For years, there wasn’t much innovation in microwave technology – that is, until Amazon introduced its own AmazonBasics microwave, which allows you to use simple voice commands to get it to heat your food. The microwave alone costs about $60, an inexpensive option, but it must be paired with an Alexa-enabled device, such as an Echo or Echo Dot, which cost between $40 and $80, to use the voice-controlled features. A parental lock prevents the microwave from being operated manually or by voice. We love that it stays locked even when unplugged and plugged back in.

The manual microwave functions work just like any other microwave without Alexa, but the functions on the control panel are limited. There’s a timer, a power level button, a button to add 30 seconds, and three presets for popcorn, timed defrost, and weight defrost. Voice commands let you access other smart features, such as “defrost eight ounces of ground beef” or “warm up a cup of coffee,” and Amazon is constantly adding new presets.

Note that this is a compact microwave with a power rating of 700 watts, which is on the low end and means it takes longer to heat food. A 10-inch dinner plate fits inside, but nothing larger.

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