Panasonic 2.2 Cu. Ft. Microwave Oven  -- NN-SD987SB

Panasonic 2.2 Cu. Ft. Microwave Oven -- NN-SD987SB

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Seems like a good microwave so far, if it lasts

Jun 24, 2008 (Updated Jun 27, 2008)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
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Pros:Roomy inside with turn table. Easy to use cook-time knob. 1250 watts and inverter.

Cons:Based on other manufacturer's units that look identical, I'm worried about longevity.

The Bottom Line: I like this microwave, and certainly like the knob for setting the cooking-time. But based on the failure rate of identical units, I won't know for 2 years.


I purchased a Panasonic NN-SD987S microwave to replace my GE JES2251S microwave that suddenly died (see my epinions review in that microwave's section).

The NN-SD987S is a large microwave (rated at 2.2 cubic feet) with a turn table and 1250 watts power rating. The unit has a large push button to open the unit as opposed to a handle. There is an interior light and a "cardboard square" next to that. I believe that the cooking sensor is under there, so don't pull it off.

One unique feature is the lighted knob (with a blue lighted ring around it) which is used to set the cooking-time. I like this very much and it is easier than the standard push-button pad. I can't tell you how many times I've cooked something for 3 seconds instead of 3 minutes using the old-style push-button pad. So the knob seems like a more intuitive interface and I've been happy with it so far. The display panel is also composed of blue letters/numbers that scroll past for long words (such as the welcoming message that appeared when I first plugged it in telling me to read the manual).

To operate: basically you push the button to open the door, put the food in, close the door, turn the knob to set the cooking-time, set the power level, and press START.

Since the unit is rated at 1250 watts, cooking times are a little faster than for a standard 1000 watt microwave, so we typically cook a frozen dinner on the low-end of the recommended cook times.

Since this is a 2.2 cubic foot microwave, it does take up a lot of counter space. However, in my case there is a space next to the refrigerator with an outlet that is perfectly sized and my previous two counter top microwave ovens have gone there. So I am happy with its size. Since it is 1250 watts, and the power cord is short (roughly 3 feet) be sure that an outlet is near by.

The push-button which opens the door is on the right, so the door swings open to the left. The control pad is also on the right.

If I cook something uncovered:
reheating beef seems to be the worst offender here, but anything that splatters will have the same issue. A paper towel soaked in hot water cleans up the inside; nothing seems to stick to it too badly. We've gotten in the habit of covering these sorts of things with waxed paper, but sometimes I forget and have to cleanup the mess.

The glass platter is removable and can be washed in the sink for burnt-on spills.

One feature that is annoying is that the microwave will go to "sleep" after a few minutes. So if I put some food in, set the timer, but don't push START yet (if I am trying to coordinate when the microwave is done and when something in the oven is done) then after a couple of minutes the microwave will forget the time and you have to set it again and press START. I mention this because my 2 previous microwaves would let me operate this way, but this one won't. Slightly annoying.

child proof feature

The microwave has a childproof feature. I know this because my 2 year old son starting pushing buttons on the microwave and activated it: LOCKED was shown on the display screen. So we had to look in the manual to determine how he activated it, then how to deactivate it. He pushed the START button 3 times to lock it. Sadly, the start button is easily with-in reach of a 2 year old and pushing it 3 times was no problem. So from my perspective the childproof feature is useless since it was a natural thing for him to activate. Dito to deactivate. Like many childproof features, this one seems to be easier for the children to activate/deactivate than the adults.


Things that strike me as peculiar

The NN-SD987 appears to be identical to the NN-SD997 and the manual that comes with the unit is listed for the 787, 797, 987, and 997 on the front cover. The 987 and 997 are 2.2 cubic feet, and the 787 and 797 are 1.6 cubic feet. I cannot find anything in the manual that differentiates between the 987 and 997 (dito for the 787 and 797).

I am assuming that the 987 and 997 are numbered as such for different market outlets: the 987 appears to be available from BestBuy and similar (where I got mine), while the 997 is available from Sears and similar (where I tried to get it, but they were out of stock). But this is a guess on my part.

Another poster (GE JES2251 comments) noted that numerous microwave ovens appear to be coming from the "same factory". I cannot confirm that, but I can say that the Panasonic NN-SD987S looks identical to the GE JES2251S. Including the placement and size of the grill holes in the back grill on the unit. The only apparent difference between the two is the logo (Panasonic vs. GE) and the control panel. The Panasonic uses a knob to set the cooking time while the GE uses a standard number pad. The interiors look identical also.

But perhaps microwave oven manufacturers have just standardized on the size and composition of the housing similar to how computer makers utilize standardized components. I'm just guessing here.


X10 problems
Both my old GE JES2251 and this Panasonic NN-SD987 interfere with X10 signals. It seems to absorb them, since my X10 system has problems when the 987 or 2251 is plugged in (even if it is off). So I added a 15-amp X10 signal filter and that fixed the problem. Note that a 10-amp filter will blow its fuse so you need to get a 15-amp filter. My house may be more sensitive to this because half of the kitchen is on one leg of the 120-volt line, and the other half is on the other leg of the 120-volt line. The leg-to-leg X10 signal bridge is in the laundry room (at the dryer's 240-volt plug). So your house may not have a problem; but just be aware if you use X10 powerline signaling then the microwave may degrade your signal levels.



Concerns based on epinions comments

My concern for this microwave is that if this unit did indeed come from the same factory as my old JES2251, then perhaps it would fail in the same way after a short period of time (my identical looking GE JES2251 only lasted 17 months). The warranty for the NN-SD987 is 1 year so I will certainly be watching the unit carefully.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 210

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