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So here it is, the latest item to grace my kitchen at a cost of £54.99.
This slimeline microwave (H25.8 x W43.3 x D32.7cm) fits perfectly in my kitchen, not taking up too much worktop space. I love the silver finish which makes it look very up to date and modern. It doesn't come on any small legs or have a rubber bottom, so it can slide fairly easily.. ( I am not sure if this is a good point or a bad point to be honest)
The NN-E289M operates at 700W so it is not the most powerful microwave on the market, however with 5 different power options it is very adjustable to your needs. It also has the option to defrost, which my last.. much older microwave did not.
I have not had any problems with this microwave so far, it did come with a manual but is fairly self explanatory to use. It beeps fairly loud when your food is ready which is great as I can hear it from my living room. Plus with a large clear front you can see the food inside as it is cooking away.
I love this item and would recommend it again, the price is great,
I purchased this microwave when I moved in to my flat. I thought this would be ideal for me as it would just be me who would be using it and I knew it wouldn't get a great deal of usage. I was pleased with the style of the product. It looks quite compact and doesn't take up too much space on the work surface.
I found it quite straightforward to learn how to use it. The controls and instructions were pretty clear. Its 700 watt, so not bad for occasional to medium use and also the price. I just use this to heat meals. I've never used it on the defrost/cook setting so don't know how this would be.
One thing that I do find rather annoying is the loudness of the beeps at the end of the timer. It does this 5 times. I try to get to it and stop it before the time runs out.
I think overall this product fairs well. It's of neat appearance with easy to use controls and cooks effectively.
It is probably best suited for single people or couples who don't intend to use it a great deal.
I feel I should firstly make the point that this is a basic microwave - if you are looking for something more than basic reheating, defrosting and cooking veg/ready meals then this will not impress you. We are a family of 5, but we find this perfectly adequate for us as we don't use it for more than the above.
I'm really impressed with the look of the microwave, I didn't buy it for it's looks, but I must say it's much nicer than the online photos show. It has clean lines with no overly modern design features that could risk it looking dated in a few years. The metallic silver finish gives this classic design a modern look, and both the exterior and grey painted interior are very easy to wipe clean. I love the smooth touch button panel, rather than the metallic buttons and dial I had on my previous microwave, as again it's easy to just wipe clean as there are no crevices for dirt to get stuck in.
When I first used the microwave, I was quite surprised by how small it looked inside and was certain it wouldn't fit my large 27cm diameter plates, but they fit perfectly. I've had no problems with it at all so far, it does everything I would expect from a microwave. Considering it's a 700w machine, it seems powerful and cooks very quickly indeed. I haven't really had to adjust cooking speeds from what I was used to with my previous 800w model. It's also very quiet in operation and the finishing beeps aren't annoying like some can be (to me personally).
The only downsides I can think of are that the interior being grey makes it a bit dark inside, and the microwave slips around on the worktop when you press the buttons - but that will be easily fixed with some non slip matting underneath. Aside from those minor points I really can't fault it. My parents had a Panasonic microwave which lasted about 20 years, so I have high hopes from the brand for reliability.
Last year my old microwave started sparking so it immediately ended up at the tip. I didn't think I used it much and actually preferred the extra workspace created in my kitchen so I chose not to replace it. However over time I realised that sometimes a microwave is a handy gadget and I was actually missing it so I decided a replacement was in needed.
Although we are a family of four I don't use the microwave for cooking whole meals, it is usually for defrosting, reheating single portions, making sauces and starting jacket potatoes before putting in the oven. Considering its usage and the space available in my kitchen I thought I would look at some of the smaller models instead as I thought they would be just as suitable as the larger ones.
I ended up selecting the Panasonic NN-E2789M for £59.99 from Argos.
The microwave has a matt silver finish which I really like. My previous microwave had a stainless steel front which permanently showed finger marks, this finish is much more practical and looks really nice. I particularly chose this one due to its size; it is only 26cm by 43cm by 33cm which was a lot smaller than many of the others I looked at. The cord is black and is about a metre long. This is fine for me as the microwave is actually next to a socket in my kitchen but the short lead could cause problems for some location I imagine. The microwave looks very smart with a dark, curved viewing window and a neat touch screen panel. I think it looks very neat sat on my worktop and I also like the digital time display.
