The 1,000 watt Samsung MC12J8035CT gets good ratings in professional tests for performance, and praise from owners who appreciate the versatility it offers. The convection features add, grilling, roasting, baking and more -- all with the right level of crisping and browning -- to the repertoire of standard microwave tasks. At 1.2 cubic feet, it's a good fit for most lifestyles, with the exception of the tiniest spaces or biggest families.
Mixed reviews for convection feature. Quite a few reviewers say they regret not buying a combination convection oven/microwave sooner, because the Samsung MC12J8035CT is so convenient for such a wide variety of cooking tasks. They say that it performs particularly well when roasting cuts of meat, cooking them evenly, with a nice, browned crust. In expert tests the MC12J8035CT earns scores of Good for speed of heating and even heating; Excellent for defrosting. This Samsung microwave also features what they call a "Slim Fry" technology that is similar to oil-less fryers in that the manufacturer claims you can get the taste of fried foods without the fat. Owners say it's clever, but that, in reality, it doesn't work well and you get better results with the convection feature. However, some users agree with testers who say the convection feature takes a while to heat up and cooks more slowly than a conventional convection oven, so you need to add a few minutes to your recipe's cooking times.
Good array of options. The Samsung MC12J8035CT has several pre-programmed settings, including a popcorn key, reheat, defrost, and a slim fry button. It includes 10 power levels, and a 30 second add-on. The convection oven also has presents for grilling, roasting and baking. Users say that it's a decent selection of features and that most cooking needs are right at your fingertips.
A learning curve. All convection/microwave combinations are more difficult to use and have a steeper learning curve than traditional microwave-only ovens, but the user feedback and expert testing indicates that the Samsung MC12J8035CT is easier than most. While it's not as intuitive as a dedicated microwave, most say they master the learning curve very quickly.
Stainless steel styling. The Samsung MC12J8035CT has a rather unique door feature: unlike most microwaves that open to the side, the MC12J8035CT opens from the top. Most love this design, saying it looks modern and sleek, and is easier to use since the door doesn't swing closed while they're using it. However, other don't like that the door does not lie flat due to the handle on the exterior of the door; something that can be avoided if this oven is used as a built-in, which it can be with the optional Samsung MA-TK3080CT Trim Kit (Est. $200). Most users agree that this Samsung oven is very attractive. We did see some complaints about durability, most notably with the convection feature which some owners say failed quite early into their ownership of this microwave -- after just a few uses. And dealing with Samsung's customer service is reported as ranging from confusing to harrowing. Not that this is unusual with appliance manufacturers, however, we see that same complaint about all of them.
Editors of ConsumerReports.org test and rate dozens of countertop and over-the-range microwave ovens, including the Samsung MC12J8035CT. Performance ratings include heating and defrosting evenness, speed of heating, noise, ease of use and usable capacity. They are also ranked against each other.
The Samsung MC12J8035CT gets an overall rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 in nearly 15 customer reviews. While that seems rather low, an examination of the reviews finds the complaints seem to center around the convection feature, which users say heats and cooks too slowly; several say it stopped working altogether after a fairly short period of time. The majority, though are pleased and say the Samsung MC12J8035CT is everything they wanted in a combination microwave/convection oven.
Satisfaction with the Samsung MC12J8035CT is higher here, with nearly 45 owners giving it an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars; 94 percent of reviewers would recommend this microwave to a friend. Most say it's well-made, attractive and performs very well.
In about a dozen reviews the Samsung MC12J8035CT earns an overall rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. Most say they love its versatility, and note that it's very easy to use. Some say this is their new favorite appliance and wish they'd taken the plunge sooner.