I don't feel especially qualified to review a washing machine - through renting, I've never really been in a position to have a preference about the piece of equipment that washes my clothes. As long as it doesn't tear them into raggedy strips, lock itself up and hold my trousers hostage or explode and flood the house, I tend to count myself perfectly happy.
Having bought our first flat this year, though, suddenly I'm having to make informed decisions about such things. At £300, this is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive model on the market (although it's substantially closer to the former). I didn't know that there were really many differences between types of machine, but they do vary in terms of volume, energy efficiency and extra features. Most models seem much of a muchness when it comes to the load they can take - this holds what I'd consider a fairly large wash, and should cater comfortably enough for a small-to-medium sized family.
What's more, with a quick spin setting that lasts 30 minutes, it's not a hassle to work through several loads in an afternoon. The machine has an A+ energy rating, which I'm told is pretty good, and should help keep costs down. It also has to wonderfully-named fuzzy logic, which apparently means that it can make its own mind up about things like how much water to use for the load in question. It's kind of like the sentient machines in Terminator, only with less time-travelling and widespread destruction. So far.
It's a fairly quiet beast, too. I can barely hear it two rooms away in the living room, and it doesn't do the whole thunderous-room-shaking thing that makes it sound like it's trying to take off that other models seem to favour. I don't tend to use settings other than the quick wash one, but when I do, the process is pretty simple and self-explanatory. I like the stripped-down simplicity of this machine; dials select the setting and temperature and turn off the device, another button starts and pauses it - there's not a lot to have trouble with here. It can also be set to come on in the indecent hours of the morning, which is a useful money-saver; and the low volume comes in handy here, not interrupting your precious sleep.
All in all, I seem to have come through my first washing machine purchase unscathed - and hopefully I'll be as positive about the machine several years down the line. £300 seems a quite reasonable price for a basic model that covers all my washing-related needs, as well as throwing in a couple of neat extra options. Aesthetically, there doesn't seem to be too much room for flair where washing machines are concerned, so this one fits in perfectly neatly with the vast majority of others on the market - it's designed in a white finish, is easy to clean, and feels pretty solid to use. There's nothing that feels like it's about to snap off or wear down, and everything fits and functions as it's supposed to.
From an absolute layman's perspective at least, I can heartily endorse it and all its machinations. Go wash.
Short name: Zanussi ZWG5148P