The interior of the microwave is grey in colour containing a round glass plate on a wheeled ring base. The actual internal aperture measures 16cm high above the plate, 28cm deep and27cm wide. There is a light that comes on during the cooking process and whenever the door is opened. Depending on where you look for information the capacity is supposed to be 17 or 19 litres. I have found that this size is plenty big enough for what I need; it doesn't seem that much smaller than my old microwave which had much larger external measurements.
This microwave has a 700watt output and has a heating category C. This microwave does have auto reheat, auto cook and auto defrost settings but I must state that I never use any of these settings as I have always been wary of microwave cooking and I prefer to set times myself and be aware of how things are cooking.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the size of the box this came in. For once it was nice to collect something that wasn't in ridiculous size packaging, the box was a neat fit and it was easy to extract the microwave. Setting the digital clock was the first job and this was s simple operation that only took me a few moments once I worked out that it was only a 12hr clock not a 24hr one. Once set the clock keeps time unless the electricity supply is interrupted.
The next job was to try some actual cooking. The touch screen has a Micropower button, pressing it once sets the microwave at 700 watts but the second press takes it down to the defrost level of 270 watts, third press is 600, fourth is 440 and fifth is 200watts. This is obviously a very simple operation but I don't like the defrost level being on the 2nd press as it is a very low level and I think it should just decrease rather than jump about as you keep pressing the power. After selecting the power you need to select the cooking time which has got be done using a combination of three buttons: 10mins, 1min and 10secs. Once the cooking time you require is shown on the display you simply press start and the cooking starts.
I was surprised at how loud this microwave is when working, it isn't deafening but it is loud enough that I have trouble hearing the telephone if it rings whilst the oven is cooking. Each time you press a button you get a loud beep and when the cooking finishes you get five of these annoying little beeps. I really think that five beeps is rather excessive, however it only goes off the one time, my previous oven would keep beeping every minute until you opened the door!
The oven can be set for two stage cooking as well but you cannot set a resting time in between cooking times.
I have used the cooker for several different tasks and the results have always been excellent. I have even cooked one or two readymeals and I have found they have been cooked perfectly in the allotted time on the box. The turntable runs well and even with quite a heavy bowl it runs smoothly and does not judder.
The door closes with a solid feel and the opening button also feels firm without being stiff, it does not feel as if it will break easily.
The oven also has a couple of handy features; you can use it as a timer by pressing the timer button and then the required time, up to 90minutes away, and then start. The oven is not working but you have a countdown with an audible end, very handy for when I have cakes in my main oven. Also there is a child safety lock, I no longer need this but by pressing the start button three times the touch pad becomes inactive until you press the cancel key three times. I imagine this is very handy to stop curious children pressing buttons and ending up with the microwave working whilst empty and causing a fire hazard.
I would certainly recommend this Microwave due to its neat appearance, easy controls and effective cooking.
Available for just under £60 this small footprint microwave (H25.8 x W43.3 x D32.7cm/ 19 litres) is perfect for the galley kitchen without compromising on space (it comfortably takes a large dinner plate).
It's slimline footprint enables this microwave to fit on even the narrowest of worktops, while the discrete silver colour doesn't compromise on style ('white' electrical products tend to get quite dirty in a way silver options don't). A glass turntable (c.25cm in diameter) is easily washable and re-fit, the black bordered glass window allows you to see what's cooking (particularly useful for liquids that tend to boil over), and a bank of electrical settings is found on the right hand side.
With a heating category of C (on an A-E scale) this isn't the most efficient of microwaves, and operates at 700W like the majority of other compact options on the market.
Settings are not particularly intuitive - possibly because of the range of options available (5 power levels: high, medium, low, warm, defrost) and nine auto programmes (curry, chinese, pasta, jacket potatoes, fresh vegetables, fresh fish, bread, meat items, meat joints). We don't use the latter - largely because I'm highly suspicuous about a product that lists generic 'chinese' food as if it always needs cooking on the same setting (albeit by weight). Time increments of 10 minutes, 1 minute and 10 seconds can be set.
Though largely without fault, we have had a few occasions when setting something to cook on the 'high' setting has had very little effect and we've ended up with cold soup. I can't quite work out whether this is because we've accidentally set the microwave to the wrong setting (fairly easy to do) or that it malfunctions occasionally.
The microwave beeps as you're putting in the settings and again when the product has finished cooking - useful if you're inclined to forget you've been cooking something (unlikely) and so quite irritating. Similarly it has a fairly loud whirring noise when cooking.
Nevertheless, all-in-all a good, cheap product that serves its purpose in a small kitchen.
Short name: Panasonic NN-E289M