The Sharp R-520 series has all the tools to cook your food right every time.

Sep 9, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:1200Watts, Sensor Cooking, modern design and large roundtable.

Cons:Not full, legal, food zapping power

The Bottom Line: While the Sharp R-520 Microwave is not full legal power, it still leads the pack with one of the largest cooking ovens available today.


The Sharp R-520S caught my eye on a recent shopping trip to Target.  The price of $159.99 seemed high but since I did not have time to order the product from Amazon, I had no option.  The great news is that the microwave is well packaged in its box so you will not have to worry about shipping.  To make you feel even better, Sharp offers a wide range of Built-in kits to make the microwave fit into your home or office.

My old microwave oven suddenly stopped working, leaving my cooking pattern constrained because I could no longer supplement my Knorr Rice Sides Creamy Chicken meals with instant boiling hot water.  Not only do my cooking habits need at least 1200watts of power but they also need a wide, rotating turntable to get food cooked evenly.

Packaging
Four large pieces of Styrofoam secure the Sharp R-520 microwave oven in the 16"H x 26.5"L x 22"D, heavy cardboard box that weights approximately 30lbs.  The oven itself is wrapped in a protective plastic wrapper and several pieces of cardboard inside.  The turntable and the support are held inside the oven with two large pieces of foam.  In conclusion, the microwave should be safe to ship because of this.  You should be concerned about packaging on products like this because it is easy to damage them during shipping.  Since the microwave is so well protected, I feel is should be safe to purchase this product from an online retailer and save a few dollars in taxes.

Instruction Manual
The 22 page instruction manual is packed with helpful instructions and cooking tips that will help you get the most out of your new Sharp R-520 microwave.  From page 10, until the end of the book, you are given details about how the microwave can be used to cook a variety of foods.  For those who have a built-in oven in their home, motor yacht or recreational vehicle, Sharp offers a kit to help make your new purchase fit into your kitchen.  The kit comes in various sizes:  RK-51K (27") or RK-51K30 (30") to make your home  more appealing.  They include a phone number in the manual that you can call to order the kit directly from Sharp.

My favorite feature of the microwave is discussed in here:  Sensor Cook.  The innovative mode uses a semi-conductor device to detect the vapor (moisture and humidity) emitted from the food as it heats.  The built-in feature then adjusts the cooking times and power level for various foods and quantities.  I often use my microwave to supplement my home cooking especially while preparing my Knorr Rice Sides meals.  For example, I use the Sensor Cook to cook a package of Johnsonville sausage to put into a sauce pan of Knorr Rice Sides Mushroom.  The system evenly cooks my sausage every time and I no longer get burned meat out of my oven.

Operation
The most important part of a microwave is the ability to quickly put food in your oven and cook it evenly.  While this microwave will not evenly cook a plate of 3 frozen corndogs, it does get very close.  In other words, you will be able to get the middle hot dog to at least 110F and not burn the outer corndogs.

Several pages in this manual all proclaim the same thing, Sensor Cook is hot!  I have been playing with this feature and now have figured out how to quickly cook rice and even glazed apple slices.  You will too but give yourself at least an hour to master the procedure.

Power Consumption
Using a Kill A Watt P440 power consumption monitor, I analyzed the microwave to get these results. 

Many times I wonder how much power an appliance is pulling while just sitting plugged in.  Here are the values for this microwave:
2 watts when not in use and no light
3 watts when not in use with nightlight

The microwave pulls 1638 watts anytime the magnetron is energized.  I ran the microwave on the meter at two power levels 100% and 50%, for 15 seconds to get these results.  I could not run any higher power tests because my Kill A Watt P4400 was beeping an over power warning.  The meter was also showing an amperage of 15.38 amps at 115 volts.

Warranty
Sharp Electronics Corporation warrants to the first purchaser that this microwave will be free from defective workmanship and materials.  They claim either repair or replace the product at no charge for the parts or labor.  The warranty period for this microwave is one year parts and labor.  The warranty continues for an additional four years for a total of five years with respect to the magnetron tube for parts only; labor and service are not provided free of charge for the additional period.

A product information card is shipped with the microwave.  You should complete it within ten days of purchase and return.  Sharp claims they will contact you in the unlikely event that any adjustments or modifications are ever required for the oven.  I never turn my information cards in because of the risk of mailing lists, but if you want to ensure full protection sending the card in is advised.

Dangers Of Microwaves
Believe or not but I feel compelled to tell the risks of these common everyday devices.  Think of it as the only time an unfiltered expert in the field of electronics is having an honest discussion with you. 

First, IT workers need to know that these ovens as they age lose their retaining field or send pulses beyond their frequency range.  The result is similar to a sun flare, your entire wireless network will start to lose control underload and overwhelm your already slow servers with burst of traffice that are hard to handle.  Make no mistake, this is the reason why lunch in an office with a microwave seems to create a load on your network.  Try it next time you zap a Hot Pocket, run a network scan with your Nintendo DSi.  Yes, I carry my Nintedo DSi at work so I can scan network availability.  My coworkers compare me to Spook because I carry the dual screen around the office to get a realtime network list.  When I go to the kitchen for lunch, I leave my Nintendo DSi on our company router status page and see my signal fade and the network traffic slowly spike over the next 5 mintues.  I love saying, "Hold on Kirk, you got to stop phasing the enemy or our systems will suffer iminent failure from radio wave interference!".

Last but not least, microwaves are bad ok?  Moma always said you should put them fritters in a fryer anyway!

Summary
You will truly enjoy using this microwave.  A built in large round table combined with 1200 watts worth of power and innovations like Sensor Cook means that you will be able to use this product like nothing else before.  A full one year warranty with 5 years on the magnetron tube means there should be little reason other than price to not get this today.

9/9/99 - 9/9/09 Eps 10th Birthday Write-off - http://www.epinions.com/content_5342994564


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