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When my old Sharpe microwave finally went into retirement after many years of re-heating beans, warming up milk and zapping potatoes I replaced it with a shiny new Russell Hobbs microwave (will be referred to as RHM from here).
The RHM cost me £39.99 from Morrisons and is currently available on Amazon for £73.20.
The RHM comes in a deceptively large black box with an attractive picture of the RHM on the front and a description of its many functions and features. The box is quite heavy (13kg) and the handle on the box snapped when my husband was bringing it in to the house, luckily the RHM was well packaged and no damage occurred.
~Features and Functions~
The RHM was unpacked and given pride of place in the kitchen I oohed and aaahed over its shiny black finish that matched my tiles and secretly wondered if the RHM would take as much effort to keep shiny as the tiles do. The highly polished casing is easy to keep clean but the mirror finish of the door soon picks up fingerprints and mysterious smudges.
Once the RHM was plugged in I decided to do the usual "lets warm a cup of water up test" I pulled on the door handle and dragged the microwave across the work surface, learning from my error I braced the microwave with one hand and pulled the door open with the other, the door swung open and the inside of the microwave lit up, I was impressed, did my old microwave have a light? I don't know, the shiny new RHM had wiped all memory of my loyal old microwave clean away. I placed the cup on the turntable, closed the door firmly and proceeded to try and set the microwave going. After a few minutes of aimless beeping and twiddling of the dial and confused head scratching I decided that there was only one thing for it and got the manual out of the box. A quick skim of the manual told me all I needed to know. I pressed the power button once, then turned the dial to set the time (the time goes up in increments of ten seconds till you reach five minutes then it increases at thirty seconds) then you press the dial and the RHM sets of. The RHM is very quiet and took two minutes to heat up a cup of water (it was very hot). When the RHM finishes it beeps four times (one beep to many in my opinion and it bugs me) I then pulled on the door, dragging the microwave across the work top again, pushed it back into its corner, braced the microwave and opened the door. (Please note the RHM is very light and care must be taken when opening door!!) Cup of water heated up, I'm impressed, threw packaging in loft.
The next time I used the microwave (to heat beans) I had completely forgotten how to use it, luckily the manual is very user friendly and now sits in the cutlery draw. Once again press power once for top power, twiddle dial for timer and press dial like a button (don't press the stop/clear button that is next to the dial like I do nearly every time) and of it goes.
As you have probably guessed nearly all of the buttons and one dial on the microwave are multi-function depending on the amount of times they are pressed or twiddled and what order they are pressed in. It makes me giggle when I hear the kids trying to zap some left-over pizza as they spend ages beeping away before they get anywhere due to the fact they simply refuse to read the manual.
The RHM has many programmable features, including Quick start cooking, Weight defrost, 8 Auto menus, Multi stage cooking, Pre-set (it will zap your food before you get home if you programme it to), Kitchen timer and a child safety lock. I highly recommend that if you purchase the RHM you read the user manual before you attempt to use these features as a lot of the functions require multiple button presses and dial turns. The RHM is 700watts microwave power has a 17ltr capacity a 95 minuet timer and five power levels.
The interior of the microwave is easy to keep clean, any splashes are wiped away easily with a damp cloth immediately after each use, the exterior also wipes clean with a damp cloth, the door is a bit of a nuisance as it attracts every sticky finger and smudgy mark in the kitchen on to its surface, I keep wiping and buffing the door but it will never look as good as the day I got it out of the box.
I personally will never use this microwave for more than re-heating left-overs and zapping baked potatoes, and for the price I paid I am more than happy with it. If I had paid nearer the recommended retail price I think I would be a little disappointed, the microwave is to light weight and is easily pulled or pushed across the work surface when opening and closing the door. The interior size of the microwave seems quite small, (17litres) but as I'll never put anything bigger then a bowl of beans in, it suits my needs fine.
I do think the RHM is overly complicated with all the different functions crammed into such a small microwave and if I ever lose the manual I wont be able to use any of the more complicated functions.
Overall I do like the RHM, its compact, easy to keep clean and stylish looking. Would I recommend it? Yes, but do read the manual.
Thank you for reading X
Russell Hobbs RHM1714B 700Watts Microwave 17litre 5 Power Levels Black