laundry

Hotpoint HTDX100EMWW Dryer Review

A cheap product isn't worth the savings if it doesn't do its job.

April 30, 2013
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Introduction

When it comes to bare bones drying with absolutely no frills whatsoever, the one brand that immediately jumps to mind is Hotpoint. (Yes, it’s actually GE’s budget line, but just run with it.) We tested the HTDP120EDWW electric dryer some time ago, and while it ranks pretty low overall, we can confidently say that it gives you what you pay for. At $499, it’s an effective hot box into which you throw wet clothes, and about an hour later you get dry ones back. It’s not subtle, it’s not versatile, but it is effective. When we got an even cheaper model into our labs—the HTDX100EMWW (MSRP $429)—we were pretty skeptical. Could this full-sized electric dryer with even fewer cycles and settings truly manage to do a decent job and sport a lower price tag? The answer, as you might imagine, is no.

Design & Usability

Just when you thought it couldn’t get simpler…

The Hotpoint’s old-school white enamel finish looks the same as it did on models you might have seen in your grandparents’ basement, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s classic, clean, and an easy color to match for folks with finished laundry rooms. The white enamel interior is less appealing, though, as it runs the risk of flaking, rusting, or discoloring over time. The lint trap is a flat out piece of crap: it’s tiny, flimsy, and an absolute pain in the neck to clean.

For a full-sized model, the HTDX100EMWW is undoubtedly the most basic dryer we’ve ever seen. Strip this down further and you’d be left with just a start button. Maybe. You might think this would make it easy to use, and you’d be correct. However, the simplicity of the crank timer is countered by vague, ballpark drying times. “More Dry” and “Less Dry” options don’t exactly fit the bill for folks who like to plan out their day. Even the Timed Dry, which can run from 10 to 80 minutes, lacks the accuracy of a real control panel. The crank itself feels surprisingly stable, though. We even tried giving it a deliberate yank, but that knob wasn’t going anywhere.

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Performance & Features

It’s way too hot in here, so take out all your clothes.

HEAT. That’s about all this Hotpoint does well. Timing, delicacy, actual drying performance… let’s not fool ourselves. You weren’t really expecting an appliance of decent quality for just $429, were you? Sure, clothes got 100 percent dry in our Normal test, but Cottons on “More Dry” ran an hour and a half. An hour and a half! The final result is serviceable for folks that just need reliable drying in a regular, industrial sort of way—piles of work jeans, plain white t-shirts, dish rags or hand towels—but its length kills it. Compared to the $70 difference between this machine and the next step up in the Hotpoint stable, you may actually find yourself spending more in the long run to power those 90 minute cycles.

But wait, there’s more! Despite changing the temperature setting, the dryer got just as hot in our Delicate test. Testing lengths were inaccurate and failed to remove all the moisture for the Quick Dry test, and the Hotpoint flat out failed the Bulky. Lacking any extra features There’s not a single redeemable thing here. Lacking any other cycles or extra features, this dryer may only appeal to consumers who are seeking the shallowest of learning curves.

Conclusion

Sometimes savings come at too high of a cost.

There is something about simplicity of purpose that can be just as appealing as the latest innovation or trend. Hotpoint embraces that approach, delivering basic products at extremely affordable rates. While we’ve encountered machines in their lineup that arguably achieve that goal, the HTDX100EMWW isn’t one of them. With an MSRP of $429, it’s the cheapest full-sized dryer we’ve ever tested, and it shows. With egregiously lengthy cycle times whose electric costs likely negate any sort of savings up front, as well temperatures so hot that the risk of clothing wear and tear becomes higher, it’s a prime example of how spending too little in the short term may come back and bite you down the line. Sale prices as low as $360 may make it appealing to folks looking for a great deal, but we’d encourage you to pass this one by.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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