VIDEO: Members of the Viewpoints Blogger Reviews Panel gathered online to compare reviews of the unique toaster oven
It’s difficult to have high expectations for a toaster oven. It’s a one-trick pony. You might use it to heat snacks or actually make toast. That’s about it. The Panasonic Flash Xpress toaster oven promises to cook “up to 40-percent faster than conventional toaster ovens.” It’s compact and cute. So what about this toaster oven is such a turnoff for the Viewpoints bloggers?
The Panasonic Flash Xpress Toaster Oven
The Panasonic NB-G110P Flash Xpress Toaster Oven is clearly a different toaster oven:
- It looks unusual, a bit futuristic and is unusually lightweight.
- It features pre-set buttons for toast, frozen waffles, rolls, frozen pizza, frozen hash browns and quick reheating.
- It cooks much faster – thanks to infrared technology.
It has also earned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on other websites. So what’s not to like – or even love – about it?
The test and the verdict
Turns out, there is plenty to dislike when it comes to this toaster oven. In fact, it gets a big thumbs down from most members of The Viewpoints Blogger Reviews Panel. Nine respected female bloggers, representing eight websites, make up our panel, formed in August, 2012, to test consumer products at the same time, then weigh in on the pros and cons. Based on the blogger reviews, Viewpoints rates the Panasonic Flash Xpress a weak 70/100, compared to the average rating for toaster ovens of 84/100. In other words, a big disappointment. So what gives?
How the test worked
Viewpoints spotted the Panasonic NB-G110P Flash Xpress Toaster Oven ($124.89) on Amazon earlier this year and ordered enough toasters to send directly to the homes of our bloggers. They arrived in early November and since then, the writers have been toasting, baking, reheating and taking notes. They arrived at their opinions independently. Their comments are unbiased and unvarnished.
Money-saver Sarah Mock of How I Pinch A Penny was excited to try it out, but writes that she had a bad feeling when she opened the box.
“I was concerned the toaster oven would fall apart if I dropped it. It seemed to be made out of lightweight materials. But then I chastised myself for judging the product before I used it. Never judge a book by its cover, right?”
The oven arrived when Kathy Zucker of Metro Moms Network, based in Hoboken, New Jersey, needed it – literally, one week after Hurricane Sandy. She gives a shout-out to the UPS driver for bringing the “BIG box” upstairs since the elevators in her apartment building were (are still) out of order. It performed capably on Thanksgiving, when the main oven was occupied, but Kathy doesn’t plan to buy one.
“The primary deal breaker? The infrared light that turns on and off every few seconds. Situated at counter height, the Flash Xpress was right at eye level for my preschooler, who displayed a previously unsuspected masochistic side by standing right in front of the display while his chicken nuggets were cooking. After one week of use and increasing parental concerns about childhood blindness, my family rebelled against the Flash Xpress and demanded the return of our old reliable toaster.”
Ditto from Sheila Hill, who writes Pieces of a Mom. She also worries about safety.
“Although the handle was heat-resistant, the window became very hot and gave off a lot of residual heat. The appliance itself was flimsy and reminded me of the children’s Easy-Bake oven due to it’s being so compact and lightweight.”
The toaster oven weighs 7.5 pounds and measures 10 1/4″ (H) x 13″ (D) x 12″ (D). Marci Rich blogs at The Midlife Second Wife just honestly doesn’t see the point of the product.
“Although the compact design would be an asset to a small kitchen, I just don’t see the point of this product. If you want toast, use a toaster. If you want to prepare a frozen pizza, be aware you can’t go any larger than a nine-inch pie. Better to just use your oven.”
Freaky Perfect mom Amy Bradley-Hole was more generous. Basically saying, it is what it is.
“Was it perfect? No. But as far as toaster ovens go, it’s pretty darn good…As with any toaster oven, it gets hot on the top. The rack automatically moves forward when you open the door, so you don’t have to reach in to grab for food.”
The mother of teens, blogger Lian Dolan of the Chaos Chronicles is also impressed with the features of the oven and finds the infrared light “mesmerizing.”
If you are curious to see the oven in action, Sarah Mock included a video in her How I Pinch A Penny blog post that is loaded with pictures and information about her test.
VIDEO: To see the toaster oven in action, watch this video.
Bottom line? It does what it says it will do – cook food fast and (mostly) evenly. But the fact that it heats up so quickly is bit off-putting, even frightening. Randi Chapnik-Myers and Mara Shapiro write at momfaze.
Randi says, “We didn’t like the on-off button or the interior light. We liked the size and construction overall but the interior light kept flashing on and off, making the unit annoying to use.”
Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with toaster ovens, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.
You’ve heard of the consumer review? The Viewpoints Blogger Reviews Panel creates a “social review.” Viewpoints selected the review panel members based on their blogging experience, personalities, unique take on life’s challenges and their desire to impact the consumer reviews space. In this unique partnership, their opinions are shared with their own online audience as well as the audience on Viewpoints to amplify the information consumers are increasingly seeking about products new to market. Once the testing is complete, each blogger donates the product to a charity of her choice.