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388 of 410 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Takin' one for the team - - - quick first review - EDITED
I've only had this 2 days, but I thought I'd get a quick review up on it.
This oven is so new, even Panasonic didn't know about it. I called them up, and their customer service knew nothing. A search on the Panasonic website came back blank.
So, what the heck, I bought it. It appeared to be very similar to the SD688 models, with one exception. The digital...
Published on October 6, 2011 by A. Thompson

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247 of 257 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Died after two months / poor warranty service from Panasonic
While I liked the idea of the "Inverter Technology" that lets you easily cook at lower power without duty cycling the microwave, that feature doesn't outweigh Panasonic's poor warranty policies. My microwave died after two months of use - everything was working fine one moment and then the lights went out, dead as a doorstop. (Being an electrical engineer, I think it's...
Published 20 months ago by Redwood George


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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Broke after 10 months, September 14, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic NN-SD681S Genius "Prestige" 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
We bought this in October 2011, stopped working in August 2012. It is under full warranty but the closes authorized repair shop is 300 miles away. So we drop that off in August, still in the shop waiting for a part from China, which is probably coming by boat because it won't get here until end of September. I think they are waiting for my one year warranty to run out and/or the shop has a 60 day rule that if you don't pick it up in 60 days, they own the microwave. Poor customer service at Panasonic as well as the shop. What can you do? You are stuck. The gas I spent driving to the shop will buy me a new microwave. Waste of my money, but it is the principal that I want them to fix it. We'll see if I will ever get my microwave back. Stay tuned.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother, You'll hate it., December 3, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic NN-SD681S Genius "Prestige" 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
This microwave has lots of power however, if you'd like to close the door without having to slam it, then this isn't the microwave for you. It makes sure you FIRMLY close the door. Nothing gentle or refined or smooth here. More like a mid 70's Dodge. It works but you gotta slam the door. Want to warm you coffee without waking everyone in the house... forget it. Other brands have figured out how to make a smoothly, quietly latching door. Not Panasonic. Give it a pass.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DOA. Returned, September 20, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic NN-SD681S Genius "Prestige" 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
Took it out of the box, plugged it in, nothing happens. Have to return it and I have to say returning is pretty easy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars smart but junk, April 2, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic NN-SD681S Genius "Prestige" 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
Received the Micro-wave on March 9, early. All functions workerd great. On April 1, a door latch (PLASTIC)broke off. On the next day the appliance stopped working. It seems like it could be a fine item, except it is very poorly constructed. Never again.

NO DO NOT BUY
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loving this microwave so far, December 23, 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic NN-SD681S Genius "Prestige" 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
Well, despite what appears to be mixed reviews, I ordered this for my new remodeled kitchen to match the rest of our stainless appliances. We've been using this for a few months now, and I am beyond thrilled with how huge of an improvement this microwave is over our previous LG microwave of nearly the same size.

First of all, I was unsure of how much I'd like or dislike using the dial to set the time, as I've always had microwaves with individual numbers on a keypad. This worry was immediately assuaged the moment I used it for the first time. The dial makes it INCREDIBLY easy to set the time, whether you want to set it for 5 seconds or 5 minutes. You just turn the dial left or right to increase or decrease the time. Some previous reviews seem to think that the dial was overly sensitive; I did not share this sentiment. I felt like it was just right. You can turn it fast to instantly skip up to a couple minutes in time, or turn it slower and have complete control. Panasonic did an excellent job with the sensitivity and adjustment through this dial. In fact, it's probably my favorite "new" feature of this entire microwave.

Furthermore, the "inverter" technology is great, and it allows this Microwave to do things that my previous "smart" microwaves were unable to do. We constantly reheat meals for dinner the next night, and all we have to do is press "sensor reheat" and then the start button. The microwave does the rest of the work for us. No figuring out times, opening it, checking it, putting it in for a few more seconds, etc. I'm not going to pretend to know the in-and-out of what kind of sensors or technology the microwave is using to determine it, but this function ALWAYS results in our food being reheated to the perfect temperature, without ever overcooking it in the process of trying to warm it back up.

