This opinion is for the Panasonic Microwave model NN-S969 series. The last two letters (WA or BA) are color denominations.
Recommend this product?
After moving from an apartment into a house, we thought it would be time to upgrade our microwave oven. We used to have a 800-watt Emerson purchased at Costco. Within two years, it quit working for no apparent reason. We do most of our cooking on the stovetop and reserve the microwave for reheating and defrosting purposes. Every once in a while, we would use it to cook some lasagna or a frozen entree, or make a cup of tea. So, when we set out to purchase the replacement microwave, we wanted to make sure we got something of a better quality.
We found what we wanted in the Panasonic NN-S969. Carrying the Panasonic badge was enough to convince me that this would likely be a reliable appliance, although some newer Panasonic products have left me disappointed. What caught my attention is that this was one of the few microwave ovens (if not the only one) that had inverter technology. This is a power-selection feature. While most family-size microwaves let the user select a fixed percentage of power (say, 50%, 60%, 70%, etc...) used for cooking within the set cook time, these microwaves don't "dim" the power as you would with a gas stove. Microwaves churn out the desired power by cycling through on/off cycles. So, if you want 50% power, the oven will turn the microwave on and off so that microwaves are emitted only 50% of the time. The user doesn't really see the difference because the carousel, fan and light still work all the time. Panasonic's inverter technology does away with the old on/off cycles. Panasonic claims that temperature and power are easier to control with its inverter system that actually powers the microwave up and down as you would adjust a gas stove.
Other than that, it has about 1000 watts (or more) of power and is a very capable oven. The interior dimensions are deep and wide, and the glass carousel helps turn food for ore even cooking. It has features for sensor (I think it senses steam, it's not a probe) reheating/cooking/defrosting. It also has automatic settings (presets) for different foods (meats, frozen veggies, popcorn, pizza, etc...). Of course, one can also adjust the time and power manually, without using the presets. Like many other microwaves, the display offers a clock, which also works as a cooking timer and the microwave's own timer. When the cooking time is up, it scrolls "ENJOY YOUR MEAL..."
The only thing that I don't like about this microwave is that you cannot leave the door open to air out the cooking smells. If you leave the door open, the light will remain on. It isn't a big deal, it's just that you either leave it open or you find yourself constantly cleaning the microwave.
I would've preferred a black unit to match our fridge, but we found a discounted demo/floor sample that was white so we jumped at the chance to save some money. It's a very convenient and powerful oven and I would recommend it to anyone.
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Amount Paid (US$): 110.00 Demo