The Panasonic NN-SA651S is part of the Microwave oven
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, Microwave oven
models like the NN-SA651S are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
Predicted reliability: Predicted brand reliability icons are based on estimated problem rates for newly purchased countertop microwaves, not under service contract, within the first five years of ownership.
Owner satisfaction: Owner satisfaction icons are based on the proportion of members who are extremely likely to recommend their countertop microwave brand to their friends and family.
Heating evenness: This reflects how evenly a model reheated a dish of cold mashed potatoes.
Convection modeA few microwaves include a convection oven feature, which has a heating element and a fan that distributes heat. In convection mode, you can set the oven temperature as you would in a traditional oven to bake or roast items.
SensorControls the cooking and reheating time automatically. It shuts off an oven when it determines (usually by sensing steam) that food is hot enough.
Stainless/SS-look optionStainless-steel is stylish, but it shows fingerprints. Another option: a vinyl-covered metal finish that gives you a stainless-steel look but resists smudging.
Speed-cook modeUses microwave energy in addition to other heating (convection, or supplemental halogen or quartz bulbs) so as to "speed cook" foods normally cooked in an oven or skillet.
GrillAllows the oven to grill foods such as toasted cheese sandwiches (cook without microwaves), or to top-brown dishes while cooking with microwaves.
Racks for bi-level cooking
Racks for bi-level cookingAllows more than one item to be cooked or reheated at the same time by stacking them vertically. This may also be used to improve convection cooking by allowing heat beneath the cooking dish.
WattsThis is the manufacturer's figure of the microwave power output. In general, the more watts an oven offers, the greater its cooking power-and the faster your food will be cooked. That said, differences in claimed wattage of 100 watts or less are unlikely to result in significant differences in performance.
Detailed promptsDisplay offers instructions to guide you through the cooking process.
TypeCountertop models are listed in size categories according to the manufacturer's claimed interior volume. Compact models are 0.5 to 0.9 cubic feet, mid-sized models are 1.0 to 1.2 cubic feet, and large models are 1.3 to 2.2 cubic feet. Over-the-range models mount directly over a standard 30-inch range and act both as a microwave and as an exhaust fan.
Midsized countertop microwave
Door-Open MethodThe doors on most ovens open with a button press, but some have a handle. Neither method is better; it's a matter of personal preference.
Touchpad/DialOn most ovens, cooking times are entered on a numeric keypad. On some models cooking times and/or programs are selected by turning a dial. Neither method is better; it's a matter of personal preference.
Power level display/recall
Power level display/recallSome ovens automatically display the power level you've chosen. Most others will show that level momentarily, on command.
Turntable diameterThe measured diameter of the oven's turntable, rounded to the nearest tenth of an inch, not including rim. Rectangular tables -- which typically move from side to side and can generally accommodate larger dishes -- are also measured to the nearest tenth of an inch. Their dimensions are given as length by width. Note that similar and non-tested model specifications are provided by the manufacturer when available, and are not confirmed by Consumer Reports.
Exterior heightOur measurement, rounded up to the nearest inch.
Exterior widthOur measurement, rounded up to the nearest inch.
Exterior depthOur measurement, including the handle and all protrusions in the back, rounded up to the nearest inch.