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HOT STUFF: The LG Styler is an all-in-one locker-size machine that steam-cleans, dries, disinfects, reduces wrinkles and even presses.
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HOT STUFF: The Dyson Supersonic’s handle houses the motor of the hairdryer.
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HOT STUFF: The Dyson Supersonic’s handle houses the motor of the hairdryer.

The heat is on

The latest LG garment steamer and Dyson hair dryer are generating plenty of buzz.
Aug 13, 2016 5:50 AM

 

LG Styler

Price: S$2,999

Capacity: 3 items + 1 pants

CLOTHES dryers, unlike in Western countries, are not common here, but there have been instances where a dryer is needed, to tumble clean some pillows, blankets, soft toys and the occasional cushions, simply because washing, cleaning and drying them would be a chore.

The LG Styler is an all-in-one locker-size machine that steam-cleans, dries, disinfects, reduces wrinkles and even presses - without the hassle of having the items sent to the cleaner. For those who baulk at hanging unsanitised items back in the wardrobe, as well as clothes that have been dampened by rain, the LG Styler is the handy solution. With hooks for up to three hanging items, users can hang anything for the machine to sanitise and clean using high heat steam.

So far, the LG Styler has cleaned blazers, pants, jeans, comforters, soft toys and even sofa cushions during the month-long review period. Users simply fill a container located at the foot of the LG Styler with water, and top it up after four uses. An empty receptacle by the side collects the heated water that has not been converted to steam, and this must be emptied after four turns.

Each item placed on a special hanger is hooked on a rung that also vibrates, and this serves to shake out the dust, and cause the steam to penetrate the item. The combination of hot steam and vibration also acts to de-wrinkle the clothes placed within.

When the cycle is done, the insides of a blazer does feel warm, and what helps in this cleaning process is the use of scented paper that imbues all the items with a fresh fragrance. The resulting sanitised blazer looks and feels the same as the one sent to a cleaner. The elbow creases are gone, as are the folds on the tail end of the jacket. By the door is also a garment presser, meant to press trousers and give them the fold line down the leg. The machine can only handle one pair at a time though, and given the 50 to 90 minutes cycle, this might take a while for households with more than two people.

This presser also works in combination with the high heat steam, and the type of pants materials can affect the resulting fold. Jeans demand a lot more effort and there are some slacks that are not suitable to maintain folds, so do not assume that any trousers placed within the presser will come out with a neat, solid fold down the back and front.

One drawback of this machine is the need for constant maintenance. The water needs to be replenished after every four operations, and there is a filter at the bottom, located above the water containers that needs to be cleaned. The scented paper also needs to be replaced.

The machine also draws 1,500W of power, which is about the same as a single split air-conditioning unit, just to clean your clothes. Its large size also means it's not a fit for every home. Since it generates plenty of heat, using it at night, when it is cooler, also makes more sense.

One curious thing about the Styler is that the touch controls are limited to a handful of modes, such as Refresh, Sanitise and Dry.

If you want more cleaning modes, such as for soft toys, athletic outfits and for rainy day use, you need a compatible NFC phone to download any two of these modes into the unit. If you want a new mode, you need to replace an existing downloaded mode with the new one.


Dyson Supersonic

Price: S$599

Airflow: 41 litres per second

Weight: 618g

A FEW years ago, there was a global shortage of human hair, caused by British company Dyson when it decided to go into the beauty product industry, and needed to test its first hairdryer on the many types of human hair available.

Four years and 1,625km of hair later, the Dyson Supersonic has hit the market, and has given the almost 100-year-old portable hairdryer a badly needed overhaul. Just like it succeeded with its bladeless fans and bagless vacuum cleaners, Dyson has had a history of redesigning household appliances and the Supersonic is no different.

Unlike traditional gun-like hairdryers, the Supersonic is more like a miniature mallet from the Whac-A-Mole arcade games. The handle houses the motor of the hairdryer, and in this case, it is the V9 motor that draws in air from the base of the handle, and channels it up and into the cylindrical head, which then ejects the air. Like its bladeless fans, the motor blows out a thin sheet of concentrated air through the Supersonic's hollowed-out head. By not having the motor on the head of the device, the weight of the handheld is more evenly distributed across its entire body, providing more balance when holding it in your hands.

Without the protruding snout of a traditional hairdryer, users can place their arm closer to their body and not feel the strain of holding the device a distance from their hair. And long-haired folk will appreciate that the air intake is now at the base of the handle, instead of the head, as this means their hair will not get trapped and entangled at the intake.

The cylindrical head is also a marvel just to look at. The hollow centre makes the device look like a gunsight, and yes, you can roll up a small piece of paper and place it in the back, for the hairdryer to launch the paper ball as a small projectile.

The front of the cylindrical head is magnetic that can accommodate three attachments. Two of them are concentrators, or flat nozzles, of differing widths that better control the direction and flow of the air.

Because the attachments use a magnetic ring to link to the Supersonic, users can rotate the angle of the concentrator to their liking, to get the desired angle of air directed at their hair, instead of twisting their wrist to create the same effect. The third is a diffuser, for taming wavy and curly hair.

There is also a plastic silicon mat for users to anchor the Supersonic on, as it vibrates on a flat surface.From a utilitarian point of view, there is nothing remarkable about the hair drying process of the Supersonic. But it is the other things that you start to notice.

The motor generates considerably less noise than traditional hairdryers, and the handling of the Supersonic is quite unlike any other hairdryer in the market.

The handle does not get hot even if the motor has been running for a while, and there is a removable air filter ring where the air enters the handle, for you to clean out the dust trapped there.

Given that a cheap hairdryer costs less than S$100, the biggest hurdle here would be the S$599 price tag. But for those used to three-figure fees during visits to the hair salon, this is a small price to pay to maintain your crowning glory in the comfort of your home.