"Despite Alexa, GE's Scan-to-Cook microwave isn't very smart"
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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
Despite Alexa, GE's Scan-to-Cook microwave isn't very smart
Underneath this drab exterior, the GE smart countertop microwave has a few cool tricks.
I can use the GE app on my phone to scan the barcode on this frozen meal.
The app shows the instructions on the box But then I hit Send and it automatically sets the microwave to the proper time.
If I need to stir, it'll go through the initial step, then send the next step to the microwave automatically when I open the door.
I'll even get a push notification when the microwave is done cooking.
Plus, Alexa, pause the microwave.
How cool was that?
The appliance you use when you don't feel like cooking, now it asks even less of you.
Better yet, it's only 140 bucks.
So it's within the normal price range of a dumb microwave except In practice this kind of quick feature still needs work.
Lots of seemingly basic stuff from big brands didn't scan.
Look, I get it, this is new and they are still building their database, but if you wanna actually use the feature I recommend taking your phone to the grocery store and scanning the items you are considering.
Cuz you are gonna need to look for a bunch to find a couple that actually work.
Also I wish the microwave itself would scan your food, instead of requiring you to pull out your phone.
And you still have to read the directions, they're just on your phone, instead of on the box.
And the microwave will use different power settings if a recipe calls for it But it won't adjust for wattage.
This recipe is recommended for an 1100 watt microwave.
GE's is 900, but it keeps the same time.
Also, 900 watts is underpowered for 140 bucks.
So even though it's still reasonable, you are paying for those smarts.
The Alexa Skill did work well.
And I liked getting a notification when the microwave was done cooking, but I wanted the scan to cook to feel more useful.
And it really doesn't.
Now it doesn't feel broken.
Just as though it's still in beta.
So this smart microwave might one day be really smart.
But right now I don't recommend it.
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