Combination washer-dryers seem like a pretty sensible innovation. If the appliance is intelligence enough, it can start drying your clothes when it’s done washing, so they don’t sit there, damp and wrinkled (provided you don’t need to remove some dryer-unfriendly items first). These machines exist, but they’re often ventless, making the drying process much slower than in vented machines. Often found in Europe, they’re meant to save space.
Marathon Laundry, however, has created a vented version, which it says rivals conventional washers and dryers when it comes to cleaning power and time. The double-duty appliance is on display at CES 2016 this week in Las Vegas.
The point with the Marathon machine isn’t to save space. The 3.2-cubic-foot appliance is about 27 inches wide, roughly the same as a washer with the same capacity. You can use its 10-inch touchscreen to connect it to your Wi-Fi. Once that happens, it will start to learn your habits. If you regularly wash (and dry) your clothes on Wednesdays and always use cold water, it will remember your settings. It might even learn what detergent you use and adjust its water amount and temperature to the optimal settings. If you need your jeans cleaned by morning, you could toss them in before bed, and the machine could figure out the optimal time to start washing, when electricity prices are at their lowest.
The idea isn’t to have a thousand cycles to choose from; if you really want to sanitize your clothes or have a delicate cycle, you could, but the basic setting will do the trick for most people most of the time.
Set to enter the market in summer of 2016, the Marathon will cost $1,199. It’s not unheard of to find just a washer or dryer costing that amount.