The recession has hit all sectors of the economy, and the appliance industry has not been spared. At this year's Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference, held last month in Atlanta, there were fewer displays and attendees. But like all the K/BIS shows I've attended over the years as a product-information specialist for Consumer Reports, exhibitor booths featured innovative products.
At the LG booth, the company displayed the WM3001HWA Ultra-Capacity SteamWasher front-loading washing machine sitting on top of four wineglasses (shown). As part of LG's efforts to highlight the low-vibration qualities of the direct-drive transmission on its front-loaders, the machine was running and the glasses didn't break. Pretty neat. (We don't know how well the glasses infer the lack of vibration, but our vibration tests certainly can discern the absence of vibration.)
As front-loaders become more popular, and as more homes have the laundry room located in or near main living areas, low vibration is a big concern. LG offers the direct-drive transmissions on all models in its Tromm line priced above $999.
LG also introduced what it calls MotionCare wash cycles on the new WM2601HR, WM2701HR, and WH2901HR models. The company claims the MotionCare cycles use a combination of rolling, swinging, and scrubbing "dance-like" motions to more gently handle laundry.
One other cool touch from LG was an electronic open-and-close feature on the LMX28987[ST] four-door refrigerator with a bottom freezer, $3,000 (due out this fall). With the touch of the button mounted at the ice and water dispenser, you can open and close either of the two freezer drawers, which also close automatically when gently touched.
One of the splashiest and most heavily trafficked booths at the show was Jenn-Air's. The company introduced new cooking products, including wall ovens, cooktops, a restyled pro range, and a downdraft vent system that uses HEPA filtration for installations where outside venting is not available.
Jenn-Air also rolled out the Culinary Center on its wall ovens, which aims to give you optimum results on your dishes by allowing you to select the pan, rack, time, and doneness. This touch-control interactive display is similar to what we've seen on the TurboChef 30" Double Wall Speedcook oven, minus the speed cooking.
Some other highlights:
On GE cooking appliances, features once found only on higher-priced products are moving down to less-expensive gear, including high-powered burners, hidden bake elements, and stainless-steel and metal handles, can all be found at lower price points than just a few years ago.
And GE and Samsung will introduce free-standing induction ranges later this year. Read our First Look at the Kenmore Elite 9991 range with induction cooktop.
One of the more interesting cooking products at the show was an over-the-range microwave from Kenmore whose door can open from either side. This appliance came about after in-home research revealed that the placement of corner cabinetry can interfere with door opening.—Michael DiLauro | e-mail | Twitter
I have an LG Steam Washer and while it may not vibrate or make noise it does have problems. My laundry comes out with an odor! If I use the regular cycle (without extra water) my clothes often do not even get wet all through & the quality of cleaning of my clothes is much less than my 25 year old Maytag that I gave up to get this. LG has larger problems to worry about; such as the number of things you must do to keep it clean & "odorless" which I do much more often than recommended & still I have smelly clothes
What is it with front loaders? I have had a Maytag Neptune and a Bosch front loading washer, and both have smelled bad, with a musty, moldy odor in the washer. I understand there have been class action lawsuits about this problem, but I have not been a party to such lawsuits, more's the pity. We lived abroad and had a small front-loader there, which may have been a Miele washer. It did not have an odor problem. When CU rates front-loading washers, it should take note of odor potential
I recently purchased a front loading washer and I have no problems with odors. I follow the manufacturer's and retail outlet's recommendations and keep the washer door slightly ajar when it's not in use. My machine is a Kenmore/Samsung (but I would not recommend purchasing from Sears).
Does the silver strip in the high end Samsung front loaders eliminate the musty odor problem entirely on Samsungs?
I have a cooktop (down draft), does that mean I have to replace it with a downdraft. It is located on a center island. It is gas. What are my choices based on my current configuratio (downdraft, gas burners). I need stainless steel.