The GE Smart Countertop Microwave with Scan-to-Cook Technology is a device that will leave you with many questions. Besides the ones questioning how and why people now need an app to operate their microwave, many will arise regarding how you actually use it. With a related app, you can scan the barcode on prepackaged meals and, if the product is in the app’s database, it will send the microwave all the settings needed for its preparation and ready to just put the food inside it and press start. All of this sounds interesting and a nice addition to a modern day kitchen. However, this assumes that the device actually recognizes the barcode, which is sadly not the case most of the time.

The feature won’t work if the recipe in hand uses a different wattage than the one offered in this microwave. Despite the fact that it reportedly has the recipes to 3,000 meals, it lacks many from big and basic brands. It is quite cool that the microwave can operate through Alexa and Amazon Echo, but the device doesn’t really recover from its lack of pragmatism and available options. The device still feels like it is in trial, a first version that will further be improved in the future.

At the very least, it’s on the cheaper end on “Smart” microwaves, only costing 140$. However, this is the same price that any well-functional microwaves have and the features do not enhance the cooking experience, so buying it could ultimately feel like something useless. Its design doesn’t help it either, as it looks like just any other microwave. The “microwave of the future” is actually quite boring aesthetically. Overall, customers are rightly unimpressed with this version of the device, but my advise would be to still be on the lookout for improvements and updates in the future, as it seems that GE isn’t done with this chain of products.