Top positive review
25 people found this helpful
Great performer, heats fast, excellent safety, but poor keypad
on June 13, 2007
This Sharp microwave oven, with 1 c.f. of total capacity and about 0.8 c.f. of usable capacity (according to Consumer Reports), is a great performer. It heats food quickly and for the most part evenly. The turntable turns automatically and alternates between clockwise and counterclosewise turns. There's a lightbulb inside that lights up when you open the door or when the microwave is operating. The heat output is rated at 1100W, which is usually the power assumed by most microwave heating instructions on food packages - a great convenience.
There was a story I read a few years ago that looked into microwave oven safety, and Sharp came out ahead. So I feel confidend that this microwave oven, assembled in Thailand, should also be one of the safest. Of course, you should keep at least 7 inches away from the oven when its magnetron is generating microwaves, just to be totally safe. One guy complained about the "loud" door; yes, but it's designed to be safe. I'd never trade safety for a flimsy, "easier" door.
The LCD display is always backlit (in green), which is really nice, esp. if you, like I, use the LCD as a clock and also as a timer. (Clock is am-pm-agnostic 12-hour type, while timer has a maximum countdown of 99:99.) The Minute Plus feature is extremely convenience. The keys beep when you press them, but the beep and that "cooking finished" long beep can be turned off easily. You can also invoke a "safe" mode so that the buttons don't work, kind of like a "hold" feature on audio players -- great for families with kids who like to fiddle with appliances.
My only complaint is, like all Asian electronics companies, Sharp pays little attention to the user-friendliness of the unit. The keys all look the same and are about the same size. While they are responsive, sometimes you need to hunt for the keys you want to press. The End and Start keys, in particular, should have been made to stand out. Also, unlike many other Sharp models, this one requires you to press the Power button multiple times instead of just pressing a numeric button to specify a power level. Finally, the reheat/cook button works ridiculously complicated. All these anti-user features detract a full star from an otherwise really excellent appliance.
The all-black finish looks great and the oven fits well under most kitchen cabinets. I do recommend this oven despite the ergonomic issues mentioned above. For me, Sharp microwave ovens' reliability reputation, safety record and Minute Plus convenience are reason enough to recommend them highly.