I've had this microwave for 5 years+. I remember choosing it because of some of the specific features - and because it was cheap - my two usual non-scientific shopping criteria! It's never let me down and is still going strong.
Lets get the bad things out of the way first - this is a heavy, unattractive kitchen essential. One of the reasons for choosing this microwave was the colour - at the time I had a silver coloured fridge/freezer and a matching washing machine! In the meantime, those have bitten the dust and my microwave is now a bit out of place amongst my other fresh-looking white goods.
The other thing that's bugged me about this microwave over the years is that it's wattage (800W) isn't one of the 'usual' power levels quoted on packets or boxes - so invariably when cooking something from a packet you need to do a bit of a calculation, or trial-and-error to get correct timings for things being fully cooked. This is something to be considered for future microwave purchases as it literally takes *seconds* to work it out! (Writing these reviews is really opening my eyes to what a lazy pedant I am!!)
The instruction booklet has long since vanished so I can't trot out the full spec but the vital statistics are: dimensions: 460x340x300, power: 800W, capacity: 7cu.ft, weight: Heavy.
The door is a pull-open fastening, no button to push, you just pull it open with the full-height integrated handle and push it closed until it clicks. Inside the microwave is a very easily cleaned white interior with a glass turntable mounted loose on a plastic ring. The glass turntable isn't fixed down and comes out to be washed. It can, however sometimes be a bit tricky to get back on the "wheels" of the turntable, which results in some noisy, clunky cooking! The door has a black mesh covering on the interior and a good sized glass panel to see-in through.
To the right hand side are the digital display and all the controls. My other main reason I liked this was that it had buttons for "10 sec" "1min" "10min" ... Blimey, what was that about being a lazy pedant?!! Just imagine - to cook something for 10 minutes I only need to press ONE button ONCE, not the extreme ardour of pressing the "1" and the "0" button one after the other for goodness sake!!! Clearly I failed to think through to the fact that in order to cook something for 15 minutes it would require 6 button presses (1x "10" and 5x "1") as opposed to the two individual digits on a standard keypad! In fact, to my shame, the lack of an actual alternative keypad to input precise times is in fact a drawback of this model.
A little (very slightly) less embarrassing is the fact that I was also seduced by the fact that it had preset buttons to cook certain items - one of which was baked potatoes... "mm, I love baked potatoes" I thought. Press the "baked potato" button, tell it how many potatoes you have in there, use the up/down arrows if they are smaller or larger than average, and hit start. Hey presto, no need for any thinking here. I think I have cooked one - maybe two - baked potatoes in there in five years! The reason being the baked potato setting didn't work - I ended up needing to give it extra time anyway! Pah! The other "one-press" options are for pasta and vegetable cooking.
There are express cook buttons for poultry, beef and pork and express defrost buttons for those meats, you simply punch in the weight of the meat and hit start. I'm sorry to say that those are two other features which swung the deal but have never been used.
These features were obviously intended to sway the easily-swayed *puts hand up enthusiastically*. But it does have a tidy look to the controls panel, and it looks (or looked at the time!) high-tec because the whole of the panel is occupied with a button offering some magic function!
In terms of power this microwave has 5 settings 100% down to 10, although I've only ever had the need to use defrost and full power.
This microwave has never been used as a major cooking device in the house, for example cooking meat, but it has had regular usage for the entire time I've owned it for heating chilled or frozen leftovers, microchips, heating puddings and for cooking veg. I'd say it's had a workout 3 or 4 times a week for every week of it's life. It's performed - and continues to perform - great for everything I've needed it for (apart from the baked potato debacle!) and it really doesn't owe me anything.
In it's day, this microwave was a tip-top looking bit of funky kit, but sadly now it looks what it is - a dated kitchen essential. I feel terribly guilty now towards it for writing this review, it didn't ask for it after all... It has just been sitting there minding it's own business, doing all that's asked of it week-in-week-out for years and years, then along I come joining dooyoo and suddenly it's laid bare and torn to shreds!! Don't worry fella, I won't be replacing you yet, you carry on doing your thing and we could well have many more happy years ahead...
If you are looking for a decent no frills microwave which will not break the bank then look no further than the Sharp R254. Sure, there are more advanced and bigger models out there but not everyone wants, or can afford the latest all singing, all dancing models!
The Sharp has 800w which is more than enough to "nuke" your favourite ready meal in seconds! It has a 20 litre interior which is more than ample to take a reasonable size chicken if you wish to test out the express defrost setting.
The digital display is clear to read and the operation of the microwave itself is simplicity personified.
You have various express cook, as well as express defrost settings as well as a basic timer which is simply a case of key in how long you want to cook your meal for, hitting the start button and stepping back and wait for your meal to be ready.
This is as simple a microwave as you will find and you should be able to pick one up for under £40 and despite the price, it is still of decent quality.
All in all a decent product for a bargain price.
This Microwave known as a Sharp R254 is a nice little example of one of the many Microwaves that Sharp make. This one in not one of there top range models it's one that kind of sits in the middle of the range. It's a good price and has plenty of features that are very easy to use. I have never had any problems with this and have always been happy with it. So I thought it was time I gave this one a review.
First of all how does it look? Well the silvery microwave is a nice size, I would say not to big and not to small. The buttons are all fairly compact but they still are easy to see and identify if you are in a rush. The little digital display is easy to read and always seems to be pretty accurate. The door looks good and overall it's a pretty nice looking little microwave.
There are plenty of simple features on this microwave. The power goes up to 800w which is pretty standard as far as I'm aware. There are five different power settings all though to be honest I tend to just use two of them, full and the defrost level. There is a handy express cook system which allows you to cook or defrost certain foods without having to work out exactly how long you should be putting them on for. So for things like meat, poultry or even bread this setting is ideal. The glass plate inside the microwave is just the right size and easily slips out so you can clean it if you have any little accidents.
The door easily pops open and I have never had any problems with the hinges or anything like that. The display has a clock on it which is quite easy to set, this is something I find handy. The manual is pretty easy to follow and if anything was to go wrong you would have a good chance of finding some helpful advice in the manual. This really is a very easy to use piece of equipment that takes not time at all to get used to.
You can pick a Sharp R254 up for around £40, although if you shop around you may be able to get one for even cheaper on eBay. There is also a similar version of this microwave that comes with a built in grill, I imagine this is quite a handy little feature as well. So overall I would have to say this is a very good little microwave, it is good value and easy to use. If you want a simple microwave at a good affordable price then this one may well be for you. So if you microwave is on the fritz go and get yourself a Sharp R254, I am sure you will not be disappointed.
Short name: Sharp R254