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I have used this microwave for some months in rented accomodation while working away in the week. Overall, I have to say that I have been rather impressed and here's why.
The outside of the microwave is fairly standard. A typical gray colour, little screen in the top right-hand corner and a menu. The menu unfortunately does not have a number pad, but offers you the 1 second, 1 minute and 10 minute buttons which I'm personally not the biggest fan of. Above these, however, there is a very useful set of settings. These are the Express Cook and the Express Defrost buttons. These negate the need for a number pad in many cases as you can simply choose the food that you want to prepare and hey presto, the microwave will do it for you.
The microwave is fairly large which is good if you are looking for a decently sized one, but can make it awkward finding a suitable place for it in the kitchen. The power output of 800W is not as much as the leading microwaves but is plenty for everyday cooking purposes.
One downside, albeit a very minor one, is a couple of small exterior design issues which are a matter of taste. The back of the microwave rests on a single 'ski-like' stand rather than tradition legs in the corner. A little more noticeable are the two screws in the side of the microwave which do not look particularly sightly if the sides of your microwave are exposed. Lastly, the power cord for the microwave is extremely short, so the power socket has to be directly behind it wherever you choose to put it in the kitchen.
What can you say about a microwave oven? It's cooks food and it does it without being too complicated! There - review done! Alas this is Ciao and opinions dare not stop that short so here is my in-depth analysis of what I call my instant food zapper.
Most households nowadays have a microwave oven even if just to warm up meals faster than the conventional oven - to make the delicious microwave popcorn for evenings in front of the television or to actually do all there cooking. I am of course referring to the godsends that are microwave meals for single males. Also known as microwave meals for one.
As luck would have it as an associate of Sharp I qualify thanks to a few words in the right ears for their 30% staff discount when bought direct. I needed a reasonably priced microwave and with the discount plumped for the R249 model for only £34.99 - They usually sell for £49.99 so even without the discount it is still a model that I consider falls within the budget range.
The R249 comes in a choice of white - white or white and has a 800w power output making it considerably powerful and no lightweight when compared with other more expensive models from the same manufacturer or competitors. It looks rather stylish with it's curved edges and isn't that heavy that you will need two men to lift it onto the work surface.
As is standard with most microwave ovens this model has an LCD display that shows the power level - option selected and timer. What sets it apart is that when working it shows the time set and then also a countdown clock to show the time remaining. I'm not sure of the purpose but I've never seen another oven do this.
The cook and defrost features are all programmed via the touchpad and using it for the first time was very easy. As usual I didn't consult the instruction book and frankly didn't have to as it was that easy to work out. Consulting the instruction book for cooking times and required power levels is recommended though at some stage!
The oven is pre-programmed with options for defrosting chicken - pies and the like but I've never used this feature.
Overall I'm chuffed with my microwave - it cooks my ready to eat meals and makes the popcorn when required. The smooth coating is easy to wipe clean and the plate inside is removable to be washed as and when required making this one hell of a buy in my opinion. Even at £49.99 I can't see the need to spend more on any other model - this is all you need.