the more gentle a machine is on clothes. Here, the 810 model averaged 241 attached, frayed strands, but GE's 860 model was even gentler with a count of 230.
GE's $900 GTW810SSJWS had a lot of potential at first glance. It offers more features than your average midrange washer, including optional smart home integrations via IFTTT. It also looks nice and is easy to use. And yet, its performance was disappointing. Since cleaning power is a key washer requirement, the smart, but underperforming GTW810SSJWS is tough to recommend.