So I did as I said. I went to Costco and brought home our new addition - it was born this afternoon, named Panasonic Inverter (model NN-SD688), 1.2 cu. ft. and 1200 watts of power - like a reincarnation of the old one but somehow, the DNA got screwed up and spit out a stainless steel exterior!
Actually, here are the specs:
The Panasonic NNSD688S features Inverter® technology which perfects the art of cooking with microwave ovens, delivering delicious flavour, excellent colour, and superb shape and texture in the foods you cook. The keep-warm menu includes 5 items, so food like stew, gravy and desserts can stay warm until you are ready to serve. The menu action screen is like having a gourmet chef to assist you in the kitchen. It scrolls step-by-step cooking instructions across the display in a choice of English, Spanish, or French.
- Stainless-steel door and body
- Half-mirror glass door
- Fingerprint-resistant front
- Capacity: 34 L (1.2 cu. ft.)
- Cooking power: 1200 W
- Multi-stage cooking with 5 levels
- Multilingual cooking instructions: English, Spanish, or French)
- Genius sensor reheat
- Genius sensor cook
- Inverter® turbo defrost
- Popcorn key
- Keep-warm menu
- Quick minute
- Child safety lock
- Dimensions (W x D x H):
51.8 cm x 40.4 cm x 30.5 cm
(20.4 in. x 15.9 in. x 12 in.)
- Weight: 10.5 kg (23 lb.)
2 years on parts and labour
They had three to choose from. As far as Costco shopping goes, this is as good as it gets. Normally, you don't have more than one choice, so three was an extraordinary bonus! I may not have gotten the best price but I know I got a good price and I didn't have to do the runaround. The choices were not great but this makes it less confusing. One in white like our old one for about $118.99, the one that I bought which has the fancy knob and even "speaks to me" for $187.99. Well, the instructions scroll out on the little screen and tells me exactly what needs to be pressed, making it guest-friendly. And a full stainless-steel Sanyo model for $99 which was too small both in size and power, and no Inverter or any other features.
Actually, it has a few features that the old one didn't have. For one, there is a "child safety lock" feature. My acrobatic 3 year old is very quick and smart. She has in the past, started popping her own microwave popcorn. I'm sure she could figure out how to unlock this in a flash! So far tonight, she hasn't even noticed that we have a new toy in the kitchen. The box is all the rage!
There is also a "keep warm" feature. It will keep something warm for up to 30 minutes! The "popcorn" feature...now look at this - there are three different settings for different size bags! Too bad we stopped buying microwave popcorn a few months ago. What I really need this for is last minute defrosting of my meats or spaghetti sauce some days and heating up lunches. The rest of the family use it to heat up leftovers and snacks like pizza pops, beef patties, and burritos from the freezer.
Why did I welcome something so similar that I didn't think served us well in the past? Well, for many reasons:
1) Because Costco has competitive pricing for this kind of stuff
2) I'm not particularly picky about a little microwave oven except for capacity and wattage
3) I didn't feel like dragging a child around to look at different models at different stores
4) This one matches the rest of the appliances better
5) I needed one in a hurry!
Well, if this microwave's lifespan is as short as the last one, I'll have learned my lesson and choose a Kenmore Elite next time since it's this year's Consumer's Reports Best Buy. At least this one looks a little nicer! ;)
PS. Did you know that American Express offers extended warranty free if you use your card to purchase? Most people either don't know, or forget when an item needs repairs. NEVER BUY EXTENDED WARRANTY FROM BEST BUY! USE YOUR AMEX! (see link) https://www212.americanexpress.com/dsmlive/dsm/int/ca/en/personal/membershipbenefits/safesecure/consumerprotection_pr.do?vgnextoid=ba33e452a54e4110VgnVCM100000cef4ad94RCRD