After 18 years with the same washing machine, it was time for a new one. I had purchased a Fisher and Paykel very early in my marriage and it has seen me through three children, the eldest of whom is now 15.
After a lot of research and reading what others had to say, I couldn't go past a Fisher and Paykel again - this time the Quick Smart 7.5kg front loading washing machine. I could have purchased a 5.5kg top-loading version but the energy and water rating were not as good on the top-loader. The energy rating on this is 4 stars and the energy rating 4.5 stars.
The first thing to say is that technology has moved on! I've always been happy with my previous Fisher and Paykel washing machine. This one is not dissimilar in terms of its basic design and functioning - why change something that works well? - but the new 'quick smart' technology certainly means the Fisher and Paykel Quick Smart lives up to its name.
It has nine wash programs; it can automatically detect what water level is needed; it can balance out the load if you don't get the washing in evenly; you can set it up and put it on a start delay; it tells you clearly where, in the cycle, your wash is up to; and it also has a diagnostic tool if something goes wrong (not that anything has gone wrong).
But the best thing is just how quick it is - a load that used to take about 45 minutes, now takes around 30 minutes or less. And it really is so quiet: the old washing machine could be heard throughout the house even with doors closed, and it would also shake. This new Quick Smart is whisper quiet, so much so that I felt like I had a new baby and had to keep checking that it was actually on! There is also no shaking evident even when standing in the laundry next to it.
Overall, I am pleased I stuck with the same trusted brand. I have now had the washing machine for six weeks (and about 5-6 washes each week) and cannot fault it.