Pros: Nice design, easy to use, cooks evenly, minute plus, soften
Cons: presets unreliable, a bit loud
My microwave is the Sharp r209kk. Based on Rebbecaa's description I believe this is the same microwave-perhaps a more current model. The microwave depicted on the page is not in anyway the r209. The r209 is black and sleek. It is also digital.
Okay with that out of the way here we go. Some fifteen years ago I purchased the Sharp Carousel two. It was a simple, straight forward microwave and it still worked relatively well when I decided to replace it (it was looking pretty roughed up.)
I had such a good experience with the Sharp two I went looking for something similar by Sharp. The r209kk was the closest I could find feature wise, though this microwave has many more options.
You have the display, then below that to the left is the popcorn button. I've used it once and the popcorn came out well. To the right is defrost. I use this quite often. When you push the button it will come up .5 for weight. You push it until you come to the proper weight for the food you're defrosting. I've found this weight feature to be sort of a waste because it doesn't matter what you set it for. The results are you either have to add more time to defrost or you have to check it often to make sure the food doesn't end up cooked in places. It seems to be the bane of every microwave.
Next is the number panel. Power level, timer/clock. Pretty straight forward. Then there is a shortcuts area. This is one of the things I really like. My Carousel two, had a minute plus button and so doesn't this one. Instead of punching in the times you just push the minute plus button for as many minutes as you need. It's just a little convienent feature. Not that pushing a few buttons is a huge chore but I like that it's one button.
The other short cuts are melt and soften. I haven't used the melt but I've used the the soften for ice cream on many occasion. In general it works for the purpose-makes it so I can scoop out my ice cream. I did get carried away when I first used this function and ended up with ice cream soup-so be careful.
It has a reheat button and you can choose from casserole, soup, pizza, beverage, dinner plate, roll/muffin. Each has a corresponding number which you put in after pushing reheat.
Lastly, there is a cook button. You can cook, baked potato, fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, frozen entrees. It works the same as reheat.
These functions work okay, but as I've found with any microwave- presets are just a guide. Trial and error will tell you how long you need to perform different functions.
I find this microwave works well. It cooks evenly and it's easy to clean. Just a damp cloth swiped through about once a week does the job. It is a bit loud and not too roomy. A regular size dinner plate is about all it can handle.
I've had the r209 for about six months, so there is no way of knowing how long it will last but so far so good.