TCL 4-Series vs. 5-Series and 6-Series, Speed Queen 10-year warranty (Week 30, 2019)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 30, 2019

Q. I read your reviews of the TCL 5-Series and 6-Series 4K televisions. I recently saw the TCL 4-Series 55-inch 4K TV on sale for $329. What do you think of that model?

-D.H., San Jose, CA

A. The TCL 4-Series is a good TV, but I think you are better off with the 55-inch TCL 5-Series for $379. The 5-Series is only $50 more and includes Dolby Vision, which provides noticeably better picture quality with content recorded with Dolby Vision processing. The 5-Series also has HDR dynamic contrast for brighter whites and blacker blacks.

Your question caused me to reflect on my first HDTV, which was a 55-inch Mitsubishi model purchased in 2002. This CRT rear projection TV had a list price of $4,200, was as big as a refrigerator and weighed over 200 pounds, only had 1080i resolution, and had no Smart TV features whatsoever. Now we get a 4K Smart TV in the same screen size for only $399, and it can be hung on a wall. I loved the natural picture on that old CRT projection set, but we sure have come a long way!

Q. You only have 3 of the 5 parts of your Speed Queen factory tour published. When will you have the rest of them on your website?

-P.K., Boise, ID

A. The final 2 parts will be on my website within the next few weeks. Your question is timely because it is an excellent lead-in for me to share some exciting news.

Speed Queen was recently named the most reliable appliance brand by Consumer Reports. To celebrate, Speed Queen is offering an unheard of 10 year parts and labor warranty on all Speed Queen products sold between now and September 30. To get the 10 year warranty you must buy your Speed Queen equipment from an authorized retailer and register your purchase on the Speed Queen website. In these days of throwaway appliances, it’s very reassuring as well as a great deal.

The next bit of news was completely unexpected, and bound to make a lot of people happy.

The Return of the Queen: Due to popular demand, Speed Queen has brought back their old school top-load washing machine. “Old school” means you get an agitator driven by an all-metal transmission, classic wash action with vigorous agitation, a typical cycle time of under 30 minutes, no lid lock so you can add items while the machine is running, and heavy-duty commercial build quality for an expected service life of 25 years in typical home use. Speed Queen products are probably the only appliances left on the market that are made the way they used to make them, with premium parts, lots of steel and an anticipated lifespan of decades, not a half-dozen years or so.

Called the Speed Queen Classic Washer TC5, it is priced at $1,029 and will be sold alongside the new technology Speed Queen TR3, TR5, and TR7 models. The TC5 is made in the USA and the standard warranty is 3 years on the whole machine, 5 years on the motor, 15 years on the transmission and lifetime on the inner and outer tub. Of course, if you purchase before September 30 you will get 10 years on the whole machine instead of 3 years.

I personally thought we had seen the last of machines like this, and am delighted they are back. It is a wonderful thing they found a way meet government efficiency standards while providing the simple, effective and fuss-free wash experience that so many people love, in a premium product that is made to last.