GE microwaves: countertop and over the range models compared

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BEST OVER THE RANGE
Sale 6%
GE Over-the-Range 1.7 Microwave (JVM6175SKSS)

The GE Over-the-Range 1.7 microwave is a stylish appliance that removes all the guesswork from cooking and reheating food thanks to a ton of innovative features that are practical and easy to use.

It’s as straightforward to install as it is to operate and will give any kitchen a professional appearance. This appliance isn’t only big on features; it has a large footprint, hefty weight, and an enormous price point.

BEST OVERALL COUNTERTOP
GE JES1145DMBB

While countertop microwaves aren’t the best space-saving appliances, if you can spare the room, they offer fantastic value for money thanks to lower price points than more high-end models.

The GE (JES2051DNBB) countertop microwave is an enormous capacity, high powered machine with many of the same features as the Over-the-Range ‘best’ model, but at a fraction of the cost.

While nothing beats an oven-cooked meal, you don’t always have the time or inclination to go through time-consuming preparation and cooking processes; that’s where microwaves can give you a helping hand.

Microwaves are tremendous tools for quickly and efficiently heating, defrosting, melting, or reheating food for convenient food prep for your family.

GE is a well-respected brand that produces quality kitchen appliances. Today we’re going to look at their range of microwave ovens and talk about our favorites. We base our opinions on affordability, appearance, build quality, durability, and performance.

Let’s get started.

1. GE Over-the-Range 1.7 Microwave (JVM6175SKSS)

Best overall over the range
Sale 6%
GE JVM6175SKSS Over-the-Range Microwave, 1.7, Stainless Steel
  • Weight & Time Defrost - Simply enter the weight of the food and the oven automatically sets the optimal defrosting time and power level or set your desired time for defrosting
  • Melt Feature - Worry-free melting of butter caramel chocolate and marshmallows
  • Recesses Turntable with On / Off - Controls turntable operation

Pros

  • Fast Cooking Time
  • Easy to Install
  • Sensor Control Cooking
  • Auto-Defrost
  • Melt & Popcorn Features
  • Stainless Steel Appearance

Cons

  • Relatively Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Loud
  • Overly Bright LCD, With No ‘Night Light’ Option 

Specifications

  • Type: Over-the-Range
  • Dimensions: 15 x 29.88 x 16.5 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 52lbs
  • Capacity: 1.7 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Silver
  • Wattage: 1000 Watts 

Design, Construction & Capacity

The GE Over-the-Range (JVM6175SKSS) microwave is designed with a modern yet simplistic kitchen in mind. Its stylish exterior is finished in stainless steel, which is hugely popular in contemporary kitchens.

It has a minimalistic control pad that is concise and neatly laid out, though the small text may be tricky to read for some people, and it’s not back-lit making it even trickier at night. 

The LCD is bright and well visible during the daytime, though it can be obnoxiously bright at night. While there is no option to dim the brightness, you can turn the display off entirely once you’ve set the microwave in motion.

This GE microwave has a great aesthetic, but it feels a little flimsy to the touch. You won’t get that solid ‘clunk’ when you close the door.

GE has made installation as straightforward as possible, so even the most skeptical DIYer will be able to fit the microwave with ease. If you previously own a similarly sized GE microwave, chances are the JVM6175SKSS fit the old fixtures. However, the unit is heavy, so it might be wise to get some help for the installation process.

While the internal 1.7 cubic feet capacity is cavernous, the turntable doesn’t match the interior’s vastness and is ineffective for larger dishes. Fortunately, you can switch off the turntable when the need arises.

Features

  • Sensor Control Cooking: Detects humidity released during cooking and automatically adjusts the power levels and time to ensure your food is cooked to perfection.
  • Weight & Time Defrost: Enter the weight of the food you want to defrost, and this GE microwave will automatically set the optimal power and time setting.
  • Auto-Settings: Choose from various settings that remove the guesswork from cooking. These settings include ‘Melt,’ ‘Popcorn,’ ‘Beverage,’ ‘Potato’ ‘Reheat,’ and the previously mentioned weight and time defrost.
  • Mute: Switch off the audible beeps with the mute switch.
  • Vent: Get rid of nasty smells, smoke, and steam with the ‘vent’ button.
  • Display On/Off: It’s possible to switch the LCD on and off, which is handy as the brightness can be overpowering, especially at night.
  • Turntable On/Off: You can decide whether the turntable rotates during use.
  • Add 30 Seconds: A simple yet convenient button that lets you add 30 seconds at a single push if your food is not quite finished. 

Performance

This powerful 1000 Watt GE Over-the-Range microwave is fast and efficient. It makes quick work of heating, re-heating, melting, and defrosting food. However, this appliance makes a significant amount of noise when in use.

All the features perform exactly as advertised, and consumers are delighted with a ‘popcorn’ setting that works properly, unlike most other brands.

