Larger, more modern and much more sophisticated, the new laboratories of Digital better meet the requirements of our magazine, to serve you better. Following our move to Boulogne-Billancourt, the Photo laboratory is not the only one to have benefited from a major overhaul.
The Maison lab has also been redesigned to better accommodate the 250 products tested each year by the department. It must be said that it takes space to accommodate the four journalists who go there daily. Indeed, the Home service is the one with the most product categories since it covers no less than 31 active comparisons on the site, such as those dedicated to surveillance cameras or stick vacuum cleaners. All in length, the previous Parisian laboratory was no longer really suited to our activity. He had become too small… and a bit rustic.
A better configuration and a more suitable space
The rectangle that formed our old lab is no longer, a square space that allows better organization of the arrival of products and their installation, in particular large household appliances. With a current surface area of 26 m², this lab has the space required to simultaneously accommodate two American refrigerators or three combinations, six washing machines, dryers or other dishwashers and four built-in ovens. In short, enough to keep the House team busy!
Everything has been designed to make the tests easier to manage and more complete. Thus the refrigerators can now be connected to a water supply to allow us to test the water and ice dispensers of the American models, which we could not do in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Added to this is a temperature regulation system that maintains the same temperature throughout the year, summer and winter alike. Thanks to it, evaluations of the energy consumption of devices are more precise, thanks to a test protocol carried out under better controlled conditions.
More space, for new products being tested
For washing machine tests, each water inlet is equipped with an individual meter to record consumption. Moreover, this aspect will be crucial for future tests of dishwashers, a category of products in great demand by readers of Digital. For the ovens, two columns 180 cm high and 60 cm wide and deep were installed in order to leave us enough space to torture four built-in ovens simultaneously.
To carry out tests on small household appliances, the work surface has doubled in size: it now measures more than 4 m long and 60 cm deep. We can therefore happily test a coffee maker with grinder, a food processor, a food processor, one or two oil-free fryers, a few kettles and two induction hobs simultaneously. In fact, to power the latter, two 32 A electrical outlets have been installed.
Eye for detail
Other details have been refined: today we have a black floor to better visualize the waste we spread on the floor (rice, cocoa), a dimmer to plunge the robot vacuum cleaners into the dark and see how they find each other. The little extra that does not spoil anything: the windows that let in the outside light are reminiscent of washing machine portholes. Look no further, we’ve thought of everything!
The move will therefore have been profitable for us, we have gained in comfort and precision (to the detriment of a long journey by public transport for most of us). However, we already have areas for improvement: we would need, for example, a stale air exhaust to launch a comparison of extractor hood tests or a ceiling camera to observe the navigation of robot vacuum cleaners. On good terms.