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Buyer's Guide

There are a few things to ask yourself when considering your next electronics or whitegoods purchase. Here we help you to choose the right product or appliance by answering a few quick questions.

 

Buying Guide on Televisions:

High definition vs Ultra High Definition TVs (4K)?

Without doubt the 4K or UHD is far suprior than the older HD/FHD however the difference in resolution/quality of display can only be noticed if you are able to get content that is UHD. As of 2017 content for 4K is lagging and almost all free to air channels do not have any 4K but it is expected over the coming years more UHD content will be available.

Where possible invest to have a Television that will serve you several years but if budget is an issue then it may take a few years before UHD is important.

Buy a Smart TV?

Having a smart TV is fairly important these days as a smart TV will connect to the internet and allow your TV to interact with the web (eg YouTube, Skype, email access, web browsing etc) but most importantly customers buy smart Tvs to access applications such as Netflix or Stan (among others). Some Smart TVs are light smart which means that they can connect to the web but do not have Netflix or Stan applications loaded or certified so ensure to buy the right Smart TV for your intended use.(All major brands in TV will offer a proper smart TV such as Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Hisense and TCL, Chanhgong and Teac offer both Smart and light smart TV so ask if you are not sure)

Smart TVs are generally a little more expensive than their dumber counterpart :) but more and more models are be default smart. If you decide to buy an inexpensive model that is not smart or an older factory second model that is not smart then you can easily make your TV smart by purchasing a Smart TV box or use Google Chrome-cast.

Smart TV box:

This is a box that usually connects to your WiFi wireless (or wired if required), it will then connect to your TV via a standard HDMI connection and will give you a full smart TV experience. We highly recommend these devices if your TV is not Smart.. (average cost of $50-100)

Google Chrome Cast:

This is a small and inexpensive device that connects to your TV via HDMI connection and the device is synced to any Android device such as your mobile phone or Tablet. You can project anything that you can watch on your laptop, phone or Tablet. Its a great addition to any TV but if your main aim is content via web then a Smart Box or a Smart TV is your best bet. (Avg price $20-50)

 

LED vs QLED or OLED?

The Next Innovation in TV is here Powered by Quantum Dots, Samsung QLED TV reveals outstanding colour, brightness, detail and contrast for images with superb realism. Encased in exceptional designs, and integrating simple, seamless control and entertainment access, Samsung QLED TV is Samsung's most stunning TV yet.

LG offers OLED on some of their high end TVs. Different technology to QLED but similar outcome where the contrast is great, whites are brighter than in LED and Blacks are Black! 

If you watch a QLED or OLED TV side by side to a LED TV you will instantly see the difference in quality but if you watch either on their own then you may be happy with LED. If your budget allows then absouletly go for QLED.

Which Samsung TVs have QLED?

The latest QLED models start with QA, for example: 
QA75Q8CAM

Some of the older models of Samsung TVs were built around the QLED technology also, these are the SUHD (S series), for example:

UA65KS9500 (you are looking for KS in the middle of the model number)

 

Buy a 3D Television?

Unfortunately 3D TVs never took off due to lack of content and recently all Television manufacturers abandoned making models with 3D.

If you want a 3D TV then you need to look at older models but be aware that content will become scarce over the coming years so don't invest a lot on 3D.

 

Buying guide: Dryers

Condenser or Tumble Dryer?

Tumble dryers are ideal as the hot air is extracted externally from the dryer whilst the venting is done internally with condenser models. Both types come in sizes ranging from 3.5kg to 7kg. Do bear in mind, a dryer can be considerably smaller than the size of your washing machine as your garments will be soaked in water prior to entering the dryer thus requiring less volume than dry clothes entering a washing machine. Where possible, try and stick to a tumble dryer if external venting is not going to be of concern.

Dryers are usually mounted on brackets above a washing machine. However they can also be stacked on top of a front load washing machine if space does not permit you to place it elsewhere.

 

Buying Guide: Washing Machines

A quality washing machine can make light work of the laundry chores; no matter how many dirty clothes need a good washing each week. The good news is that there are a number of washing machine makes and models in the market that address just about every requirement.

It is always best to consider the amount of space you have available before considering a washing machine. The standard size for front load washing machines are generally 850(high) x 600(wide) x 600(deep) whilst there are no set standard sizes for top load washers.

