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LG DLEY 1701V dryer review: A top-load style dryer that works fast and is easy on the eyes

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Dryers built to match the look and shape of top loading washers have typically been budget models with blah designs, but the $1,000 LG DLEY 1701V dryer is part of fresh crop of home appliances bucking the trend. Sleek, stylish, and crafted from premium materials this new LG dryer cuts a striking profile. The machine also has plenty of specialty cycles to choose from and it dries loads with great speed.

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7.4

LG DLEY 1701V dryer

The Good

Built from premium materials such as steel and glass, the LG DLEY 1701V dryer is stunningly attractive. The dryer is also powerful enough to run through cycles quickly and offers plenty of specialty drying modes including steam cycles.

The Bad

While the LG DLEY 1701V's front-mounted controls are within easy reach its buttons are small and harder to operate than a traditional cycle knob. The dryer's 7.3 cubic foot capacity is smaller than what you'll find on other machines. The dryer doesn't support pedestal attachments and can't be stacked in vertical arrangements.

The Bottom Line

The LG DLEY 1701V dryer makes sense to those who value style and fast performance more than simple operation and drying lots of clothes at once.

Of course the dryer's top-load style body rules out stacking it on top of or below other laundry units. Likewise you can't drop it on top of a pedestal accessory, and the LG DLEY 1701V dryer's 7.3 foot capacity is smaller than dryers with roomier drums such as the $1,099 Electrolux EFME617S and $1,400 Kenmore Elite 81072. Both are a better fit for large families and have controls that are easier to handle as well. Still, shoppers who desire beauty and power above all will find this LG dryer hard to pass up.

Premium materials, lovely design make this LG dryer a looker

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Design and features

The LG DLEY 1701V is composed of gentle curves, and edges softly tapered in gleaming steel. To say it looks good is an understatement. Akin to the modern Kenmore 69133, the LG's premium build quality is simply gorgeous and a far cry from basic top-load machines such as the old-fashioned GE GTD45EASJWS dryer.

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This LG dryer has lots of lovely curves, metal, and glass.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Measuring 40.2 inches tall by 28.4 inches deep and spanning 27 inches wide, the LG DLEY 1701V dryer is relatively compact compared with veritable monsters such as the Kenmore Elite 81072. Even the Electrolux EFME617S Perfect Steam dryer takes up more room. A big contributor to the LG's smaller stature though is its modest 7.3-cubic-foot drum capacity. Both the Electrolux EFME617S (8 cubic foot) and Kenmore Elite 81072 (9 cubic foot) boast more room for huge clothing loads.

On board the LG DLEY 1701V dryer are plenty of cycle options to choose from, 14 in all, designed to tackle numerous garment and fabric types. These include standard selections such as "normal," "delicates," "towels," and "perm. press," continuing to more exotic functions including "anti bacterial". Rolled up into this list are modes to treat clothes with steam too, specifically "steam fresh" and "wrinkle free."

To help you access all these features, LG has placed a control panel on the front top edge of the dryer. Clearly the company opted for sleekness here instead of usability. I found that while the panel's buttons are responsive, the combination of their small size and tiny text labels made them tricky to hit without a little hunting. Frankly I prefer the physical cycle knobs that have existed on washers and dryers for decades. Many, including LG's own DLEX 5000, even come with a contemporary twist.

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The control panel is sleek but there's no cycle dial and its buttons are small.

Chris Monroe/CNET

I do like the DLEY 1701V's sturdy metal door. Unlike the DLEX 5000's flimsy lid, you can slam it shut with authority. Another nice touch is the door's recessed hand grip, which has finger-friendly scalloped ridges running along its interior surface. As with other top-load style laundry units though you can't stack this machine or its companion washer, the LG WT1801HVA, in vertical arrangements nor mount them on pedestals since this would render their controls out of reach.

Performance

Aesthetic beauty aside, underneath the LG DLEY 1701V runs the engine of a clothes-drying hot rod. In fact the appliance notched the third best performance of any dryer we've tested to date.

Understand that our test procedures are designed to measure the amount of moisture a dryer can remove from laundry and how long it takes to complete this task. We also try to eliminate as many variables as possible during testing, including environmental conditions and test materials.

