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Appliances

Panasonic puts a new spin on last night's leftovers at CES 2015

The Panasonic Genius Prestige Plus rotates its inverter to cook your food more evenly.

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Ry Crist/CNET

LAS VEGAS -- Large appliances might get a greater share of the limelight at the 2015 International CES, but that doesn't mean we don't also see small appliances out on the show floor. Panasonic put a particularly eye-catching one on display this week: the Genius Prestige Plus Microwave with "Cyclonic Wave Technology."

The cyclonic waves in question come from the inverter, which rotates in the wall of the microwave during cooking cycles. Other inverters send their waves out in a single plane -- including the inverter in Panasonic's original Genius Prestige microwave . Typically, it's the turntable's job to make sure that your food cooks from every angle.

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You won't actually get rainbow-colored cooking waves to gawk at, but this display unit does illustrate the Cyclonic Wave concept nicely. Ry Crist/CNET

With the Genius Prestige Plus, the turntable gets some help, because that single plane is spinning, and dishing its rays out in a lovely little spiral. Panasonic claims that this makes for cooking and defrosting that's noticeably more even, and that would be saying a lot, since we were fairly impressed with how the original performed when we tested it out.

Aside from those cyclonic waves, the Genius Prestige Plus offers the usual slate of microwave features, with presets for commonly cooked foods and specialized reheating modes. The dial from the original Genius Prestige is gone, replaced with a icon-heavy, touch-only interface that looks appropriately high-end. Personally, I liked the dial from before and think I'd have preferred it to stay.

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Ry Crist/CNET

Panasonic will offer the Genius Prestige Plus in both countertop and built-in models, and sell two capacities, too: a 1.8-cubic-foot model for $329, and a 2.2-cubic-foot model that runs $50 more. Both are set to arrive in Best Buy, Target, and other retailers by April of this year.

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