Two big brands in electronics are Panasonic and LG, with both companies being leading names for microwave ovens. If you’re looking to make a purchase and you want to know which is best, you’re in the right place. Whether it’s defrosting, reheating leftovers or popping popcorn, this article will tell you all about which machine is best for nuking.
We’ve tested, researched and reviewed the Japanese and South Korean brands’ two flagships models, pitting them against each other to analyze factors like number and quality of features, size, power, ease of use and reliability to comprehensively answer which of these microwaves is most suitable for home use.
Panasonic’s newest range of microwave ovens offer an outstanding array of features along with power output that’ll give you rapid cooking times. Throw in fantastic reliability backed up by a comprehensive one-year warranty and you’ve got a microwave that will last and last.
Panasonic‘s calling card is its patented Inverter Technology which delivers a steady stream of heat on lower power levels rather than switching on and off continuously like other microwaves. This makes defrosting and other low power options a dream. In addition, you get:
– Sensor reheat that automatically cooks using a humidity sensor.
– Turbo Defrost which speeds up thawing and defrosting times.
– Popcorn button with three different levels.
– Smart controls combind with beautiful LED interface.
– Ten different power levels for low power modes.
The LG microwaves offer a whole host of sensor cooking and reheating options which allows you to cook or reheat at the touch of the button, no need to guess how much time is needed. Simply choose the food you are cooking and set it off. As well as that is:
– Gorgeous glass panel input controls.
– Patented Easyclean interior with antibacterial coating.
– Six-pronged turntable for added stability.
– Bright in-microwave LED light so you can see your food while it’s being heated.
– Eleven different power levels for low power modes.
Both these microwaves offer oodles of useful features to make your life easier. Overall, I’ve decided that the Inverter Technology that delivers consistent and thorough defrosting and low power heating gives Panasonic the edge.
The Panasonic range of microwaves occupy the higher end of the market. They are big, powerful, expensive and packed with extras. A consequence of this is there are no budget options or microwave suitable for small spaces in the Panasonic line up.
The models of countertop microwave ovens offered by Panasonic are as follows. They also sell a modest range of over-the-range microwaves as well.
– Panasonic Compact – 1200W / 1.2 cubic feet with 13.4″ turntable
– Panasonic NN-SN686S – 1200W / 1.2 cubic feet with 13.4″ turntable
– Panasonic NN-SN766S – 1250W / 1.6 cubic feet with 15″ turntable
– Panasonic NN-SN966S – 1250W / 2.2 cubic feet with 16.5″ turntable
The LG range is very similar to the Panasonic range. The brand doesn’t offer any microwaves on the cheaper and smaller side of things, where you might see a typical capacity of 0.7 cubic feet and a power of 700W. The main difference is that LG offers a comprehensive selection of over-the-range microwaves
– LG Neochef LMC0975ST – 1040W / 0.9 cubic feet with 11.5″ turntable
– LG Neochef – 1040W / 1.2 cubic feet with 14.2″ turntable
– LG Neochef – 1250W / 1.5 cubic feet with 14.2″ turntable
– LG Neofchef – 1250W / 2.0 cubic feet with 16″ turntable
The two brands are neck and neck with this category, both offering very similar selections of microwave ovens. It seems fairest to call it a tie.
The Panasonic microwaves have a standard power output of 1200-1250W which is about as high as non-commercial microwave ovens go. With this wattage, cooking and reheating times will be rapid, saving you plenty of time for the rest of your cooking.
The LG microwaves come in slightly under with a range of 1000-1200W. This is much faster than older or cheaper microwaves, typically in the region of 700-900W.
Everyone wants faster cooking times, so the higher the power output the better. Both brands of microwaves here offer lightning fast cooking but the Panasonic shades it because every single microwave they sell is a minimum of 1200W.
Ease of use
The Panasonic microwaves use a standard keypad input with an LED display for a timer. It has a “quick 30” button for adding 30 seconds to the time quickly and easily. Convenient to hit it a few times rather than manually select 2:30 with the keypad.
The LG Neochef uses a futuristic “Smoothtouch” glass panel for input. It not only looks cool and modern, but simplifies the display massively. In addition, the LG has six spokes on its turntable instead of the standard three to make balancing a little easier, especially with larger or heavier items. The turntable is also more likely to stay in place rather than slip off all the time!
This round goes to LG for thinking outside the box with their new and unique features to make using your microwave a little simpler.
Customer reports and complaints including reviews on Amazon reveal little in the way of breakdowns or other issues with the Panasonic microwaves. This is reflected in its excellent average 4.3 star rating. Panasonic offers a 1-year warranty on parts and labor with a 5-year warranty on the magnetron itself. The warranty can be “mail-in” or “carry-in” depending on what you prefer.
LG has an excellent rating on Amazon albeit lower at 4.2 stars. This seems to be caused by occasional reviews complaining about certain issues. LG, equally, offers a 1-year warranty on parts and labor with a 5-year warranty on the magnetron.
Panasonic is a clear winner for long-lasting, durable microwave ovens. This respectable brand clearly has their A-game working with their line of microwaves, and it’s certainly not the type of appliance anyone looks forward to spending a Sunday afternoon trying to fix…
Putting it all together, we can rest assured these are two great brands for microwave ovens, leading the way in terms of features and forward thinking. There’s a reason both are so highly regarded on the market.
My choice for best overall goes to Panasonic. The company has put together a fantastic marriage of awesome features like its patented Inverter Technology along with reassuring reliability and solid power output. This is an appliance that’ll be a firm favorite in any home.
Overall Winner: Panasonic
While the LG Neochef line of microwaves didn’t win this particular battle, they are still a solid option for many consumers. Read more here.