Hotpoint Ultima S-Line RZ1066BUK washing machine

Score

Pros

  • Wealth of options
  • Solid wash results
  • Monster capacity
  • Slick user interface
  • Easy-open door
  • Effective spin
  • Moody style

Cons

  • Takes some getting used to
  • Noisy water inrush
  • Opaque door

Key Features

  • Review Price: £699.00
  • 10kg capacity
  • 1600 spin speed
  • A+++ Energy rating
  • 45min quick wash
  • Direct Injection
  • Colour Display
  • Energy monitor
View All

What is the Hotpoint RZ1066BUK?

Hotpoint may be fondly remembered for traditional, affordable domestic appliances, but the new Ultima S-Line RZ1066BUK puts that concept in a spin. This dramatic flagship washer sports an eye-catching anthracite finish and is bristling with cutting-edge features and specifications.

The user interface takes some learning but is super-slick for precisely tailoring your wash programmes. This machine is efficient, washes and spins well, and the additional energy information is handy too. That black door means you can’t see your smalls doing 1600rpm… but it’s hardly a deal breaker on an otherwise very good machine.

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Hotpoint RZ1066BUK – What is it like to use?

Aside from the stark lack of fascia clutter, the RZ1066BUK keeps a couple of traditional features for familiarity of use. Top left is the soap drawer. However, as a design flourish, this swings out at an angle rather than pulling straight out. It’s no easier to use, but it’s quite cool.

The door is a monster and, almost uniquely, is opaque.  No longer will the cat be able to spend happy hours following your PJs round and round. The door skin is actually slightly transparent, but so dark it is as good as opaque.

We are not sure how Hotpoint has done it, but the door is the easiest to unclip and open that we have tried. It closes with minimal force too, making this machine ideal for those that find stiff and heavy door mechanisms a challenge.

The door itself swings to reveal a gaping maw of a porthole and a cavernous drum that claims to swallow a 10kg load. It will too.

On the fascia, that central knob is not a traditional programmer. It is a rotary and push-to-select control for a menu-driven user interface, shown on the large colour display.  Those of a technophobic disposition who haven’t yet embraced the smart phone might want to look away now…

For the rest of us, you can’t help but admire Hotpoint’s audacious interface. It combines menu-based logic with the tactile feel of a proper controller knob to achieve the best of both worlds. The menus offer immense scope for tailoring your wash, options and features, while the knob gives it a tactile, mechanical feel.

Yes, Hotpoint could have easily gone with a full touch-screen display and lost the knob, but this happy retro-modern mash up really works.

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Of course, while you can simply select a Cotton 60 standard wash and press start, that would be missing some of the RZ1066BUK’s magic. The ‘Drive Me’ feature asks you a series of questions on the clothing type, soiling level, type of stains, type of detergent and how eco you want the wash, and then searches for a custom programme to suit the specific load and requirements.

The interface gives you a proper wealth of control and information too.  Want to know the machine’s energy and water consumption statistics on a single wash, weekly or monthly basis? No problem. You can enter the services menu, adjust key settings, choose a cycle, and dive into the comprehensive anti-stain menus – all by turn-and-click navigation.

There is no denying the Hotpoint’s control interface takes some getting used to though. The ‘back’ button will be your friend for a while. But once you are familiar with its logic, it is a supremely slick and effective machine to use.

Hotpoint RZ1066BUK – What programmes does it have?

As a headline figure, the RZ1066BUK boasts 17 programmes. Sort of. That number actually includes three variations on Eco Cotton for different load soiling levels and run times, two for synthetics, and two main Cotton washes at 20 degrees and 90 degrees default temperatures.

Key specialist programmes include Wool, Shirts, Jeans, Duvets and stuffed-down garments (stuffed down what? We are not sure…), Lingerie, Ultra Delicates, and Bedding & Bathroom laundry. The Anti-Stain Power programme is a full load 20 degree cycle to target specific stains. The speedier Anti-Stain Turbo wash is for stained half-loads, completing in just 45 minutes.

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It is in the details beneath these top-line programmes that this flagship Hotpoint really hits its stride. The innovative Direct Injection feature pre-mixes water and detergent, foaming it up before jetting it into the load. This active emulsion penetrates the fibres with more efficacy in cleaning even heavily soiled garments at low temperatures, while fully preserving colours and fabrics… says the brochure.

There are two modes of Direct Injection. Power mode ensures the best cleaning performance, while the Eco mode is more energy saving for less soiled loads. Our only question is why Direct Injection is an on/off selectable feature rather than simply the standard way the machine operates.

Options include four levels of rinsing (from normal through to full ‘Anti-Allergy’ mode), a Pre-wash, Soak option and an Easy Iron feature with reduced spin. Post Care engages a slow intermittent tumble at the end of the wash, to stop clothes creasing up while sitting in the drum.

Hotpoint RZ1066BUK – How noisy is it?

As if to underline its modern credentials, the Hotpoint RZ1066BUK is very, very quiet when washing.

The energy label would lead you to believe it is only quiet-ish, suggesting a fairly average wash noise of 56dB. Our tests were much lower than this. While gently tumbling your clothes during the wash, the sound was well under 50dB. That is nicely quiet.

Unfortunately, the energy label states the maximum noise during the wash, and the water rushing into the soap drawer draw spoils the peace. That was much more obvious and did indeed measure at the 56dB noise level stated on the label.