Dryers Compared

Dryer Electrolux EFME617S Perfect SteamGE GFDS260EFWWGE GTD45EASJWSGE GTD81ESSJWSGE GTD86ESPJMCKenmore 69133Kenmore Elite 81072LG DLEY 1701VLG DLEX 5000
Capacity 8 cubic foot8 cubic foot7.2 cubic foot7.8 cubic foot7.8 cubic foot8.8 cubic foot9 cubic foot7.3 cubic foot7.4 cubic foot
Cycle Types 912412149141214
Avg Cycle Time 54 minutes48 minutes48 minutes67 minutes60 minutes38 minutes43 minutes44 minutes42 minutes
Energy Star Certified YesNoNoYesYesYesNoYesYes
Avg Power Usage Per Year 608 kWhNANA608 kWh608 kWh608 kWhNA607 kWh607 kWh
App NoNoNoYes, Android/iOS (optional upgrade)Yes, Android/iOSNoNoNoYes, Android/iOS
Waranty 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)
Water pulled from test loads 5.5 pounds5.7 pounds5.5 pounds5.6 pounds5.6 pounds5.3 pounds5.4 pounds5.5 pounds5.6 pounds

The DLEY 1701V dryer took 44 minutes on average to process our test loads, behaving eerily similar to previous LG dryers we've tested. We chose the machine's normal cycle (designed for "work clothes, corduroys etc." as stated in the manual) and its medium temperature setting. While it wasn't fast enough to catch the current dryer speed demon, the Kenmore 69133, it's only one minute slower than the 43-minute Kenmore Elite 81072, which is really the LG DLEX 8100 underneath. And it was merely two minutes behind the LG DLEX 5000, which clocks in at 42 minutes.

At the back of the pack were the GE GFDS260EFWW dryer (48 minutes), the Electrolux Perfect Steam EFME617 (54 minutes) and the GE GTD86ESPJMC (60 minutes). Bringing up the rear is the GE GTD86ESPJMC (67 minutes), the slowest dryer we've put through its paces.

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The LG DLEY 1701V dryer has a 7.3 cubic foot capacity drum.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The LG DLEY 1701V pulled an average of 5.5 pounds of water from its test loads, which matches the Electrolux Perfect Steam (5.5 pounds). And it did better than than the Kenmore 69133 (5.3 pounds) and the Kenmore Elite 81072 (5.4 pounds). That said, several dryers fared better, as you can see below.

The real drama lies in the LG DLEY 1701V's water evaporation rate of 0.124 pounds per minute, which places it in the top three of dryers we've tested so far. Check the evaporation rate table below for more details.

King of the hill remains the Kenmore 69133, which evaporates at 0.139 pound per minute. The LG DLEX 5000 (0.135 pound per minute) is slightly below that. This figure is crucial since it pegs a machine's sheer drying power, and the DLEY 1701V has plenty of it. As with other dryers I've reviewed, this appliance's steam modes worked but didn't produce jaw-dropping results. I subjected heavily wrinkled cotton shirts to the dryer's "steam fresh" cycle, but though they smoothed out somewhat, unsightly creases remained.

Evaporation rate (pounds/minute)

Kenmore 69133 0.139LG DLEX 5000 0.135LG DLEY 1701V 0.124Kenmore Elite 81072 0.124GE GFDS260EFWW 0.121GE GTD45EASJWS 0.115Electrolux EFME617S 0.103GE GTD86ESPJMC 0.095GE GTD81ESSJWS 0.084
Notes: Longer bars equals better performance

Conclusion

The $1,000 LG DLEY 1701V dryer has plenty to like, specifically a beautiful design, modern styling not to mention outstandingly swift performance. For many shoppers it'll fit the bill nicely. But if you frequently need the room to handle King Kong sized loads when laundry day arrives, this isn't the appliance for you.

For that you'll need a dryer with truly awe-inspiring capacity. In those cases I'd recommend the $1,099 Electrolux EFME617 Perfect Steam, which lacks the same level of drying speed but offers 9 cubic feet of capacity plus plenty of style of its own. Or those willing to spend extra could spring for the $1,400 Kenmore Elite 81072 which has the same size drum and nimble performance.

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7.4

LG DLEY 1701V dryer

Score Breakdown

Design 9Usability 6.5Features 6.5Performance 8