This countertop Panasonic microwave model has dropped in price (currently sitting around $100) and is now an affordable option for those who are looking for a little extra space and quick results. But let’s see how it compares with other microwave models, and what reviewers have to say.
The NN-SU696S is a 1.4 cubic foot, countertop microwave with a 1100 watts of power and a lot of features that you’ll probably find familiar. There are 7 pre-program buttons for specific foods including an advanced popcorn button, an add-30-seconds option, a basic timer screen. The one part that may be of particularly interest Is the “Genius Sensor” option, which automatically picks a reheating option for your food.
- Fast heating
- mid-to-large capacity
- Has trouble with consistent temperatures
Tech Gear Lab
Tech Gear Lab had some problems with the NN-SU696S model – namely, that it just didn’t perform very well. Apparently, they found that it could heat quickly but otherwise failed compared to the other microwaves they tested…particularly in this price range. They suggested trying out the NN-SD745S mode instead.
“The Panasonic NN-SU696S did well at heating up an individual portion of lasagna, though not as well as the burrito. While all areas did exceed the minimum temperature, there was much more temperature variation compared to the other models, around 8.7°F. This was much more than the 3-5°F of average variation present on the Oster, Kenmore, or the Sharp.
This product did about the same at reheating our plate of leftovers — green beans, chicken tenders, and mashed potatoes. We used the sensor reheat function on this model. The green beans were the warmest — like every other model — but there was an extreme temperature discrepancy between the mashed potatoes and the chicken tenders, with the chicken tenders being almost 40°F warmer.”
C-Net liked that the inside of this model was particularly roomy, making it easy to heat a large amount of food at the same time. However, they did point out that the model boasted about new inverter technology that was able to cook eggs or fish even better than the traditional method – which it failed at.
“This Panasonic would be best suited for someone who regularly cooks large quantities of food in their microwave. It will take up a lot of countertop space, or a lot of cabinet space if you want to buy the $180 accessory kit and turn it into a built-in model. If you’re on the hunt for a midrange appliance that performs well and masquerades quite effectively as a higher-end product, you may have just met your match.”
Amazon users gave most of their praise to the sensor mode, which they claimed did an excellent job as long as you followed the instructions correctly. They also mentioned that the microwave is very quiet for its size.
“Read a lot of reviews on microwaves before settling on this model to replace my ten yr old GE. Didn’t want too many preset settings, browning top, convection , etc..this one fit the bill and was well liked generally..in fact it operates just like my old one so there’s no learning curve. It’s white inside, which I like, although the light only comes on when it is cooking..can live with that.. As far as hitting the power button multiple times to get the desired power, as some reviews mentioned, does any one really cook at 20%?? I generally use 70-80%.. so not an issue. I haven’t tried the Keep Warm function yet but that mode appeals to me. The best thing I like about it, in addition to its simple functionality, is how quiet it is compared to my old microwave . Even the beeps at the end are quieter.”
While it can make a strong replacement model for larger microwaves, may sure you check out all of Panasonic’s offerings before you decide.