Best matching washers and dryers of 2013

Best matching washers and dryers of 2013

In the laundry appliance aisle, 2013 was a pretty good year. There were ways to save money, capacities kept increasing to help make up for longer wash times, and Wi-Fi enabled appliances allowed you to change cycles using your smart phone. You still had to do laundry, but some appliances made it easier or better. Here’s a look.
 
An LG duo with an appealing price. The LG WT1101CW high-efficiency top-loader was the best of the tested top-loaders and at … (read more)

Best and worst cleaning products of 2013

Best and worst cleaning products of 2013

Even if keeping your house cleaner isn’t one of your resolutions for 2014, it’s still good to know which cleaning products are worth the expense and which are like throwing money down the drain. Of the laundry detergents, all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergents and other cleaning products Consumer Reports put to the test this year, some made chores a cinch while others were a waste of elbow grease. Here’s what we liked and what we didn’t. 

Suds duds
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Consumer Reports’ Best Refrigerators of 2013

Consumer Reports’ Best Refrigerators of 2013

Shoppers continued to embrace French-door bottom-freezer refrigerators in 2013. Not surprising, manufacturers focused their innovation on this newer configuration, which keeps fresh food at eye-level behind space-saving side-by-side doors. Most of our top picks of the year are drawn from that category, but we also included a new top-freezer, notable for its nifty price tag, if not its game-changing design.

Samsung T9000 RF32FMQDBSR. The $ 3,500 Samsung T9000, above, first caught our eye at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, … (read more)

Consumer Reports’ Naughty & Nice list for 2013

Consumer Reports’ Naughty & Nice list for 2013

 

Policies, like products, sometimes fall short of expectations. And for the fourth year in a row, Consumer Reports is releasing its annual Naughty & Nice list, a campaign to shed light on company policies or practices that help or hinder the public.

The list includes retailers, airlines, telecom companies, and others that we’ve dinged for fees, fine print, or punitive practices; others were lauded for generous and outstanding customer service, for instance.

Several Consumer Reports staff members who cover retailing, finance, electronics, and … (read more)

Electrolux Design Lab 2013 contest winner

The winner is Mab, an automated cleaning system consisting of hundreds of flying mini-robots, envisioned by Adrian Perez Zapata from Colombia.

Inspired by the controlled flight of bees pollinating a flower, Mab flying robots clean surfaces by touching them with a drop of water. Mab scans the house, determine the areas to clean and sends the robots flying. Electrolux. Previously, Electrolux Design Lab 2013 contest finalists.

Appliancist

2013 Luxury Loungers from Leolux: Darius and Bolea

Darius is the new hotseat from Leolux, and a modern throne if ever we’ve seen one. This design by Jan Armgardt envelops you with its high back, integrated armrest and sweetly sunken seat, all part of a single, solid mass. The chair’s smooth lines lead your eye down the reclined back and along its curving body, ending at the corners, down-turned and touching the floor. Sit back and let your body sway in the subtly springy frame, finished in polished chrome. And the upholstery fits like a … (read more)

CES 2013: LG claims easy oven cleaning in just 20 minutes

CES 2013: LG claims easy oven cleaning in just 20 minutes

Cleaning the oven is such a detested chore that some cooks admit to running the cleaning cycle of their range or wall oven only once during its lifetime. For almost as long, appliance makers have been looking for an easier way. LG took the plunge this week when it introduced a new series of self-cleaning, large-capacity ovens with a new coating called Aqua Clean Enamel at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Here’s how it works: The user … (read more)

CES 2013: LG’s Hom-Bot Square vacuum gets into the corners

CES 2013: LG’s Hom-Bot Square vacuum gets into the corners

If rooms were round, the robotic vacuums tested in the past by Consumer Reports would have been better at tidying up. But in our tests, they tended to miss edges and corners. Now LG has introduced the LG Hom-Bot Square at the Consumer Electronics Show. It claims the vacuum has “newly designed corner master technology” and can now get into hard-to-reach places.

Not only is the bot cute, it’s smart too. It uses two cameras to plot its … (read more)