Pros / Sensor heating means the microwave will automatically adjust to optimal cycle times.
Cons / No warm hold feature means you'll have to reheat if you're not able to get to the food right way at the end of a cycle.
Verdict / This one lacks a few features, but it has more preset cooking cycles than any others and it costs half as much as some we looked at.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Insignia NS-OTR16SS8 costs the least, but offers the most pre-programmed cooking cycles of the unit in our comparison. It is not perfect in every way, but if low price is high on your list of priorities it might be just right. It costs $85 less than the average price among the microwaves we compared. It is half the price of the most expensive unit in our list of competitors. That’s savings worth noting. It might mean you can replace an old microwave right away, rather than waiting for a sale or saving up.
The list of pre-programmed buttons for specific foods includes pizza, potato, popcorn, vegetables, frozen dinners, dinner plate, rice and beverage. That is more than double what some competitors offer. You may not use all of them, but having so many options is nice. You won't have to guess on times and cooking power for any of those foods. Just press them to adjust for quantity and the microwave knows how much power and how much time automatically.
It also has a sensor reheating function that uses sensors to detect steam being released from your plate of leftovers. It will adjust its cooking times based on that and shut itself off.
This is not one of the ones to offer a keep warm button. That can be nice, so you don't have to rush back to retrieve food at the end of a cycle or reheat it completely. It can maintain a nice temperature until you are ready to eat.
You have lots of options for quick cooking on this microwave. If you press any of the 1-5 keys, you get an instant timed cycle at full power without having to enter any other information.
One bothersome fact about this microwave is that no one at Best Buy, who owns the Insignia brand, could tell us about this machine's airflow. We don't know how it compares to other machines in that regard, but we do know that basic information like that should be easier to find. If you have a smoky kitchen on the regular, you may want to clarify that fact before investing in this one. Some people don't use the fan that often, so it might not matter too much.
We do know that you get a choice of fan speeds. We also know that the fan is designed to come on automatically if it senses heat rising from the range. It also provides two different light settings and a nightlight with the range hood portion of this appliance.
Another thing that is less than ideal is the warranty. It just covers everything for one year. Longer coverage on the main component would be nice and can be found on other ones we compared. If you prefer a longer warranty, consider the LG LMV1762ST.
We like that you can shut off the turntable, so bigger trays don't knock against door. Other design features are less than ideal, though. There is no shelf, which can basically double your cooking space. Also, it comes in just one color, so you may have to look elsewhere if stainless steel doesn't work for your décor. And you don't have the option of shutting off the sound. It's not a huge drawback, but if kids are napping nearby that can be an issue. You do have the option of locking the controls, so the kids aren't tempted to nuke any of their toys.
The price of this unit is very low, and it also has some great features, including more presets than any other microwave. Those will save you quite a bit of time. This is not the perfect microwave, though. There is no warm hold key, no way to turn off the sound, no shelf and no color options.