What the experts say
The Review Hut was impressed with the slimline design and its ability to pack in 27 litres of capacity despite the relatively small countertop footprint. It scored good results for the price, quality and user reviews making it one of the best microwaves tested.
Best Reviews highlight the cooking modes including the 1300W grill, convection oven and 29 automated cooking programmes. Practical features such as the child safety lock, family-size capacity and small size also feature prominently.
What users say
27 Feb 2021
Pros: Although it doesn't have a grill 'shelf' like my earlier, similar model, it grills cheese on toast just as well using the high rack on the turntable. Slim design takes up much less space but still has a large turntable. Also less height inside, than earlier type, presumably makes it more efficient. Has all useful cooking modes.
Cons: The stop and start buttons could be clearer as the markings don't show up well on a black oven. Miss the 'turbo bake' mode I'd got used to on earlier model as found that more useful than just convection. No 'lower' rack with this one but the lower height inside negates need presumably.
24 Nov 2020
Pros: It looks sleek and the flatbed design is useful.The chaos defrost is effective.
Cons: The programming process to cook food is unnecessarily complicated and has too many steps to it.The turntable used for convection cooking does not rotate meaning the food is overcooked on one side not evenly.
23 Nov 2020
04 Mar 2019
Pros: Have only used the microwave which cooks really well.
Cons: When opening the door the microwave is so light that it moves.Have put silicone place mats under the feet which has helped a lot.
26 Jan 2019
Pros: This was bought to replace a Panasonic dimension which was brilliant, lasted me many years. Yes it does do convection/combination cooking which was the reason I wanted it......
Cons: ......however, the convection oven is powered via the grill rather than a separate element as previously and you cannot have 2 level cooking. The food is cooked far too quickly and has tendency to over brown.It’s not until you actually purchase this item that you discover its limitations. You are advised to cover your cakes with foil to prevent over cooking ?!?This was in the small booklet mixed with packaging.Very disappointed at this discovery. This model does not replace the dimension I previously had and am left very disappointed that perhaps I wasted my money buying the wrong model.
Could be better made
I have had a Panasonic microwave for many many years and loved it but have finally had to replace it. This new model, despite being a combi, is much more lightweight and slides back on the work surface whenever you press the door open button. This means I have to constantly be repositioning it to maintain the required clearance at the back. Also, instead of 3 lugs for holding the turntable in place, there is now only one. This means that the turntable easily gets moved slightly out of position and then it rotates in a jerky fashion, rather than smoothly. I would have willingly paid more for a sturdy well-made product rather than less for one that has clearly had material taken out of it in order to drive down the manufacturers costs. These days you dread having to replace almost anything you've had for any length of time because the quality of what is on sale just keeps on going down.
Panasonic Microwave NN-CT56JB
Purchased this microwave as it had a great review by Which. My previous Panasonic lasted 16 years which also had a good review at the time. Hope this model will last just as long. It is smaller on the outside but just as big on the inside as my previous model. It does not seem to be as solid, somewhat tinier. On the down side I am annoyed that I will not be able to replace the oven lamp myself and will have to call out service technician, no doubt charging an exorbitant call out charge.
Glass turntable broke on 5th use!
Selected product due to Which? ratings, familiarity with Panasonic microwaves and good features and reviews. On the fifth use, within one day of collection. the glass turntable shattered/broke clean in half. We were using it according to the instructions. Rang John Lewis guarantee line. They don't take responsibility direct and pass you on to the Panasonic line. Panasonic people then sent an email asking for photo evidence and payment evidence. Would have been much simpler + better for customer to have dealt only and directly with John Lewis. Have not yet received a response from Panasonic. Don't know when my microwave will be functional again. Microwave itself seems nice. However, in this day and age Panasonic should be couriering a replacement turntable.
Stylish, user-friendly design, excellent features, good combination microwave
I bought this model 1) because it most clearly replicated the Panasonic microwave I'd had for 18 faithful years, which had just conducted its own funeral; and 2) because Panasonic have a good reputation for microwaves. Most reviewers seem to write a review very quickly – I find this useless because you can't assess a machine's durability until you've had it for at least six months. I've had this one month – a little too early to truly assess quality, so I give it three stars, or Good. The press button oven opening seems a bit flimsier than my previous Panasonic microwave. It feels and sounds like it might be made of plastic, so I shall watch that. It also seems slightly noisier than the previous Panasonic, but maybe the fan is more powerful? Otherwise, construction seems tough. The features are good, and the convection oven temperature range of 40-220 C is excellent. It is very easy to use, despite the range of features – I like this about Panasonic microwave/convection ovens, and find them easier than other brands. I like the 'slimline' design. It doesn't save a lot of space compared to others, but some depth is cut down and evened out at the back, which is helpful. I might not have bought black if there'd been a choice, but so long as the black top doesn't scratch, which looks possible. Personally, I love having a combination convection oven, grill and microwave, as you can parcook with the microwave and then use the oven to crisp up items like baking potatoes and pastry, for speed. Using a small convection oven is also cheaper than a big oven; it heats up faster, and is great for 1-2 people. On cost, I think the price was very reasonable for the features and the Panasonic quality, plus the two-year guarantee. Overall, a recommendation.