Pros: Intuitive to use, plenty of features, cheap price point.
Cons: Plastic door latches, useless features.
When setting up my new office, my colleague handled the purchase of appliances. When I unpacked the refrigerator and microwave, my first impression was “WOW” those appliances are white. I probably would not have purchased white appliances. What I would have done is consult Epinions prior to making my decision. Had my colleague come to Epinions to do some research, he would have found three reviews from consumers who had problems with this particular model. These three users had problems with the device between twelve and twenty-four months.
One of the reasons we ended up with the General Electric JES1456 Microwave Oven is the price point. For around one hundred dollars, this 1.4 cubic foot microwave oven offers plenty of useful features. Like many microwave ovens, this unit has several speed options. The numbers one through six provide “express” cook options that will put the corresponding number of minutes on the clock. Okay, so you save two key strokes. The more useful options are buttons for beverages, potatoes, vegetables, popcorn, leftovers and defrosting frozen foods. This allows the microwave to figure out the time and power levels for cooking. In the alternative, you can adjust the power settings as well as the selecting cooking times without much extra effort. The buttons are intuitive to navigate.
The construction of the General Electric JES1456 Microwave Oven is par for the price point. The housing is metallic, with plenty of plastic parts packed in. The area that seems most vulnerable is the plastic latches that hold the door shut. The microwave features a child lock out option, which should be adequate in spite of the cheap plastic latches. The lockout is employed by pressing and holding the clear/off button for three seconds. An “L” appears in the right side of the display window to confirm the unit is locked. It is unlocked using the same procedure.
A surprising feature of at this price point is the humidity sensor that is built into this unit. This feature tracks the amount of humidity released from food during cooking. The instruction booklet actually addresses this feature with an interesting caveat. If your food is not fully cooked after using the sensor feature, you should only add time to the cooking. Pressing the sensor cook twice in succession on the same portion of food will result in severely overcooked or burnt food. I have not used this feature, opting to control my own settings.
I have been using my General Electric JES1456 Microwave Oven for about two months now. I have not experienced any of the issues that were reported by the three poor reviews on this product, which all seemed to be related. The reported issues were that this unit simply stops cooking food. It makes me wonder if it is an issue with the sensor. Since I have not had any issues, I will rate this product on my favorable experiences over a two –month period. My primary use of this microwave is to reheat leftovers or otherwise cook my lunch items. My food always comes out piping hot with fairly even cooking temperatures throughout.
The General Electric JES1456 Microwave Oven comes with a glass cooking tray that rotates while your food is cooking. The instruction manual indicates that you should not cook anything without the glass tray installed. I don’t know if there are other reasons, but this likely contributes to the even cooking temperatures I have experienced while using this microwave.
I don’t use very many of the features on the General Electric JES1456 Microwave Oven. There are AM/PM buttons for the clock that are a complete waste of space. The express cook features save you from punching a couple of buttons but are rather redundant. I have used the reheat button for leftovers and have been pleasantly surprised with the results. I have cooked leftovers that I bring to work for lunch and found that I have not needed to add any cooking time when using this feature. It works well. I do not heat beverages or cook popcorn in this machine, so those buttons are useless to me. If I were to reheat my coffee, I would just click it on thirty seconds on high. So the bells and whistles are moot for me. Because this is located at my office, the child lock is also a feature I will never use.
Care and cleaning of the General Electric JES1456 Microwave Oven is very basic. I keep the inside of the microwave wiped down whenever I use it. Generally, I don’t need to wipe it down. If I am reheating soup or chili, I might find it necessary to use a clean damp cloth to wipe off any splatters. Cleaning a microwave as you use it makes maintenance much easier over the long run. To keep the machine fresh, you can run a sponge with water and baking soda through it to absorb any odors and keep the unit fresh. I generally do not remove the turntable for cleaning, since I don’t have a sink, but it does simply lift out of the recessed built-in area if you need to give it a more thorough cleaning.
General Electric offers a limited One-Year warranty on this microwave. This warranty applies only to defects in workmanship and not abuse. It includes any labor to replace a defective part. However, it does not cover service calls…an issue alluded to in one of the other reviews. The warranty work is provided by GE is done by their Factory Service Centers. They maintain a 24-hour service line at 800-432-2737.
I have been happy with my General Electric JES1456 Microwave Oven. I would not have selected a white microwave, if I had been the one purchasing this unit. I also would have checked reviews on this product, which in this case, would have steered me in another direction. The microwave has plenty of features, most of which I will not use. The construction includes some cheap parts, like the door latches, that will have limited serviceability, but should last well beyond the warranty period. The unit is easy to clean, intuitive to use and heats food evenly. The price point makes it a decent buy. Hopefully, like the other reviews here, I will not have to come back between twelve and twenty-four months to update this review with negative comments. But for the past two months I haven’t had any issues. Four stars.