Those with higher water pressure than our regulated 2.5 bars may notice this even more.  Thankfully, it only happens a few times during the wash.

The spin is not quite as impressive as the low wash noise, but still counts as a modern, quiet machine. Measuring 74dB in our tests, that is still well below the energy label’s rumbustious 78dB claim. It’s not the super-quiet level of some flagship 1600 spin washers we have tested though.

Hotpoint RZ1066BUK – How well does it wash?

Few machines can genuinely take their maximum load in real-world washing, as it is too bulky. Yet this super-stylish Hotpoint gets mighty close. It certainly swallowed my 80% ‘full’ load test (8kg+) without having to shoulder-barge the door shut. Not being able to see your washing through the dark porthole door is, well, odd.

Into this test load went our standard stain strip. This featured blood, coffee, turmeric, ketchup, blackberry juice and engine oil – all left to dry for 24 hours after application. I used a standard non-bio powder in the soap drawer, and selected the standard Cotton Eco 40 degree wash, with the Direct Injection feature switched off. The time indicated was 2 hours 10 minutes.

Cleaning results from this first test were good. The test stain strip had faint shadows of the coffee and ketchup, with the blood and blackberry pretty much eradicated. The turmeric and engine oil clung on tenaciously, as usual, but we would have liked to have seen them a little more faded by a machine at this price.

The 1600 spin took a lot of moisture from the huge wash, with under 2.5kg of water remaining, or an additional 30.5% of the original wash weight. That is very good for such a large load. Water consumption was a reasonable 72 litres, and energy use an average 1.2kWh. As that is nowhere near A+++ efficiency, we tried the same load on the Eco Cotton programme.

Like most modern eco washes, that is not quick. The display indicated a whopping five-hour, 40-minute run time! OK, let’s not rush the eco results then. This reduced energy consumption dramatically, down to just under 0.8kWh, and water to a frugal 58 litres. Spin efficiency was still fairly good for such a large load at 33%.

Engaging the Direct Injection Power feature bumped up wash performance nicely. A later stain strip using this mode showed a complete clean of the blood and blackberry, with only a hint of coffee and ketchup remaining.

Reduce the load to a more reasonable 4kg ‘half’ load and water, energy and wash times all get trimmed down nicely. On the standard Cottons programmes, spin efficiency with this smaller load was absolutely outstanding at 25-27%. Water and energy were down to about three quarters of a full load. Unfortunately, when the Eco modes were selected for a half load, spin efficiency headed towards a poorer 34-35%. Water use dipped to 40 litres though.

The wealth of programmes and options on offer, and the variance in results from each, don’t make this Hotpoint a plug and play machine. To get the best results – be that energy, cleaning power, or spin efficiency – you do need to work the programmes and options, and get used the machine’s quirks. Thankfully, the machine’s statistical information display will definitely help you identify the most economical modes.

Hotpoint RZ1066BUK – How much will it cost to run?

Due the sheer variety of programmes and options on offer, working out how much water and electricity the RZ1066BUK will use in a year is very much a guesstimate.

At its most eco (Cotton Eco wash, Direct Injection in Eco Mode) the RZ1066BUK is very economical and certainly lives up to its A+++ billing. If you did 240 washes per year, split into 200 full loads and 40 half loads, we calculate it would use around 13,120 litres of water (200 x 58l + 40 x 38l) and 182kWh of electricity (200 x 0.78kWh + 40 x 0.63kwh).

At the average UK electricity price of 15p/kWh and £3.50/cubic metre for water supply and waste, that would cost £27.30 in electricity and £45.92 in metered water. Total running cost: £73.22.

If that figure strikes you as a little higher than some machines we have tested, don’t forget to consider the Hotpoint’s huge capacity. For that cost, you will have washed a whopping 1.76 metric tonnes of clothes! By comparison, a machine only capable of getting 6kg in the drum (i.e. a lot of machines claiming an 8kg load) would only have washed 1.3 tonnes of clothing in the same 240 washes.

Should I buy the RZ1066BUK?

Dark, slick and moody, Hotpoint’s RZ1066BUK arrived at this test looking like a Bond villain and left the hero. Solid wash and spin performance, huge capacity and a superb user interface win the day. Getting used to that interface and the machine’s quirks is a learning curve though. Noisy water inrush spoils an otherwise quiet machine and the opaque door is well, different. Fortunately, the overall performance package more than justifies its asking price.

Verdict

Sleek, modern and a great performer, Hotpoint’s washing-noir RZ1066BUK is a successful, efficient and thoroughly contemporary machine.

Score

Key Features

Drum Capacity 10kg
Energy Rating A+++
Warranty One year
Dimensions HxWxD (cm) 59 x 60 x 85
Approx. Annual Running Cost £73.22
Approx. Annual Power Consumption (KWh) 182kWh
Approx. Annual Water Consumption (ltrs) 13,120l

Standard Wash: 80% Load

Power Consumption (KWh) 0.78kWh
Cost Per Wash at 15p/KWh 11.7p
Water Consumption 58l
Time to Completion 5hrs 40mins
Noise During Wash (dB) 50dB
Noise During Spin (dB) 74dB
Moisture After Spin 30%

Standard Wash: 40% Load

Power Used (KWh) 0.63kWh
Cost of Wash at 15p/KWh 9.45
Water Use (Litres) 40l
Time to Finish 3hrs 35minutes
Noise During Spin 74dB
Noise During Wash 50dB
Moisture After Spin (kg) 29%