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Builders' Show: GE's taller laundry pair is easier on the back

Consumer Reports News: January 22, 2013 01:38 PM

The best washers in Consumer Reports' tests are frontloaders, thanks to their superb performance and efficiency. But they require a lot of bending over to load and unload laundry, unless you spring for the pedestal available with some models. Enter GE's new ergo-friendly frontloader, whose integrated risers lift the door to a more comfortable height. The washer and matching dryer are on display at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas.

The seven-inch risers elevate the machine to a height of 47 inches. That not only makes the door more accessible, it turns the top of the machine into a usable space for folding clothes. The washer also has the largest door opening in the industry, says GE, facilitating loading even more. It also features several helpful settings, including Overnight Ready, which can wash and dry a small load in about eight hours without transferring it to the dryer. And its multi-dose dispenser releases small amounts of detergent throughout the wash cycle, to supposedly maximize cleaning power.

GE's new frontload washer, model GFWR4800FWW, will sell at appliance retailers nationwide for about $1,300. A matching dryer, model GFDR480EFWW, also comes with integrated risers and will be available for the same price.

We have yet to test these new models but have plenty of other good choices in our current Ratings of washers and dryers.

For more news and trends from the Builders' Show, including videos of new products, see our full coverage.

Daniel DiClerico

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