Best Microwave Oven - Toshiba EM131A5C vs Panasonic SN686S

Updated 13 Jul 2021
By Stephanie
Microwave Category
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If you are looking for more recommendations for Amazon’s Choice smart sensor microwave, this information is for you. Toshiba EM131A5C and Panasonic SN686S are the game-changer for your replacement. Not only can they heat a big size of frozen food, but also style up your apartment kitchen or dormitory, along with a toaster

You’re going to love the smart sensor. Just put the food inside, then it will measure the exact temperature and time with the humidity of the food. Covered up by its simplicity, you don’t need to add the time and heat manually, yet you can still do so. The safety feature is also available within these smart microwaves of all kinds.


What both Toshiba EM131A5C and Panasonic SN686S have

#1 Smart sensor microwave

When the microwave has a smart sensor, it usually eliminates some of the guesswork from heating your favorite food that has been in the fridge for a night. The sensor absorbs the steam from the food you put in. Toshiba EM131A5C and Panasonic SN686S come with that smart one of the kind. You can press the sensor heat buttons on the control panel, and it works like a magic-you because you don't have to add the time and temperature.

#2 1.2 cubic feet capacity

Toshiba EM131A5C and Panasonic SN686S are large for a countertop microwave. They have a 1.2 cubic feet capacity, with the same stainless steel exterior which makes them sturdy. With this spacious space, you can defrost at a size of a whole chicken at a time. You can also pop a family-size popcorn for your movie night time. So, this is still the ideal size for your apartment-size countertop, though you can remodel the space to place this type of microwave.

Similarities - Microwave Oven - Toshiba EM131A5C vs Panasonic SN686S

#3 Child safety lock

This feature is for the more safety performance of the smart sensor microwave. As a result, you don’t need to worry if the kids are playing around the microwave. Toshiba EM131A5C and Panasonic SN686S have their own secret code to activate the child safety lock. Thus, it’s almost possible for them to open up the door. You will see the notice “Lock” on EM131A5C and “Child” on SN686S’ control panel.

#4 Sensor Reheat button

Both Toshiba EM131A5C and Panasonic SN686S have the Sensor Reheat button on the control panel. This button is to reheat the leftovers you have overnight like mac and cheese, chili, and beef stew. There are foods that are not recommended to heat with this feature, such as pieces of bread, uncooked meals, liquids, and frozen foods. So, you can re-cook canned food only if you replace the can with a microwave-safe plate. For the others that you put on casseroles and plates, you should add a bit of liquid like water or gravy. 


What makes Toshiba EM131A5C and Panasonic SN686S different from each other

Differences - Microwave Oven - Toshiba EM131A5C vs Panasonic SN686S

#1 Wattage: between 1100W and 1200W

The only difference between the two smart sensor microwaves is from the cooking power level. The one that has 1100W is Toshiba EM131A5C. The reason behind its lower power is because you can use the power saving mode with one of the control buttons. It works when you don’t use the device and it is still plugged in, it reduces timely consumption. So, it is understandable why Panasonic SN686S has 1200W power. It has inverter technology that needs bigger wattage. The inverter itself helps the evenly heating activity while it is working.



Toshiba EM131A5C

Toshiba EM131A5C is Amazon’s Choice number 1 best seller countertop microwave oven. If you count on the eco-friendly features of any kitchen appliances, this is one of them. With its smart sensor, you don’t have to adjust the time and power manually because it will measure accurately from the humidity of the food. Anyone can operate the smart settings, as this is also easy to clean. Farewell to guesswork while using a microwave. Perfect time, perfect temperature, excellent result.

The control panel is the reason behind the simplicity of a smart sensor microwave. There are 6 pre-programmed sensor menus for Sensor Reheat, Frozen Pizza, Frozen Entree, Potato, Rice, and Veggie, both frozen and fresh ones. There are more auto menus such as Popcorn, Custom Cook, and Soften/Melt. That’s right, you can melt chocolate, cheese, marshmallow, and butter with the button, easy isn’t it? 

Another possibility you can have with this microwave is that you can defrost 1lb items, as well as the custom defrost button for any weight and manual timer. Number pads and for number 8 is special for muting the beeping sounds. You just have to press for 3 seconds. Then, there are more for Power Level, Cook Time, Start, and Stop/Cancel which can also switch to child safety lock by pressing the pad for 3 seconds until there’s a long beep and for the energy saver mode it’s less than 3 seconds to press the Stop/Cancel button.

As it has been mentioned about the ease to clean the microwave, here are at least things that you can do to clean both the exterior and interior. The exterior is made of stainless steel. That kind of material is well known to make your cleaning activity easier and most importantly it doesn't leave an oily stain and foodprints. You can use a sponge to do the job. As for the interior, the glass turntable is removable and surprisingly it is also dishwasher friendly. Finally, you can continue to brush off the residue with the same sponge or wet cloth too.

The power capacity is 1100W and the diameter of the turntable is 12.4 inches. It is powerful enough to defrost a whole chicken for dinner. How can you resist such a spacious with a power-saving mode microwave?

Produk 2 - Microwave Oven - Toshiba EM131A5C vs Panasonic SN686S


  • Quick-cooking experience from the convenient controlling buttons.
  • The quiet mode by pressing number 8 for 3 seconds, no more beeping sound.
  • Easy to use and children-friendly smart sensor microwave.


  • Albeit you can mute the beeping sound, the machine is somewhat noisy.
  • The exterior is quite bulky since the item's weight is 34.6 pounds.


