An extremely expensive and full-featured front-loading washing machine. Manufactured by prestigious Swedish appliance maker Asko in 1993 and 1994, it creamed all other washers in a Consumer Reports test. This thing is so ingeniously designed and gadgety, it even has a coin return slot, where it'll automatically eject coins that you forget to take out before you put your clothes in.
Other features include:

• An integrated high-efficiency water heater, with which you can vary wash temperatures from 64 to 206 ºF

• Up to five rinse cycles per wash, for those garments filled with materials like Polarguard that can be really hard to get the soap out of.

• Variable spin-cycle speed from 400 to 1300 RPM. The fastest speed makes drying almost unnecessary.

• Automatic unbalanced load correction, which gives the garments a good jerk if it senses that they're imbalanced.

• Locking double doors, the inner one seals the water in, and the outer one reduces the already non-existent sound. This protects anyone who could stick their hands inside a spinning load, and eliminates the pinching hazard associated with most washers.

This thing is about 40 percent more efficient to use than a typical top-loader, due to its front-loading design and powerful laundering ability. The problem with all this whiz-bang gadgetry is that it makes the washer relatively prone to break down, and when the model was available, it cost $1350. A matching (in price and gadgets) dryer was also available.

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