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Panasonic NN-SB458S Review

This product pairs average results with an average price in our minds, failing to stand out from the competition
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Price:   $100 List | $99 at Amazon
Pros:  Good at defrosting meat
Cons:  Not the most convenient to use, heating performance could be better
Manufacturer:   Panasonic
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Aug 19, 2020
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Heating - 40% 6
  • Frozen Foods - 30% 7
  • Defrosting - 20% 7
  • Ease of use - 10% 5

Our Verdict

Earning decently favorable results across the board, we wouldn't actively dissuade anyone from purchasing the Panasonic NN-SB458S. It did average or above average across our four metrics and we don't think it's overly expensive. This isn't our favorite microwave by any means, with multiple other products considerably outperforming it, but it gets the job done.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

We did find that this microwave delivered one of the best performances of the entire bunch with the frozen burrito, along with having one of the better popcorn presets. These aren't necessarily the main reasons we would make a purchase decision when it comes to these products but might be something to keep in mind if you are considering this particular model.

Performance Comparison


This product delivered on overall above-average performance.
This product delivered on overall above-average performance.

Likes


As mentioned above, the Panasonic NN-SB458S delivered its most noteworthy performances when it came to frozen foods, both with premade foods and when it came to defrosting frozen ground turkey. This appliance exceptionally impressed us with its performance in the burrito test, with the left, right, and center zones only showing an average temperature difference of 3°F, with the entire burrito warmed up both above the recommended temperature and warm enough to serve in the opinion of our testers.

We did find that one side was just a tiny bit cooler than the rest.
We did find that one side was just a tiny bit cooler than the rest.

It did almost as well with the Hot Pocket, with the only average temperature difference only increasing to around 7°F. However, the Panasonic NN-SB458S did lose a few points for slightly burning one end, getting it a little crustier than we would have liked.

The Panasonic NN-SB458S continued its strong showing into the defrosting test. This microwave completely defrosted 8.75 ounces of the one-pound block and the remaining part very easily broke apart — enough that we would have felt fine to toss everything right into the pan. It did alert us to flip the turkey a few minutes into the process and we liked that it didn't cook any of the meat prematurely.

This appliance thawed just a bit more than half of the turkey.
This appliance thawed just a bit more than half of the turkey.

The Panasonic NN-SB458S did do a bit better than average in some of our heating tests. It heated up the 125 mL of water very quickly, raising its temperature almost 90°F after 45 seconds of heating. It also did exceptionally well with our plate of leftovers using its auto-reheat function. The sausage, potatoes and green beans weren't too far apart in temperature and all three were warm enough to eat without additional time in the microwave.

We feel that you could have served this plate immediately after the initial heating.
We feel that you could have served this plate immediately after the initial heating.

The Panasonic NN-SB458S also did an above-average job when it came to reheating the canned soup, getting it more than warm enough when we followed the heating instructions.

We did dock some points for these two slices coming out with some significant thermal differences.
We did dock some points for these two slices coming out with some significant thermal differences.

Dislikes


The Panasonic NN-SB458S did deliver some relatively poor results in our minds when it came to reheating the pizza. The two slices were heated very unevenly, with one slice being far from hot enough to eat and the other exhibiting significant temperature discrepancies.

The heat map right after heating.
The heat map right after heating.

We weren't amazingly impressed with how this appliance did in our heat map tests, with some areas getting burnt completely while others were still browning.

You can see the differences in heating clearly here.
You can see the differences in heating clearly here.

The Panasonic NN-SB458S also disappointed us a bit with its performance at heating up the individual miniature lasagna. It overall wasn't heated up quite enough and there were very large temperature swings between the six points we measured — one as large as 52°F.

We think this product doesn't have quite as many convenience features as some of the others.
We think this product doesn't have quite as many convenience features as some of the others.

We also found this product to be a little less user-friendly to use compared to some of the competition. The +30 seconds button doesn't start it automatically and it lacks any one-touch features. Its internal light isn't terribly bright and we found that it easily slides around when you push a button or open/close the door if it's on any sort of slick countertop.

While we didn't find this product to be the best  we still think it's a pretty good option.
While we didn't find this product to be the best, we still think it's a pretty good option.

Value


This microwave is an average value in our mind, as it pairs a middle-of-the-road performance with what we see as a relatively average price tag.

Conclusion


The Panasonic NN-SB458S has a few noteworthy performances but we don't feel it overall did well enough to warrant an award.

David Wise and Austin Palmer