Panasonic SN686S

Another 1.2 cubic foot capacity of a modern technology microwave is Panasonic SN686S. This has a power called Inverter Technology of its kind, making the food heat faster, thus hotter and possible to defrost the leftovers and even just reheat a cup of coffee in just 30 seconds. For a countertop microwave, this should already fulfill your needs of a replacement or even your first purchase of a microwave.

The Inverter Technology affects the other buttons to function themself. For instance, the Keep Warm button will keep the remaining heat up to 30 minutes. This is such an upgrade for a smart sensor microwave of its kind. Other pads you will use are Popcorn, Sensor Reheat, Sensor Cook, Inverter Turbo Defrost Pad, Power Level, Keep Warm, Quick 30, Number Pad, More and Less Pad, Cook Timer Pad, Clock Set Pad, Stop/Reset, and Start Pad which concludes the wholesomeness from the foods you heat.

Obviously, each button is versatile, so faster when heating. For example, the Power Level itself can set the power you want to use in 10 levels. Don’t worry, you can download the user guide book but you also will get one in the box. There is also the child safety feature. To activate it, you can press Start 3 times. Then, you will see the Child sign on the display. If you want to turn it off, just press Stop/Reset again for 3 times within 10 seconds.

With the high-tech options, this is also easy to clean and place. You can hand wash or put the microwave turntable in the dishwasher to kill the bacterias, as it is also removable along with the roller ring. On the outside, you can clean it with a damp cloth, but remember to avoid any kind of liquid near any openings like a ventilator. This is the one that you can put on the countertop or even the wall with the trim kits. 

Produk 1 - Microwave Oven - Toshiba EM131A5C vs Panasonic SN686S


  • The inverter technology makes such an evenly heating process in a short time.
  • Perfect size and weight for a small kitchen countertop, as you can order the trim kit.
  • The auto sensor gives your heating experience at ease.


  • The cooking programs are best for tech-savvy people, not elders and other senior citizens.
  • High wattage, thus you should check out your electricity bill.


Our Pick

Summary - Microwave Oven - Toshiba EM131A5C vs Panasonic SN686S

Who doesn’t dream of having 1 smart sensor microwave at the apartment or break room? Besides, it is easier to maintain, which both outside and inside are easy to clean. No more fingerprints on the control panel and the quality of food are even safer because the turntable is removable to hand wash or dishwasher. Here we conclude our pick for your recommendation between these two stylish microwave ovens to Toshiba EM131A5C. 

From all points above, the specifications along with its durability quality this microwave oven from Toshiba is more reliable to purchase. The sensor for easy cooking is really helpful for the best adjustment in time and temperature to get a perfect flavor outcome. Talking about the control panel, this is also the one that is new user-friendly because all options are obvious to which the function is and somewhat all-in-ones, such as for child lock protection and mute the beep sound. Toshiba EM131A5C can be such a good replacement for your over-a-decade microwave.


FAQ Toshiba EM131A5C

What will happen if I accidentally open the door while it is working?

The microwave can’t work when the door is still opened. If you accidentally open the door while it is spinning, it will stop itself and you will need to reset the timer and all.

How to close the microwave door without any noise?

Closing the microwave door is like closing any door which produces a slam if you close it too hard. To minimize it, you can use both hands, one to hold the door and the other to gently close it.

Can I put the microwave over the stove/oven?

This is a more countertop microwave. You can put this over the stove/oven at a minimum of 7.5 cm or 3.0 inches. For more safety, you should make a shelf for the microwave. 


FAQ Panasonic SN686S

Is there any light inside the microwave?

It has a light on the interior. It will turn on when you open the door and while it is working. Thus, you can see the progress from the window.

How to clean the microwave?

The turntable is removable. You can clean it with hand wash. Then, for the rest of the interior and exterior, you can use a damp cloth to brush off the dirt.

How many beeps will it sound like?

There are 5 beeps if you have finished heating. And when you press the buttons, there is one beep each but not noisy. 


6 Important Microwave Oven Things to Know

Good To Know - Microwave Oven - Toshiba EM131A5C vs Panasonic SN686S

When it comes to kitchen appliances, you don’t want to miss the key features, do you? It goes the same as buying a microwave. There are a lot of kinds of a microwave itself, from the design, placement, and specifications which each year the manufacturer comes with new technology for a microwave alone. Why should it be if it’s not for a more convenient heating experience?


It is proven that the higher the power the faster it will be. Also, with high wattage, it usually heats evenly. But, for some microwaves with an eco-friendly feature, you should check out the whole functioning level.


Depending on where you live, you have to make a match with the size of your countertop or any place you will most likely place the microwave. The best way to come up with the size issue is to measure up before purchasing. In some cases, you might as well pay a more fee to make space for the microwave.


You can judge the capacity from the diameter of the turntable. Indeed, you will heat the meals you want on there, won’t you? Especially when it has the defrost control panel, it is supposedly large enough to heat any kind of food, such as a whole chicken.

Preset program

Alongside the spacious internal capacity, you won’t be able to work the heating task without the preset program. These are the ones that will make no more guesswork while popping the popcorn or melt the chocolate for making brownies. 

Sensor cooking

This is kind of the “auto-pilot” mode for a microwave. This works magically - there is a sensor within the microwave that will absorb the humidity of the food you insert. From there, you don’t need to manually add the timer and power level.

Cooking and defrost

The microwave works differently from an oven. It spreads kind of like a wave that has heat. As a result, this should be easier to defrost frozen foods and also cook a simple meal like mac and cheese.


Bottom Line

Whichever you find fulfills your needs, a single purchase of a microwave is always worth the money. The satisfaction sits on the features which make your life easier, as for the smart sensor one you always wish for.



How to choose the best microwave features

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