1. Know your options

Top-loading: Top-loading washers with an agitator are preferred for their reasonable costs, good washing performance and gentle cleaning of fabrics. Available in large capacities, they can handle large volume laundry quite easily. Their fast spinning action does a good job of removing a lot more of the water and saving on drying time. On the flip side, it can result in tangled clothes. Top Loaders can be more user-friendly for elderly persons or those who have back-problems as it's easier to access via the top lid.

Front-loading: Though they are pricier than their top-loading counterparts, front-loading washers from top brands are even gentler, more water and energy-efficient, and have a better washing performance. The high spin action cuts down on drying time, but it can make the machine vibrate.

Washer Dryer Combos- Combined washing machine and dryer units are convenient and work well if you don’t have the space to have two separate machines– put you dirty clothes in, and take out dry and clean clothes! However be aware that a combined machine may be overall a good option but do come with some limitations such as most usually can dry only half the capacity of the washing and can use significantly more water so check the water rating if this is important to you.

2. Determine the right size

The average full-sized washer is 27 inches wide. If you’re considering a bigger capacity, measure the available space you have and allocate at least six inches at the back to attach water hoses, and an inch between the washer and dryer.

Of course, you must be able to pass the unit through your home’s doors. You will also need to decide an appropriate place to place the unit. While some machines are discernibly quiet, in others, the noise accompanying the vibrations can be disturbing.

3. Tips on picking a suitable solution for specific needs

A washing machine with a good capacity holds anywhere from 17 to 21 full-size towels; for higher capacity needs, you can opt for units that can accommodate up to 24 towels. Smaller capacity units can manage six to seven full-size bath towels. If you will be washing many big items of clothing, it is best to go for higher capacity washers.

Concerned about how much water and electricity you can save? Check the unit’s energy rating to compare the energy-efficiency of different models. As mentioned earlier, front-loaders use a lot less water than top-loaders, so you can explore this design. Make sure you factor in how often you plan to use the machine and your area’s utility costs, to make an informed decision.

Some of the features you may want to take a closer look at include:

• An automatic dispenser that apportions detergent, fabric softener and bleach. You can add a large volume of detergent to some units.
• Automatic temperature control, which adjusts water to the appropriate temperature based on the setting you have selected.
• Units with a extra rinse cycle are useful in removing pet dander and stubborn stains. An extra rinse is also beneficial if detergent residue tends to trigger rashes on your skin or your child’ skin.
• An end-of-cycle signal alerts you with an alarm beep when it’s time to transfer your laundry from the washer to the dryer.

In general, when considering a washing machine you should consider the following factors:

Capacity - sizes vary from 4kg to 10kg. For a family of 3 to 4 persons, a 7,5kg dryer would be most suitable but this all depends on the average wash load. It is ideal to have a larger washing machine of 8kg to 10kg if you have a family of 4 or more persons and plan to wash thicker clothes and blankets especially during winter.

Spin Speed - generally speaking, the faster the spin speed, the dryer the clothes come out of the washing machine. This will reduce the amount of time needed to run if using a dryer which ultimately leads to energy savings and thus money savings. Spin speeds can vary from 800rpm to 1800rpm depending on the type and model of the washer. You will find that washing machines offering faster spin speeds will usually be more expensive.

Programme Settings - it is always best to check the various features before purchasing a washer to ensure it has all the special types of washes you may require. These can include sensitive washes for woollen garments, quick wash, sensor wash, etc.

Water & Energy Efficiency Ratings - Always check the water and energy efficiency ratings which are mostly displayed on the washer itself in the form of stars. The more stars the better. On average, a kWh costs approximately $0.22 so simply times the number it estimates per year and times it by 0.22. This will give you the approximate operating cost of your new washing machine.

 

 

Buying Guide: Dishwashers

If you’ve had enough of scrubbing dirty dishes by hand, and you’re planning to invest in a dishwasher, you’ve come to the right place. We will take you through the important factors that go into choosing the best dishwasher for different sets of needs.

1. Options in configuration

A fully integrated unit can be built-in to the available space in your kitchen. It is a good option for limited installation spaces. The controls are located inside the door. In semi-integrated models, the control panel is displayed at the front, removing the need to open the dishwasher to switch on a programme. This design can seamlessly fit beneath your countertop for a streamlined look.