The inverter function always helps with lower power applications like melting chocolate, softening butter, etc. You can rely on the sensor to handle this for you, the inside of the microwave door shows you which setting to push for each of these tasks. We've tried almost all of them, and never once had anything come out to less than optimal temp/melt/softening. Makes this appliance indispensable for baking and cooking purposes. No more trying to melt chocolate chips over a steam bath on the stove top!

Appearance wise, this microwave is also a winner. The bright blue LED lighting on the display is very easy to read, even from across the kitchen. The stainless finish of the microwave is excellent as well, and combined with the control panel design, very modern looking.

And lastly, to focus on peoples main use for this, the full power cooking is excellent too. Being 1200W versus our old 1100W LG microwave, I wasn't expecting much of a difference in power or cooking speed. But at full power, this microwave cooks noticeably quicker than our older 1100W microwave did; very happy with the decrease in needed time that we've seen. And furthermore, it is significantly less quiet while cooking than other microwaves I've owned in the past.

All in all, zero complaints over the first few months, I'd have no problems whatsoever recommending this model to anyone in the future. I'll keep this updated over time if I have any other thoughts, or if we have any issues with reliability, but right now it's perfect. Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions or want me to address anything else, and I'll respond as quickly as possible.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overkill?, October 10, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic NN-SD681S Genius "Prestige" 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
Prior to purchasing this Panasonic microwave we had a very inexpensive and low powered GE model. We had it for about 4 years and it worked fine for what it was but was beginning to fail so it was time for a new one. We ordered this model because A - we've had great success with Panasonic microwaves in the past, B - I wanted more power to speed up the process and C - I thought the "Inverter" technology was really cool.
Although I've only had it a few days now I'm well prepared to share my thoughts about this microwave

Good stuff -
* Looks really good
* Heats food much faster than our old microwave
* Inverter "reheat" really does work - just push the button

This microwave has plenty of bells and whistles. Now that I have them I can attest that I really don't need a bunch of bells and whistles. I really only want to reheat leftovers, cook frozen food, thaw stuff and heat canned goods. I want to do that fairly quickly. If you're like me and have had a few microwaves then you know it doesn't take long to get a feel for how your microwave works and you pretty much "know" how long it will take and how much power you need. My needs are simple - more than 1000 watts, power level and timer settings. That's about all I use.

The not so good
* Stainless finish is gorgeous until you touch it. Finger prints are immediate. Now I know that everyone in the family pushes the same buttons and closes the door in the upper right hand corner. Finger prints never look good, finger prints on this product are constant unless you wear gloves when you operate it. Nobody in my family wears gloves.
* Noisy - I really didn't think this would be a big deal. Other reviewers have mentioned this as an issue, others have said it's no big deal. It's pretty loud, not airplane loud but louder than it needs to be. Had I heard it operate before purchasing I would not have purchased it. I can live with the noise but it's a bit of a distraction.
* Dial Selector - the selector for time and some other features is done via a dial selector that is recessed into the microwave. Pushing it causes it to extract to a position that you can put your fingers around to turn. You use it to set time to cook and in conjunction with "inverter" features. When turning the dial sometimes you hear a bit of a scraping sound. That's the sound of the dial coming in contact with the face of the microwave. If you hold the dial "just right" you won't hear it. This is the only quality issue I've seen so far and I deem it an engineering/manufacturing flaw. The use of this selector is not obvious. You really need to read the manual to know what to do with this thing.
* Sensor cook - makes no sense to me! I first thought this would be great. It's not. It's a lot of work. There are 15 food items in sensor cook. They are accessible via the "Dial selector". As you turn the dial selector items 1 through 15 are displayed. Not the description of the item, just the number. Unless you keep your owner's manual within easy reach of the microwave or create a list of food items and their associated number ( and maybe tape it to your microwave? ) you'll have no way of knowing what number corresponds to each food type. This is a lot of work and seems not worth the effort.
* Sensor Defrost - first weigh your food on a scale. If your scale uses fractions ( 1/8, ¼, etc ) convert to decimal ( 1/8 = .125, ¼ - .25 ) etc. Press "Sensor Defrost" button. Dial in weight. I used "sensor defrost" to defrost some hot dogs. They were "over defrosted" and were quite warm to the touch when completed. There is another button that allows you to select "more" or "less". That's seems like it would have been even more work. "Sensor Defrost" summary - too much work, much easier on my older models to select power level of 3 ( or defrost even! ) and guess a time and hope for the best.
* Unintuitive - my wife was the first to use it. She first needed to read the manual before heating up some canned green beans. I tried it next. I first read the manual from cover to cover. I then thawed the hot dogs ( read previous bullet ) and had to have the manual in hand to do it. My oldest daughter - age 30 asked "How the hell do you work this thing?" She too needed instruction before she could use it. My youngest daughter - age 23 "I'd send it back, it's way to weird". She too needed instruction just to heat a baby bottle up. Bottom line - you need to remember "a lot" to use this microwave and when you have guests that try to use it you can count on them asking you how to work it. A microwave is a pretty basic appliance. Everybody uses them. This one requires way too much effort.

