Pros:Looks nice, easy to keep clean.
Cons:Low power, mediocre performance, and early demise.
The Bottom Line: Appears I got what I paid for. My issue may of course be a fluke, but. . . .
Okay, right off the top, I'll say it: 2.5 years into its life, this microwave has just experienced a major breakdown--the same magnetron failure that killed my last microwave. Sadly, while it's predecessor lasted 11 years, this one didn't even manage three. Naturally, this colors my evaluation of the product.
Recommend this product?
That out of the way, the specs:
Power: It's a 1000-watt microwave, and power output seems anemic. Two minutes barely boils a cup of water, where my Mother-in-Law's microwave blasts the same amount of water in 1 1/2 mintues. This is probably also behind the mediocre performance with microwave popcorn.
Features: Several pre-programmed buttons. The only one I tested was the popcorn button, which is useless as the timing isn't even close. Automatic vent fan, for when too much heat or steam is coming from the stove. This may actually be a good feature, and seems to work well. Has an "add 30 seconds" button, which I like. Controls are reasonably easy to use.
Vent hood function: I would rate this "typical." Over-the-range microwaves are notoriously less effective than dedicated vent hoods. This one did the job well enough, but might be inadequate for someone who does lots of frying or smokey cooking.
Looks and cleaning: One thing I definitely liked is the smooth front, which is easy to keep clean. My old microwave had a bunch of little fins over the air-return (used when the vent doesn't go to the outdoors, but returns filtered air to the room). They were always icky, no matter what I did. This one was lots nicer that way. Interior and exterior wipe clean easily, with a slightly soapy sponge.
Noise: Fan and microwave are both at least average noisy. When the fan is on high, it is definitely an interference with conversation.
My use patterns: I do not use a microwave for major cooking. Mostly, it gets used a few times a day to reheat leftovers or boil a cup of water for tea. Maybe it died of boredom.
Good enough? In short, this isn't a stunning microwave, but until it suddenly stopped working this morning, I considered it "good enough" given that it was relatively cheap. However, even for a low-end appliance, I expect more than two years of rather light use.
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