While the large majority of consumers are delighted with their GE microwave, a small minority have reported unit failure after 1 to 2 years of use. While this is only a tiny fraction of appliances, it’s still something to keep in mind. 

Should you buy the GE Over-the-Range 1.7 Microwave (JVM6175SKSS)?

While the GE Over-the-Range (JVM6175SKSS) microwave is our favorite GE appliance, it’s also one of the most expensive. Though, for the relatively high price point, you get an extremely efficient and capable microwave in return.

This appliance looks great and has a ton of functional features that will make your life easier. However, it doesn’t feel as good as it looks. Consumers love how easy this microwave is to install. If you’re sticking to a brand you love and want an Over-the-Range style appliance; this GE model is the one for you.

2. GE Over-the-Range 1.6 Microwave (JNM3163DJBB)

BEST VALUE OVER THE RANGE
GE JNM3163DJBB 1.6 cu. ft. Over-the-Range Microwave, Black
  • Approx. Microwave Dimensions: 29 7/8" w x 16 7/16" h x 15 7/8" d.
  • Cabinet Width required 30"
  • Convenience cooking controls - Operating made quick and easy

Pros

  • Cheaper Over-the-Range Option
  • Sleek Black Appearance
  • Weight & Time Auto-Defrost
  • One-Touch Pre-sets

Cons

  • Finicky buttons
  • Even Heavier
  • Same Bright LCD 

Specifications

  • Type: Over-the-Range
  • Dimensions: 15.88 x 29.88 x 16.44 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 56lbs
  • Capacity: 1.6 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Black
  • Wattage: 950 Watt 

Design, Construction & Capacity

Where the 1.7 model has a stylish stainless steel exterior, the GE Over-the-Range (JNM3163DJBB) microwave has a sleek, black aesthetic that’s cool and sophisticated. However, that’s where the differences end as these two models are incredibly similar looking in all other aspects.

Though this control pad is marginally easier to read thanks to the white font against a black background, the buttons can be challenging to push. This model has the same issues with a ridiculously bright LCD (it’s probably the same component).

Like the GE (JVM6175SKSS) model, this microwave has a cheap ‘feel.’ While it doesn’t negatively impact this appliance’s performance, it takes away somewhat from the overall quality.

Though the capacity is slightly smaller than GE’s larger model, it’s still pretty substantial and will be more than adequate for even large families. Even though this microwave has a smaller capacity than its big brother, it is, remarkably, 4lbs heavier.

Features

  • Weight & Time Defrost: The JNM3163DJBB model comes equipped with the same auto-defrost setting as its big brother.
  • Auto-Settings: This microwave comes equipped with what GE calls ‘Convenience Cooking Settings’. These one-touch pre-sets include ‘Popcorn,’ ‘Beverage,’ ‘Potato,’ ‘Re-heat,’ and ‘Cook time.’
  • Vent Fan: Remove smoke, steam, and smells with the two-speed vent fan.
  • Turntable On/Off: Switch the rotating table on/off when it suits your needs.
  • Add 30 Seconds: Add an additional 30 seconds of cook-time at the touch of a button.

Performance

Despite being less powerful (950 Watts) than the larger GE model, the difference in performance is negligible. This appliance still performs excellently and delivers quick and easy meals.

Though this model has fewer features, the ones it does have function well and are all super simple to use.

It would seem that GE has used a number of the same components in these two Over-the-Range models as unit failure occurs with similar regularity. Again, there isn’t a considerable amount of complaints, but just enough for us to sit up and take notice.

Should you buy the GE Over-the-Range 1.6 Microwave (JNM3163DJBB)?

The GE Over-the-Range 1.6 microwave is remarkably similar to its larger, more expensive sibling. While it has marginally fewer functions, is less powerful, and has an ever so slightly smaller capacity, this appliance comes at a fraction of the cost, making it a suitable option for people interested in an Over-the-Range style appliance but are on a tighter budget.

3. GE Countertop Microwave (JES2051DNBB)

BEST OVERALL COUNTERTOP
GE JES2051DNBB Countertop Microwave, 2.0
  • 2.0 cu. ft. capacity 1200 Watts (IEC-705 test procedure)

Pros

  • Enormous Capacity
  • Powerful 
  • Sensor Control Cooking
  • Control Lockout
  • Sound Volume Control
  • Delay Start

Cons

  • Loud
  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Small buttons
  • Fingerprint Magnet

Specifications

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 24 x 13.75 x 19.5 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 48lbs
  • Capacity: 2 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Black / Stainless Steel (JES2051SNSS) / White (JES2051DNWW)
  • Wattage: 1200 Watts 

Design, Construction & Capacity

GE’s JES2051DNBB countertop microwave is a paradoxical beautiful beast. Its outward appearance is elegant yet sinister; a sleek black exterior (also available in stainless steel and white, which are marginally more expensive) will look excellent in all kitchen styles. However, the surface is a fingerprint magnet.