That pretty much sums up my thoughts. It works well cuz it is powerful but it is way too complicated. If you're like me and don't do a whole lot more than reheat leftovers, cook frozen foods, thaw stuff and heat up some canned goods then buy something with equal power and just a few basic controls. This one is overkill.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice so far, October 29, 2011
By 
Jeffrey Hare (Windham, NH USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic NN-SD681S Genius "Prestige" 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
This is a pretty good looking microwave and a model that doesn't seem to be listed very many places.

The sensor reheat function seems to work remarkably well for reheating leftovers. Just put the food in and hit the sensor reheat and start. No time settings needed, as it detects when the food is hot, beeps 5 times and shuts off when the food's ready. Like the "spin the dial" to the cook time and hit start. You can press the dial and it recesses flush with the panel.

It's quiet,the display is blue, bright and very readable from all angles. The door feels more solid and tight fitting than our last one.

The only downside so far is that brushed stainless shows finger smudges.

Only had it a week, so can't say whether it's reliable or not.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slick, January 8, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic NN-SD681S Genius "Prestige" 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
This model looks very sleek on the counter because it doesn't have a keypad with all kinds of numbers, words, pictures of popcorn etc. It's just hard keys on a stainless background, so the entire unit looks monolithic stainless. If you've ever seen the little German microwave that Williams Sonoma sells for $350, this looks the same (except it's a whole lot more useful.) It looks modern, is the perfect size for a couple who heats burritos, TV dinners, and leftovers -- the sensor function is great for this. You're going to have to memorize what the hard keys are for because you can't see the printing over top of them. This is not a deal-breaker -- there are not that many keys. It is a little loud but it's not an unpleasant noise -- a medium level frequency like an exhaust fan on medium. The light not coming on when the door is open is a plus, actually. You can leave the door open after cooking a burrito to air out the oven and not have to worry about forgetting to close it. Overall, a very slick unit.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dead in 2 months, May 24, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic NN-SD681S Genius "Prestige" 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
Purchased this microwave received on 3 15 2013 , liked the look and was a bit excited about the inverter technology. Thought all those good reviews could not be wrong.. At first it worked very well, however on May 18th, apx 2 months plus a few days (actually 5 18 2013), it started to short out. It would run for a few seconds and then go out. I changed location thining it may be the outlet, no, same thing happened. Noticed an odor of burning wires, can't return it without losing some $ with Amazon. However I did purchase the "Square Trade" warrantee. (becasue other people seemed to have problems with panasonic)
Wish me better luck than others have had, will keep you all posted as to Panasonic's response/ Square Trade. Thanks for reading... Claudia
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Of love and annoyance, September 11, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic NN-SD681S Genius "Prestige" 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel (Kitchen)
BACKGROUND:
I have only had this about a week, but I think I can say some things about my experience

It arrived in less than a week after ordering. The box's appearance when I brought it inside frightened me a bit.. it was battered and beaten! I heard the UPS guy bringing it in and it sounded like he "flipped it" up the stairs and plopped it at the door.. I thought neighbors were moving in or out of the apartment. It was tripple-boxed with two outside boxes and the retail box as the final container. Only the retail box had any padding to it.. I suppose the other two were just sacrificial :) At any rate I found no issues with the unit and the retail box looked untouched, so I guess they know what they're doing in the way of packing.

By outline, let me say this was purchased to replace a GE unit I bought about 1989 that was rated about 1500 watts.. all analog dials and motors.. nothing digital. The new unit STUNNED me at it's light weight.. the old unit was about 70 lbs! .. this one is so light, that if I lean ever-so-slightly on the open door, it tips precariously threatening to fall off the low shelf I have it sitting on.

