The GE GTD65EBSJWS (MSRP $700) is one of the cheapest sensor-equipped dryers on the market. Compared to products in its price category, it did well in our tests.
It runs awfully hot, and never got our clothes to 100% dry, but that’s actually okay: Overdrying and overtumbling are some of the worst things you can do to your clothes, and this GE never fell into that trap.
Sensors that know to quit when they’re ahead are combined with a broad cycle list and plenty of customizable options, resulting in the swankiest dryer you can find south of $600. What’s more: It’s designed to pair with our pick for 2015’s Best Top Load Washer, so keep that in mind if you’re shopping for a set.
To read our full review of this dryer’s matching washer, the GTW680BSJWS, click here.
Design & Usability
It’s a trap!
Though it’s one of GE’s newest models, the GTD65’s design blends modern tech with old-school basics. At first glance, this dryer looks a regular ol’ white box, but closer inspection reveals some fancy touches.
The silver control panel features bright blue indicator lights that modernize the interface. Controls are responsive and easy to read, while the cycle knob has a confident heft and turns smoothly.
Inside, the 7.4-cu.-ft. drum is an aluminized alloy, a departure from the stainless or white interiors we’re used to. A lone LED light is bright enough to help you keep track of errant socks, and isn’t typical of dryers at this price point.
But we had to shake our heads at the lint trap…. On most dryers, the cavity where the lint trap sits normally has some gaps or openings where lint and other crud can build up. This new design cuts out those gaps, but it’s a pain in the neck to take out the trap and put it back. We enlisted multiple testers and not once were we able to smoothly remove or return the lint trap without it getting caught on either side. With all of the other fancy design elements on this machine, the lint trap felt noticeably chintzy.
Bringing the heat
Our tests show GE dryers almost always run hot, and the GTD65 was no exception. The Normal cycle clocked in at about 160°F, while we recorded the Delicates cycle at a cooler 138°F. That’s about 20-30°F hotter than we normally like to see.
That’s intentional: GE knows that most Americans don’t clean their dryer vents, and the extra heat is added partially to help overcome a stuffy vent.
The other reason? GE’s engineers believe that tumbling clothes for too long is worse than drying clothes too hot. Although this GE never got our clothes 100% dry, clothes typically absorb about 2-3% excess moisture just sitting in a drawer, so 100% dryness is a bit excessive regardless of the temperature. In this case, it means the GTD65’s sensors stopped the cycle at an appropriate point.
The best part is that this performance is consistent across the board. Even on the Bulky cycle, our down comforter wasn’t quite dry enough for use right out of the machine, but it came darn close.
Our most important complaint is really cycle length: Speed Dry, for example, ran about 42 minutes. Nothing speedy about that.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Need to vent?
For such an affordable dryer, this GE actually has a decent set of features. The cycle list includes nine cycles that utilize the sensors, including specialty options like Jeans and Sanitize. On top of that, three programmed timed cycles—Timed Dry, Warm Up, and Air Fluff—are also available. These can be programmed to run anywhere from 10 to 99 minutes. Five different temperature settings and heat levels are available for customizing your cycles, and a My Cycle option allows you to save your preferred combination.
Another feature new to this series is something we don’t normally talk about, but is worth mentioning: Ventilation. Maximum outdoor dryer ventilation typically caps out at 90 ft from the dryer itself. Most people will never need such a long vent, but if you’re setting up a unit in an apartment or condo, or in a multistory house, it may matter to you. According to GE’s specs, this dryer can pump out to a whopping 120 ft., making it one of the more versatile units on the market.
This GE dryer comes with a standard one-year parts and labor warranty. If anything breaks through no fault of the consumer, GE will send someone out with the appropriate parts to fix it.
A Strong Contender
At this price we expected… less.
If you want a dryer that’s more than a basic hot box, but aren’t interested in dropping a grand or more, the GE GTD65EBJSW should be on your list. A wide cycle selection and plenty of customization make it a versatile machine. Plus, smart sensors make the most of GE’s high heat and prevent overdrying.
In-store pricing of $599 also puts the GTD65EBSJWS into competition with less sophisticated machines, making it a great pick for consumers who like to be hands-on with their laundry but don’t want to spend more money. Yes, other dryers are cheaper or more effective, but—save some extra heat and a clumsy lint trap—this one is just fine.
If you’re already picking up a GE top-load washer, the matching GTD65 will make for a fine pair.