Panasonic NN-SN651B Genius 1.2 cuft 1200 Watt Sensor Microwave w/Inverter Technology
Amazon Price: $149.99 Too low to display Buy Now
(price as of Jul 14, 2013)

Most modern kitchens have microwaves. A microwave isn't a necessity, but it is a convenience that most of us take advantage of. The ability to quickly and easily reheat food is important in today's world, and not just because of timing. The power required to quickly zap something in a microwave is less than the power required to more slowly heat something up on the stove top, so a good microwave can be a solid environmental choice too, and can even save you on utility bills. But with so many microwaves on the market, choosing between them can be difficult. Even models that are similar in price can have different features, making one more desirable than another. Today we're looking at two best-selling microwave models. One is the Panasonic NN-E281MMBPQ, the other is the Kenwood K25MSS11. Both Panasonic and Kenwood are renowned electronics makers who produce good quality and reliable machines. So how do you choose between them? We took a closer look at these models to see how they compare and which one makes the better buy.


Most microwaves are free-standing models that require kitchen counter space, meaning that dimensions are all important. You want a microwave that's big enough to cook what you want to put in it, but one that's small enough to conserve valuable kitchen space. These models measure in at around the same depth (the Panasonic is 33.7 cm deep, the Kenwood 36.2 cm deep), and around the same width (the Panasonic is 43.7 cm, the Kenwook 46 cm). But they differ in height, with the Panasonic being only 25.8 cm and the Kenwood 57.9 cm. This isn't a serious issue if the microwave is standing on the counter, as no real extra counter space is being taken up, but may be a problem if you're sliding the microwave under top cabinets, for example.

Cooking Ability...

Obviously, you want your microwave to cook well. The smaller Panasonic is only an 800 W device, whilst the Kenwood is 900 W, making it more powerful and better able to cook quickly. Another consideration is that the Panasonic has a grill setting, whilst the Kenwood doesn't. Having a grill in a microwave isn't a necessity, most people have toasters, or a grill in their oven. But if you're considering buying a microwave for a studio or bedsit, or elsewhere that may not have other grill facilities, you might want to keep this in mind.

Other Features...

Being bigger, the Kenwood has a bigger capacity, measuring in at 25 litres over the Panasonic's 20 litres, but it's rare that most people fill their microwaves to capacity. The Panasonic does have a rotating plate and a child safety lock, both of which are nice features. However, it lacks the defrost setting that the Kenwood has.


These models are similar in price, with the larger Kenwood coming in only around £10 more expensive than the Panasonic.

Which is the Better Buy?

There isn't much in it, to be honest. Both of these microwaves are good buys. However, despite being smaller (although that may make it just more convenient), we like the grill setting and revolving plate on the Panasonic, features that the Kenwood lacks, so our recommendation goes to the Panasonic.