The latest kitchen and laundry appliances feature improved performance, space-saving designs, and energy-efficient operation. Some even serve multiple purposes by combining functions.

KitchenAid. The over-the-range Ultima Cook speed oven combines the quick heating power of a microwave with a quartz element and halogen lights for roasting, grilling, baking, and browning. The 1.7-cubic-foot capacity allows room for large dishes, and an LCD display screen provides recipe prompts to assist in cooking. (800) 422-1230.

Maytag. The Atlantis washer's agitator features a double spiral design and flexible fins that more effectively rotate clothes; a three-way rinse system; and an optional automatic temperature control. (800) 688-9900.

Jenn-Air. The CustomControl dual cooking element for electric cooktops mimics the cooking performance of a gas range, says the maker, and features a higher temperature range, consistent heating, multiple temperature settings, and more controllable elements. The CustomControl is one of five elements included on the company's 30-inch and 36-inch smooth-top glass cooktops. (800) 536-6247.

Courtesy GE

GE. The GE Profile Energy Star built-in dishwasher with an annealed stainless steel interior can accommodate up to 16 place settings and tall kitchen items. Top and lower racks, with fold-down tines, are adjustable. (800) 626-2000.

Courtesy Whirlpool

Whirlpool. The g2microven SpeedCook combines the cooking speed of a microwave with the cooking results of a conventional oven. Using the Accuwave System, the oven allows for grilling, baking, broiling, browning, and roasting and features a nonstick interior, built-in monitors, and a humidity sensor. (800) 253-3977.

Courtesy LG Electronics

LG Electronics. The LG Bottom Mount Freezer Refrigerator is available in 19.7-cubic-foot and 22.4-cubic-foot capacities, placing the refrigerator component at eye level. A multi-airflow system provides each interior shelf with its own venting duct. (866) 473-5554.