Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Compact Microwaves here.
The GE JES0738DPBB compact microwave oven comes equipped with some straightforward functions that can help you do basic cooking and reheating, but there is nothing fancy about this simple model.
This countertop microwave offers the standard 0.7 cubic foot interior, 10 power levels and 700 watts of power. Unfortunately, it provides only six preset programs for cooking and reheating, which hampers its convenience and ease of use since many microwave ovens come with one-touch presets that make preparing basic foods a breeze. This microwave's presets are: popcorn, pizza, beverage, potato and reheat.
These six are the most common presets on compact microwave ovens. Each has multiple serving options. Once you’ve determined the option you want, simply press the correct button and the microwave oven will start automatically; you don’t have to press Start.
The reheat function sets cooking times and power levels for foods that have already been cooked. Unfortunately, the user manual simply refers to a "serving size" with no further explanation. These are numbered 1-4, but there is no indication of the size or weight of a food item that constitutes a "serving." The same lack of clarity is evident in directions for cooking vegetables.
However, the directions for popcorn, pizza, baked potatoes and beverages are much better. Just press once on the pizza button to reheat a single slice, press twice for two slices, etc. The same approach works for more than one serving of popcorn, potatoes and beverages, if the liquids are already at room temperature.
The auto defrost setting is divided into three categories: meat, poultry and fish. Once you have selected which category you want, you enter the weight in pounds. The manual provides a conversion chart from ounces to pounds. You can defrost up to six pounds of meat, poultry or fish. This microwave comes with a written guide inside the front of the oven to help you with this function.
The GE JES0738DPBB compact microwave oven comes only in black. The preset programs, the other buttons and the numbers are nicely arranged on the front. In addition to labels, the preset buttons also include little icons depicting such things as a slice of pizza or a steaming mug of some beverage. While the icons are somewhat unnecessary, the overall look of the control panel is fairly attractive and the organized arrangement of the buttons helps this appliance's functionality.
This compact microwave oven comes equipped with a clock, a kitchen timer, a pause function and a child safety lock, which prevents children from trying to cook something unsupervised and getting burned. That feature also helps adults and children avoid accidentally turning on the microwave while it is empty, which can damage the appliance.
We were somewhat disappointed in the user manual, especially since GE provides such detailed and comprehensive manuals for many of its other products. As mentioned above, the vague references to "servings" in the reheat mode offer little help, even for the experienced cook, so it will take some trial and error to get the appliance to work exactly the way it should for reheating. The manual would benefit by being fleshed out with just a bit more explanation, particularly for a function so important to microwave ovens as reheating foods.
GE provides useful help and support. Its website offers an email form, phone number and live chat function if you have questions. The website also provides answers to FAQs for microwave ovens in general, troubleshooting through the company's knowledgebase and written information about operating different types of microwave ovens.
The GE JES0738DPBB works decently and can cook and reheat food well. It offers basic presets as well as some nice additional feature, such as a kitchen time and a child lock. However, its manual is rather vague in places and leaves much to be desired.