17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A very capable product,
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This review is from: Sharp 25 Litre Solo Microwave, White (Kitchen & Home)
We owned our previous microwave oven for about 16 years and it had recently appeared to be losing power. Several instances of grossly under-cooked microwave foods, even after extended cooking times, and others still part-frozen after a supposedly suitable defrost time provided an indication of its worsening performance. We had considered a replacement a year or two ago, and before any loss of performance was seen, because of its age and also to gain advantage from facilities on newer models but were unable to find at that time anything we liked with desirable features. Several brands and models available on the high street and on-line were evaluated and compared before now deciding on this.
Sharp is one of the brands currently most highly rated among users and this model has about the highest rating of all models and brands excluding those that also include grills, infra-red ovens or other similar facilities that would probably not be needed or used. Although the colour is described as 'white', the most obvious and visible portion is the front which appears almost entirely black when not actually working.
A 25-litre capacity means that it is a fairly large, heavy machine with a 900W power rating and 11 levels of power available at steps of 10% reduction each time allowing it to cope with just about anything. Also, if a product offers timing only for a 650-700W model, you can set it to 70% or 80% power (for equivalent 630 or 720W) and use its published cooking time. It also offers eight different cook and defrost settings with the additional option of numerous manual combinations. It should be sufficient for the 'typical' two adults plus two (or possibly, three) family and be able to accept a wide range of different microwave approved cooking utensils on its extra-large turntable (31.5cm, approx 12.5-inches diameter) but with rather little clearance. Containers that overhang the platter by more a few millimeteres will probably be unsuitable. It provides maximum cooking times of just under 100 minutes, in 10 second increments from zero upwards, which offers considerable scope whether cooking, defrosting or warming.
The user interface is clean, relying on a relatively few buttons, is well laid out and it should prove easy to use once familiarity is reached. Its LED clock display is sufficiently large and bright, easy to read and a vast improvement on the non-backlit LCD display we have had to cope with until now. It also offers a 24-hour clock and a kitchen timer function, should you need one.
Although there is a facility to defrost an item according to its weight, there is no direct equivalent when cooking the same item. However, if a reference source or experience shows that a certain food needs x minutes per kilo on a certain setting to cook to your taste, it should not be too difficult to calculate the cooking time for a different weight at the same setting.
The oven has a dark grey interior and typical lighting, so observing how your food looks at any stage of its cooking or defrosting is slightly hampered. The colour of the coating may be technically justified but Sharp have made no additional concession to it. Brighter lighting, perhaps with a second illumination panel could improve it. Better lighting would also benefit the finding and cleaning of any splashes that can sometimes occur, even if food is covered.
Overall, it promises much at a fairly modest price - our now discarded model was more expensive, had a lower power rating and lesser capacity and with fewer features.
In respect of its manual, more than three-quarters of its contents is about safety and precautions and only a small section about its use, set-up etc. This may be rational as use will become almost automatic over time but the safety precautions may be forgotten.