PLUSES:
Let me say that I LOVE the efficiency and heat delivery capability of this unit.. and the "inverter technology" too. It cooks in 1/2 to 1/3 the time of the old one and it's heat is much more evenly delivered across the food. I also love the spin table... It's heavy duty (but it is glass), free-turning and lifts out for easy cleaning.. The clean lines of the oven interior also makes for easy cleaning.It has another "feature" I like which I didn't see mentioned, but observed. Each time you press the "door" button, the carousel reverses direction.

I love the "sensor functions" with the sensor apparently mounted in the exhaust-air stream.. My old one had a "sensor cook" that required a thermometer-like sensor to be put in the dish.. and of course it was among the first things that failed on that unit.. I just used it without that function. Hopefully this one will not fail soon mounted outside the oven.

Of the things I have tried, the problems related to understanding the use of the oven and it's peculiarities rather than the way in which it cooks.

A TALE OF POPCORN:
Relating my experience with popcorn-making is revealing. The button "Popcorn" cycles through 3 "weights" that conform to the commercial pre-made packs rather than to making popcorn alone (which is what I do).. I pop plain popcorn, then spray with olive oil and add a season-salt mix. I have played with the button in an effort to "fine-tune" my application. I tried using the 3+oz setting, then a 1.75oz setting to my "handfull" measurement.. that burned the popcorn somewhat.. then I tried the 3+oz setting followed by just a quick-minute.. still a bit too much. Then I tried a 3+oz setting with a "more" push.. too little.. Now I use a 3+oz setting with 2 "more" presses.. about right.. that is an idea of the kind of playing you may have to do to get some special thing you want done to be done right.. takes about 2+ minutes.. good luck! :) On my old unit I heated it for 7 minutes, then ran it untimed until the pops were spaced more than about 10 seconds.. this one would have a roaring fire in the popcorn if I used it at full power for 7 minutes! :)

ANNOYANCES:

Control logic:
The controls layout have little logical relationship to function.. I'd strongly advise scanning the manual if you plan to do much more than just warm coffee :) The buttons are generally "menu function" (ie related to WHAT you're heating) rather than "cook function" (ie power, time, store/retrieve, etc) oriented.. in fact there are actually several groupings of buttons that don't have an immediately obvious relationship.. it definitely takes some getting used to.

-At the top is the digital display.. very nice, bright, legible..
-Popcorn, Sensor Heat, Sensor Cook are the top three.. how in the world are those related??
-Power Level, Inverter Turbo Defrost, Keep Warm are the next three... huh?
-Inverter Melt & Soften, Quick Minute, and More/Less are the next row.. more huh?
-next is the popup spin dial.. it can modify several button settings like clock, wieght, sensor select, etc.. ok that's fine
-recipe store, timer, clock are the next row.. ??
-stop/reset, and start are the next row.. AT LAST functional relationships!
finally the push button for the door latch.. that's the controls combined with the "recipes" contained on the base of the cabinet under the cavity with the door open pretty much finishes it up other than the manual.
The logic of this layout totally elludes me.. you just have to memorize the stuff and how to use it. Each function in itself is logical.. for examply setting the clock, setting "sensor cook", timer, etc. but the grouping seems random. I admit I've not thought about how I'd do it, but then I'm not in the microwave-design business :)

Also if you have weak eyes such as mine, forget reading the small labels and the cook chart without optical aids. On that point, I will say that the manual is pretty legible with bold, large print and charts generally (except for the "fine-print" warnings, etc)

I also don't like the push-button door latch .. my old one had the latch built into the handle and worked crisply and cleanly for many years.. this one is mushy and I think just asking for problems with wear, dirt, etc... not to mention that it's hard to find in the dark. I noted at least one other reviewer has experienced a latch-related failure.

As others have also said, the "recipe" button, with only one storage capability, seems next to useless to me. I am not much bothered by the light only being on while cooking.

SUMMARY:
I have rated this 4-star.. It has plenty of "issues" but my feeling is that they don't stand in the way of the fine way in which the unit delivers heat..

The unit has so many nice capabilities that, in spite of it's problems and illogical and confusing interface I still rate it a solid 4-stars+.
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