One exception to the lovely aesthetic is the control panel, which is a little haphazard, with almost a complete lack of symmetry and a mish-mash of different button layouts. The buttons are a bit on the small side.

The Build quality is good, with the overall construction feeling solid and well made. The door gives a satisfying ‘clunk’ when you close it, though it does create a little noise.

With a 2 cu.ft internal capacity, this GE machine is absolutely enormous and will be capable of cooking the largest meals possible for most families. If you need a bigger microwave, you’ll have to buy an industrial appliance.

Features

  • Sensor Control Cooking: The built-in sensor detects humidity and adjusts time and power settings accordingly, so you’ll never overcook your food.
  • Weight & Time Defrost: This microwave automatically sets the optimal defrosting time based on your food’s weight.
  • Auto-Settings: One-touch settings for ease of use. These settings include ‘Vegetables’ ‘Popcorn,’ ‘Beverage,’ ‘Potato’ ‘Chicken/Fish’ and ‘Re-heat.’
  • Control Lockout: A safety feature which prevents accidental activation.
  • Beeper Volume Control: This simple feature allows you to choose the volume of your microwave’s notification beeps to make them less annoying.
  • Delay Start: Choose what time your GE countertop microwave starts cooking with this delay start option.
  • Add 30 Seconds: Quickly add time to the cooking duration with the touch of a button in increments of 30 seconds. 

Performance

This powerful 1200 Watt GE microwave can cook any massive meal you require with little to no fuss, while the features and settings ensure this beast doesn’t overcook your food. However, the immense power means this appliance operates at a high volume, which is unpopular among consumers.

There is a steep learning curve using this microwave, thanks to a poorly written manual. The instruction book is vague and ambiguous, and in some cases, omits feature information altogether.

Should you buy the GE Countertop Microwave (JES2051DNBB)?

Unless you absolutely must have an Over-the-Range style microwave, then the GE Countertop Microwave (JES2051DNBB) is an appliance worth looking at. 

It’s easily the largest capacity GE microwave in this article, and it’s the most powerful machine too. If you can live with a countertop appliance, you’ll save yourself a ton of money over the Over-the-Range model, which has twice the price point yet is smaller.

4. GE Countertop Microwave (JES1145DMBB)

BEST VALUE COUNTERTOP

Pros

  • Most Affordable GE Microwave
  • Compact & Lightweight
  • Quiet
  • Basic Operation
  • Control Lockout
  • Weight & Time Defrost

Cons

  • Bland-ish Appearance
  • Stiff Door Button 

Specifications

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 20.3 x 12 x 15.6 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 34lbs
  • Capacity: 1.1 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Black / Stainless Steel (JES1145SHSS) / White (JES1145DLWW)
  • Wattage: 950 Watts 

Design, Construction & Capacity

This GE microwave is not exactly ugly, but it comes across as a little bit bland and unappealing compared to its brothers and sisters. There’s nothing about this appliance that catches your eye. The stainless steel version is marginally more attractive than the black or white options, but that model comes with a higher price point.

The control panel is basic, though neatly laid out and easy to use. The buttons are clearly marked and don’t appear to have the stiffness that plagues other GE models.

In keeping with the overall design, the build quality is nothing to write home about, though there’s nothing eminently wrong with it either. However, the door button is very stiff and requires a good press for it to activate; this can cause your microwave to shift on your worktop.

This model is the smallest GE microwave to feature in this article in terms of capacity and is suitable for a mid-sized family or less. The compact footprint and capacity ensure this appliance is a lot lighter than other GE models.

Features

  • Convenience Cooking Controls’: The entire control panel has been designed for use with the single press of a button via a system named ‘Convenience Cooking Control’ by GE.
  • Weight & Time Defrost: Defrost frozen goods using either time or your food’s weight using this automated setting.
  • Pre-Programmed Settings: Choose between six different pre-sets for ease of use. ‘Popcorn’ ‘Potato’ ‘Beverage’ ‘Frozen Vegetable’ ‘Dinner Plate’ and ‘Pizza.’
  • Add 30 Seconds: This GE staple allows you to add 30 seconds to your cooking time with a one-touch button.

Performance

Despite having a smaller wattage than other GE appliances (950W), this microwave can still hold its own when reheating and defrosting. 

There are minimal complaints regarding the performance of the GE (JES1145DMBB) microwave as most consumers recognize it for what it is; an affordable appliance bereft of bells and whistles.

People who own this appliance are delighted with the overall performance as it heats consistently and evenly every time. 

Should you buy the GE Countertop Microwave (JES1145DMBB)?

The GE 1.1 cu.ft countertop microwave is the most affordable and basic model from the brand we’ve looked at today. This appliance has very few bells and whistles and no confusing features, which is perfect for those who just need a machine to heat or defrost their food.

This microwave isn’t without its drawbacks, but its compact nature, ease of use, and low price point ensure a place in the market for this appliance.

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