Squeezing more (functionality) into less (items and space) has been a major theme in home appliances the past few years, and LG will be riding that multi-tasking wave again at January’s CES 2023 with a jam-packed zone of useful new household goods for kitchen, laundry, and floor maintenance.
It’s a big change from the COVID-plagued CES 2022, when LG left its giant exhibit space virtually empty—except for a sprinkling of signs with QR codes encouraging the few and brave attendees to view products online.
Visitors at CES 2023 in Las Vegas will be able to put their hands on dramatically cool new refrigerators, high-efficiency laundry stacks, multi-featured air purifiers and floor care products; plus, a quirky set of storage and maintenance cabinets for the shoe-obsessed among us. LG previewed some of these new products in September at IFA, the European tech show.
LG refrigerators at CES
Some magical downsizing is happening in the kitchen, where LG will be introducing the Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator. LG says it’s the first less-than-25-inch-deep fridge that doesn’t poke out in front of adjacent cabinets, while still maintaining a huge storage capacity of either 25.5- or 27-cubic feet, depending on whether you opt for a model with—or without—the ice dispenser in the door. By contrast, the typical counter-depth fridge offers 22-cubic feet of shelf space.
That increased capacity is accomplished by slimming the cold-air duct and evaporator and reducing cabinet thickness with enhanced insulation. Other nice touches include a large, sometimes see-though InstaView panel for inspecting compartment contents without opening the door; switchable temperature customization (chilling or freezing) for each of four storage zones; UVnano water purification; and a new, fourth option for ice-making: chewable mini cubes that join conventional cubes, crushed ice, and LG’s fancy, festive Craft Ice balls.
For those who do a lot of entertaining in the kitchen (hey, who doesn’t?), the new LG Refrigerator with MoodUp (lighting) could certainly help to set a scene. Its LED backlit door panels can be programmed to glow in dozens of different themed or personal-tuned color combinations and, should you desire, to also pulse in time to music playing through the fridge’s on-board Bluetooth speaker. Both features are controlled, of course, with the LG ThinQ app. There are also practical applications: A proximity sensor triggers the door panels to glow as you approach, easing late-night snacking forays. And here when a door is left ajar, it lets you know by blinking.
The new LG washer/dryer combo at CES
The LG WashTower gets my vote for the maker’s “most dramatically improved” product. Available in 24- and 27-inch widths, the WashTower looks at first glance like other stacked laundry rigs, with a dryer sitting on top of the washer. Here, it’s actually an integrated unit with one centralized set of controls. This promises to make the WashTower more compact, stable, and easier to operate. Better still, this LG deploys a dual inverter heat pump to dry clothes, a tech that extracts and evaporates the moisture from wet laundry whilst recycling that wash water’s warmth for drying.
The LG WashTower’s heat pump way uses 50 percent less energy than conventional dryers, LG says, is kinder on fabrics, and—perhaps most significantly—eliminates the need for dryer venting. So installation is more flexible – apartment dwellers will rejoice – and there’s no longer a concern about lint-clogged vents lowering dryer efficiency and causing fires.
LG retools its cordless stick vac
LG’s new stick vac line-topping LG CordZero All in One Tower with Steam Mop takes last year’s top LG model up a couple notches. In my original LG CordZero review, I admired the predecessor’s elegant design, multi- speed suction power, and its ability to self-empty the dust bin into a storage bag when returned to its handsome charging stand.
I had misgivings, however, about its bonus skill at floor washing with a swapped-out, spinning-pads nozzle. This 2023 redesign promises to fix that issue with two much-improved heads. The multi-purpose nozzle now self-adjusts between carpeted and hard flooring materials. The mop head adds steam to the wetting/loosening process, now lets users juice-up the wash water with detergent, and illuminates the dirt spots with onboard floor lighting. Better still, the new head actively pulls moisture off the floor with suction rather than just leaving it there to air dry. LG says these changes result in 70 percent better grime removal than the original CordZero washing nozzle managed.
LG air purifiers double as furniture
Room air cleaners have really taken off in the age of COVID, but it’s fair to say there’s nothing else quite matching the look and functionality of the LG PuriCare Aero Furniture. Available in a variety of colors, this series’ decorative spherical shape and round tabletop invite this air-cleaning unit to be placed in a more prominent place in the room as it also functions as high-tech furniture.
A wireless charging station for your phone, tablet or buds is embedded in the top. Discrete operational controls are side-mounted. You can even trigger onboard mood lighting to glow from below the tabletop. More to the point, pulling the PuriCare Aero out from a corner (where room air cleaners are usually placed) enables superior 360-degree air circulation and functionality with “UVnano particle” cleansing. LG says the latter eliminates up to 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria that come in contact with the purifier’s fan blades.
LG follows up on its steam-cleaning Styler clothes closet with a pragmatic maintenance and storage system for your most precious footwear: the LG Styler & ShoeCare. Stackable ShoeCare modules store and protect the shoes behind UV filtered see-through panels and let you celebrate your special faves with a 360-degree rotating turntable.
The LG Styler ShoeCare pro-actively preserves precious kicks and pumps with TrueSteam shoe “refreshing,” plus Zero-Dry moisture and odor filtering. Up to four pairs can be simultaneously renewed in as little as 37 minutes with the “standard course” treatment. And for extra-fastidious types, there are 10 course options to manage various shoe types, from leather and suede to fabric-and rubber-souled sports and casual shoes.
But wait, there’s more!
Products that should have been at LG’s truly vacant 2022 CES showcase, including the InstaView Double Wall Oven (introducing Steam Sous Vide) and the LG QuadWash Pro Dishwasher with one-hour Dynamic Heat Dry, are also being belatedly showcased at CES 2023. And some LG appliances (the ones launched in the United States after the fourth quarter of 2022) will upgrade their feature sets with LG’s brand-new, improved, app-based LG ThinQ UP platform, which LG describes being “built around the customer-centric concept of Evolving With You” to “incorporate new features throughout their life—providing more value to users, over time.” Laundry Saver Mode is one firmware upgradable feature that will be available to dryer models with ThinQ UP. It keeps the drum tumbling after the cycle has finished (until the dryer door is opened) to help prevent wrinkles and odors.
Another coming-soon user option, Nighttime Brightness Control for refrigerators, turns their interior lighting softer, so as not to blind late-night snackers when opening a refrigerator door in a dark room. Upgradability also is in the works for the web-connected InstaView Electric Double Slide In Range which already puts recipes on its display screen and an ingredients shopping list on your phone. The same can be said of LG’s Over the Range Microwave Oven, which boasts internet access to recipe services and a range of smart functions, including remote control and monitoring of edible work in progress.