Sharp's first Alexa-ready microwave ovens are optimized for popcorn

They're only optimized for one brand's popcorn bags, though.


If you’d like an Alexa-savvy microwave but would like something more advanced than the AmazonBasics model, you’re in luck — especially if you tend to snack during movies. Sharp has unveiled its first Alexa-capable countertop microwaves, the mid-size 1.1 cubic foot SMC1139FS and the larger, more family-oriented 1.4 cubic foot SMC1449FS. Both ovens will take the expected voice commands from Alexa devices for tasks like defrosting meat, but they’re also uniquely tuned for Orville Redenbacher popcorn. Ask Amazon’s helper to “microwave classic popcorn” and a standard bag should be ready for your next at-home movie.

The range of commands varies based on the model. While the base model has roughly 30 voice commands and 10 more voice-only presets, the larger SMC1449FS has over 70 commands and about 50 voice-only presets for food ranging from broccoli to chicken wings. You shouldn’t be left scrambling if you don’t have microwave cooking instructions, at least with the bigger version.

You can also expect more on-device controls than with AmazonBasics, including presets for beverages and potatoes as well as an extra-30-seconds button for those meals that aren’t quite hot enough.

Both ovens are available now, starting at $150 for the 1.1cu. ft. microwave and $170 for the 1.4cu. ft. version. Your choice is more likely to come down to free space than price. That makes them considerably more expensive than the Amazon model, but they could be worthwhile if you’re either a popcorn aficionado (and don’t mind sticking to one brand) or just want more flexibility.

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