The standard integrated dishwasher requires a space measuring 24 inches by 24 inches at least, and some wiggle room is also desirable. It can accommodate a large number of dishes at a time, and hold 12-14 standard place settings.

A freestanding unit doesn’t need any special installation; it can be connected to your kitchen faucet and drains into your sink. You can place it any corner of your kitchen. Freestanding units usually hold eight place settings, making them more compatible for smaller homes and three or fewer residents.

A drawer/compact dishwasher is built into a drawer or a smaller space, which means that while it saves space, it also accommodates less crockery.

A bench top unit – as its name implies – is intended to be placed on a bench. Understandably, it is ideal for renters and granny flats. This space-saving design can provide a good wash for up to six place settings.

2. Stacking

If you anticipate washing many pots and pans, a fold-down tray will be useful

A height-adjustable top basket can make loading easier and quicker. When you want to change positions, you can simply lift the basket instead of removing it entirely.

A tray for cutlery comes in handy when you want to sort out and organize the cutlery drawer. The tray also serves as a safety feature. You can look specifically for a basket/tray with grids that separate each utensil.

3. Place settings

Full size dishwashers can hold about 10 to 15 place settings; the average is 12. If your family eats three meals a day at home, a full-size dishwasher – designed for two adults and two children at the very least (is also suitable for bigger families) – can wash a full day’s worth of dirty plates, glasses, cups and utensils.

It is equally important to check if the dishwasher can fit your utensils comfortably. This way you will avoid getting stuck with a unit that cannot fit in big dinner plates and tall glasses.

4. Program options

Dishwashers come with three program options:

• Economy wash, which uses less water or washes at a lower temperature
• Quick wash, which washes rinsed utensils or those that are lightly stained, in a faster cycle
• The half load setting adjusts water and time for a smaller load; load sensing factors in the number of utensils and the extent to which they are soiled

 

Buying Guide : Fridges

The best advice we can give anyone looking to buy a refrigerator is : do your homework! With multiple options to choose from, you are in a better position to identify a model that delivers best value for your needs and budget.

Here are the basics of buying a fridge for your home.

1. Compare the unit’s dimensions versus the available space you have

Whether you’re shopping online or at a brick-and-mortar store, note the height, width and depth of refrigerator units. Naturally, the available space in your kitchen must accommodate the unit comfortably. Take care to confirm that there is sufficient space for the doors to swing open.

In this regard, you can look for doors that open in the direction most convenient for you. Consider reversible doors if you have space constraints.

2. Review the different types of refrigerators

Top freezer: This is the standard design where the freezer is located at the top of the unit. It offers generous space to store bigger items, including pizza boxes. If you consume frozen foods and ice on a daily basis, a top freezer may be a good solution. These units are energy-efficient and less expensive that other types. However, given their design, you will need to bend to use the lower bins.

Bottom freezer: This design allows you to store large items while removing the need to bend in order to retrieve food as the storage compartments are at eye-level. But you will need to sift through the freezer to find what you’re looking for. You can either opt for a double-door model with a freezer door at the bottom and a refrigerator door on top, or a side-by-side door that saves space and controls the amount of cold air that can escape.

Side-by-side: With a freezer on one side and a refrigerator on the other, the side-by-side design is a reliable choice if you consume both frozen and fresh foods regularly. But the shelves are narrow, which means you may not be able to accommodate very large items.

French Door: Ideal for big families, this design has a number of compartments to keep your groceries fresh for a long time. It consists of a French door on top, a bottom freezer, and a middle door that opens into a drawer for items that you use the most.

3. Check for the following features

Some fridge models tick all the right boxes. Here are some features that homeowners emphasize when shopping for a quality refrigerator:

• A thoughtful layout that doesn’t cause hassles
• Reliable temperature control
• An adequately lit interior
• Solid, durable construction
• Good energy efficiency
• Simple, intuitive controls
• Low maintenance, easy-to-clean surfaces


4. Some more points to note

Refrigerators tend to make strange noises from time to time! It doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with them. But if you think it’s going to be bothersome for you or your family members, make sure you check the noise factor of the units you’re interested in.

Also determine if you really need a fridge with all the bells and whistles. For instance, an automatic beverage/ice dispenser or a blast chiller can increase energy usage and costs, not to mention the plumbing costs.