The Samsung SMH1713W is one of the most reliable microwave ovens covered in our sources. We looked at more than 200 user reviews and saw only a handful that described breakdowns or mechanical problems. This microwave also earns high marks in professional tests for its heating and defrosting performance and noise level. However, like most microhoods, it's fairly unimpressive for ventilation. Also, some owners find the controls awkward to use.
Fast and quiet. Professional testers give the Samsung SMH1713W good but not outstanding scores for its heating and defrosting performance. It does, however, earn top marks for its quietness from professionals and users alike; in reviews at BestBuy.com, the word "quiet" comes up over and over again. Users also agree that the microwave gets food hot in a jiffy. As for its performance as a range hood, professional tests found the airflow no better than mediocre, but owners are generally impressed with it. One owner at BestBuy.com goes so far as to declare the exhaust fan "the best I've ever seen on a microwave."
Covers all the basics. The 1,000-watt Samsung SMH1713W includes all the features you'd expect on a mid-range microwave. It has 10 power levels, automated cooking sensors and programmable two-stage cooking. There are also special cycles for auto cooking, auto defrosting, and softening and melting. Other features include a timer, child lock and toggles to turn off the sound or the turntable. Although this microwave has a capacity of 1.7 cubic feet, professional tests show that less than half of that space is actually usable. However, most owners still find the microwave spacious enough for their needs.
Room for improvement. The Samsung SMH1713W's controls are fairly standard: a numeric keypad with additional shortcut buttons for foods such as popcorn, fresh veggies, pizza and baked potatoes. Other buttons, such as a snack button, bring up a menu of options, with detailed prompts to guide you through the list. Some users, however, find the number of dedicated buttons excessive. They say it would be more useful to have such versatile features as a quick-minute button, which would instantly start the microwave for one minute on full power. Users also complain that the interior light is too dim and the numbers on the display panel are hard to read.
Surprisingly reliable. The Samsung brand as a whole earns fairly poor ratings for reliability; a survey of users who owned over the range microwaves found that 15 out of every 100 had needed repairs -- the worst repair rate of the eight brands covered. This particular Samsung SMH1713W microwave, however, receives fewer durability complaints than any other microwave oven we reviewed for this report. Although there are a handful of breakdown reports among the reviews at BestBuy.com, these only make up a tiny fraction of the reviews. The microwave's warranty is also the best we've seen, covering parts and labor for one year and the magnetron for a full 10 years.
The ConsumerReports.org website has ratings for more than 80 over-the-range microwave ovens, including the Samsung SMH1713W. Microwaves are rated on how quickly they heat water, how evenly they reheat and defrost food, their noise level and their ease of use.
Review: Recommended Microwave Ovens, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
The Samsung SMH1713W receives more than 200 reviews at BestBuy.com, earning 4.2 stars out of 5 overall. Users say it works well both as a microwave and as a range hood, but they have a few gripes about its ease of use. Still, 88 percent of owners recommend it.
Review: Samsung - 1.7 Cu. Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave - Black, Contributors to BestBuy.com