The Panasonic Inverter countertop microwave oven, model NN-SN778, comes packed with high power output. A lot of power for a home microwave in a small package. In this review, we explore the Inverter’s many features and detail our experiences with this oven.
We paid approximately $150 for ours several years ago, and it has performed reliably since then. Due to its higher power, food cooks in shorter times. So, be sure to account for this when making recipes found in food prep instructions on packages. But it’s nice having the extra power for those “stubborn” tasks like boiling the water for macaroni and cheese.
Advantages, Features and Functions, Benefits, and Pros of the Panasonic NN SN778 Microwave Oven
The Panasonic Inverter Microwave Oven offers most of the benefits and features that one would expect in a 2014 model; yet this one is now several years old. The most notable ones for us include the following:
Users Guide and Owners Manual Included
The NN-SN-778 oven comes bundled with an extensive Operating Instructions pamphlet. This fully explains its features. It offers recipes for defrosting, heating, and cooking of popular foods. Plus, it provides tips for the safest installation, operation, and cleaning of this oven.
Stainless Steel Trim
Stainless steel front panel finish, for a markedly contemporary look and cinchy cleanup.
Not Too Big
Fits well on even modestly sized kitchen counter tops. See picture below for an example.
Membrane-Style Control Panel Buttons
The more commonly used buttons however, are the more traditional momentary contact, spring-loaded ones; presumably, this is done to increase overall durability of the control panel.
Adequately Sized AC Cord
Thick power cord in the rear of the unit, for easy concealment and connection. Remains cool even during long periods of cooking with highest power setting.
Carousel Glass Tray
Extra large, encompassing rotating glass tray inside.
High Heating Power
1250 watts of food defrosting / cooking / heating power. Plenty for cooking pasta and macaroni.
Long Max Cooking Time
Maximum of 99 minutes and 99 seconds per single stage of cooking. But if you need more time, then either program multiple stages. Or enter more cooking time when this 1:40:39 time runs out.
Illuminates the rotating food inside plentifully.
Yellow LED Clock and Function Display
Operates with low to moderate noise levels, with plenty of fan power and venting. All you hear is a gentle hum and whirring of the internal fan during operation.
Adjustable Power Level
Variable cooking power output setting, in ten-percent bumps, from full power, down to zero power.
The oven beeps, confirming button and pad presses and completion of cooking. It sounds when oven shuts off after cooking is complete.
This senses when cooking food has reached the desired “doneness”. When used, the sensing ability removes the need to actually set a cook time. See below for how this is used.
This button, with one press, configures microwave settings for optimum popcorn popping.
Plain English Messages
The display shows status messages in text to the user. Plus, the speed with which those messages scroll across the little screen is adjustable in the setup options. Messages can be configured to display in either English, French, or Spanish among others.
This safety feature prevents operation by children without your permission.
Basic Usage Prompts
You can disable these as one’s skill level with the oven rises. With child lock activated, the microwave will not operate.
Allows for in-store demonstration of how the unit works without actually turning on the microwave transmitter inside.
Inverter Turbo Defrost
Allows for programmable defrosting of food by weight. Tips on safely defrosting foods of various types are included in the Operator’s Guide. A programmable stand time is also included. This is for foods that need a certain time after the ON part of the defrost cycle ends. Stand time describes how long you allow the food to stand before beginning the next cooking phase. The rest of the defrosting happens during this time. The standing time helps ensure that the food does not start cooking while defrosting.
Use as a Timer
The built in clock and display can also function as a kitchen timer. A so-labeled for this is provided.
Clock Keeps Very Accurate Time
The built in clock drifts only a second or two in a several-month-long period. It can be set to display daylight savings time, without actually adjusting the current hour value. Time display can be disabled should you desire not to see it.
English or Metric Support
The weights of foods can be set to English or metric system (Kg or pounds).
Multiple Stage Cooking
Five stage maximum. This allows multiple phases of the cooking. For each stage, you can adjust the power level. The cooking time per stage is also programmable.
Keep Warm Setting
The Inverter adds an optional keep-warm stage as the last stage of cooking.
More / Less button
Allows the addition or subtraction of either ten or twenty from the currently-remaining cooking time.
Foods cook or reheat with about the tight amount of time, using the Genius Sensor feature. The oven actually senses the amount of heat and steam generated in the food. It thus makes fairly smart predictions about how much longer to run. Opening the door however, can destroy Genius Sensor accuracy. Why? Because an open door lets steam escape. Therefore that steam is not therefore, measured accurately by the sensor.
Quick Min Button
This button allows for quick entry of cook time (up to ten minutes). You enter the desired time via the number of times you press this button. Then press the Start button to start the cooking for the specified time.
We’ve used ours almost daily for several years, and have experienced no failures.
Panasonic covers the magnetron against failures for five years. One year for the rest of the oven.
Cons, Disadvantages, Problems, and Limitations of the Panasonic NN SN778 Microwave Oven
Can Burn Food Quickly
The higher power is a mixed blessing. It works well for heating a wider variety and quantity of foods. But if not adequately attended, this microwave can quickly set foods on fire. So use with caution, please.
Some RFI Noted
Generates small amounts of radio frequency interference (RFI). Can interfere with computer WiFi. Why? Because the oven runs at 2.45 Ghz., which is the same frequency range as WiFi devices and older cordless phones. However, we find this microwave to be very well shielded. Therefore, such interference is low to non existent. Note that issue is not specific to this microwave. Even the best microwave ovens provide better shielding against this type of RFI. The NN-SN778 does a good job at containing its radio noise.
No Add 30 Seconds Button
This feature allows instant programming for highest power, for 30 seconds. The oven would start running right away upon first press. Then an additional half-minute is added with each additional press. We prefer ovens with this function. It’s highly convenient for short run cooking. E.g. Like when heating a cup of tea or popping a bowl of popcorn. However, the More / Less button does the same thing. But it bumps the remaining time up by 10-second steps rather than 30-second clumps.
Not a Toy
This is by no means an “easy-bake” oven. The additional power over the typical oven that this one utilizes, means that it’s easier to overcook foods. Foods become overcooked significantly more quickly. So greater attentiveness during use is necessary. Not a show-stopping issue though.
No Browning Feature
Contains no conventional style oven heating elements. So the Panasonic Inverter microwave relies exclusively on microwave energy, not heat energy, to do the cooking.
Hard to Install Tray
Sometimes, it’s not easy to get the circular glass tray properly centered on the motor hub. Why? Because of the small diameter of the hub. So making this hub a little bigger would solve this problem.
Most Functions are Not Accessible to Blind Users
The addition of an audible speaking voice that enumerates all menus and function settings would be most helpful.
Our experience with this Panasonic Inverter microwave oven. is about a decade. In that time, it has rarely disappointed us. It cooks quickly and completely when properly monitored. It has enough power for most if not all home food fixing tasks. Plus, its purchase price is quite reasonable. We paid around $140 for our copy at Walmart. No kitchen these days should be without a microwave oven thus. And this one is among the most easy to program, versatile units we ever owned. We rate it therefore at 96 out of 100.
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References for the Panasonic NN SN778 Microwave Oven
- 2019-03-20: Added tags, subheadings, and key phrase targeting. Also shortened sentences and paragraphs.
- 2015-12-13: Added appropriate tags.
- 2015-01-10: Revised content.
- 2014-12-15: Added featured image and tweaked the content.
- 2014-10-11: Originally published.