The GE Profile SpaceMaker II PEM31 is on the large side for a compact microwave, with a 1-cubic-foot capacity and a 24-by-12-inch footprint. However, its 11-inch height helps when squeezing it into small spaces, including under cabinets (with the help of optional mounting hardware). Like most compact models, the PEM31 has only 800 watts of cooking power, which makes for longer cooking times. However, it does have useful features such as sensors and express-cook controls.
Although professionals and users say this microwave heats evenly, it gets low marks for its defrosting performance. Also, some users find its display confusing to use. On the plus side, we saw fewer complaints about durability for this microwave than we did for most models, and users note that it is easy to clean. The PEM31 comes in four finishes: black, white, bisque or stainless steel. Its warranty covers parts and labor for one year and the magnetron tube (the part that generates microwave radiation) for five years. If you are looking for a larger countertop model, consider the 2.2-cubic-foot GE Profile JES2251SJ (*Est. $275) .
The GE Profile SpaceMaker II PEM31 is one of four models that earn a grade of B-plus in tests conducted by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. It is also included in current reviews of microwaves at ConsumerReports.org, which are based on thorough and detailed testing, and it is rated a Best Buy at ConsumerGuide.com. We found about 190 reviews for this model at the retail site ABT.com, and AJMadison.com has an additional 40 or so.
Our Sources: GE Microwave Reviews
1. Good Housekeeping
Experts at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute award the GE Profile SpaceMaker II PEM31 a grade of B-plus in their tests. Reviewers say this microwave, though pricey, is "loaded with features" that make it very easy to use and program.
Review: GE Profile Spacemaker II 1.0 cu. ft. Microwave Oven PEM31SMSS, Editors of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute
ConsumerReports.org currently has ratings for more than 55 countertop microwaves, including the GE Profile SpaceMaker II PEM31. Testing procedures are very thorough, with results clearly outlined in a ratings chart. Each microwave is rated on noise, ease of use, heating evenness and defrosting performance.
Review: Recommended Microwave Ovens, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
The GE Profile SpaceMaker II PEM31 earns an overall rating of 4.5 stars from about 190 users at this retail site. Reviewers praise its attractive design and say that it heats evenly and is easy to clean. Most users find the display simple and straightforward, but a few say it is confusing.
Review: GE Profile Spacemaker II Black Microwave Oven - PEM31DMBB, Contributors to ABT.com
A reviewer praises the GE Profile SpaceMaker II PEM31 for its "ease of use and exceptional performance," saying its many features and space-saving design make it well worth its high price tag.
Review: General Electric Profile Spacemaker II PEM31SMSS, Editors of ConsumerGuide.com, Aug. 21, 2008
The GE Profile SpaceMaker II PEM31 receives about 40 reviews at this retail site, which are generally positive. Users love this microwave's space-saving design and attractive looks, though there are a few complaints about flimsy construction.
Review: GE Profile Spacemaker II PEM31, Contributors to AJMadison.com