CNET First Look
Amana Microwave AMC2166ASThis countertop microwave boasts 1,200 watts, but not much else.
Hey, I'm Ry Crist from CNET and I'm here with the Amana AMC2166AS and this is a countertop microwave that retails for $219. It's got 1200 watts, so it's pretty powerful to click a little faster and a little more evenly than microwaves with lower wattages. It's also pretty big. If you look at here in the table beside me, it's taking up quite a lot of room. It is a roomy beast of a microwave. It has 1.6 cubic feet inside of it and a 13-inch turntable, plenty of room, plenty of space for whatever you wanna stuff inside of it. Now, looking over the Amana, it's got a pretty basic design and doesn't look like a modern microwave if you're asking me. It's got the stainless steel, which is a nice touch but a lot of microwaves have that right now. It's a very popular option but it's boxy, you know, it's big and boring looking. It's got the green clock here that just doesn't look like something out of 2013. So, I would prefer something with a few more modern touches to make it look like $219 microwave. In addition to the basic design, it's also a microwave with some pretty basic features. You're not gonna find convection cooking or inverter technology. It's just kind of a standard microwave. It does the same thing as cheap $80 microwaves do. It'll be a little bit better and with a little bit more room inside. Let's take a look at the buttons on the front. It's got your standard presets you expect for a microwave. It has popcorn and potatoes and pizza and frozen on trays and all of those worked pretty well as a basic microwave but again, for $219 I wish they had something more, something different. So, this is a weird mix of high-end and basics. It's got a high-end price but it's sort of basic in terms of features. That said, it does perform pretty well. We thought the popcorn preset in particular was great. You put a bag of popcorn in this thing and hit the preset button, it will pop it in 90 seconds flat to perfection. We tested this again and again with a standard size bag of popcorn and every time, it left less curls on pop, it didn't burn or scorch any of them and it did it really fast. Did it faster than other microwaves that we tested. So, all in all, a great preset. If you love movie night or popcorn in general, this is the microwave for you. The other presets work too but they have a few flaws. The potato preset for instance only cooks by potato. You can cook one potato, you can put two potatoes, but you can't cook by ounces. So, if you have a big potato it might undercook. If you have a small potato, it might overcook. Keep in mind this is a high wattage microwave and it's gonna cook things just a little bit faster than you would expect. And some of the presets don't seem to know this. The frozen on tray preset for instance cooks things at the full length of time and that leads to a slightly overcooked frozen on tray. With our lasagna that we tried, the cheese was just a little bit disintegrated and too well done and we didn't like that. All in all, this is a good machine and it's certainly better than the $40 Craigslist microwave that I have in my kitchen but I wouldn't pay $219 for it. If you're looking to upgrade and looking to spend that kind of money, I think you can do a lot better. For CNET, I'm Ry Crist.