Russell Hobbs Inspire microwave oven review

We took the Russell Hobbs Inspire microwave oven home to put it to the test at meal times (and snack times). Here's how we got on...

Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave Oven
(Image credit: Russell Hobbs)
Real Homes Verdict

With minimal fuss and set up required, the Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave Oven is a top choice for heating up and cooking up food for the household. It looks neat and is very reasonable priced, too.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Loud 'ding' when programme has finished

  • +

    Clear instructions

  • +

    Mega easy to use

  • +

    Compact and neat design

  • +

    Fab price point

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Finger prints on door and side panel

  • -

    For less than two minute cooking spell, need to move dial past '2' then back again

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For a quick meal cooking option, have a read through our Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave Oven review.

We're a household which doesn't have a microwave so when the opportunity came up to test this example from Russell Hobbs I couldn't wait to put it to the test. We've cooked all sorts in it from jacket potatoes to soups, and even heated up our once-hot drinks so we can enjoy them warm. 

I've taken into account everything you would expect to be considering when looking to buy a microwave; the size, the functions, ease of use, how it looks and the price, so you can get a pretty good idea how it would fair in your home, too.

Keep scrolling to see what I thought about it or, then check out our best microwave guide for more top built-in, counter top and small microwave options.

Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave Oven specifications:

  • Capacity: 17L capacity
  • Power: 700 watts
  • No. power levels:  five
  • No. dials: two
  • Dimensions: H26.2 x W45.2 x D36cm
  • Available in: black or white

Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave Oven

(Image credit: Amazon)

Who will the Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave Oven suit?

It's ideal for busy households where reheating or defrosting is the key to successful meal times. The microwave is also a good option for the style conscious, or those who like to match their small appliances – this one is the latest addition to the Inspire range which already includes a kettle and toasters. 

What's the Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave Oven like to use?

It's really very easy to use. Once you've unpacked the microwave from it's cardboard box and polystyrene filling (which there isn't much of, by the way) it's just a case of rinsing and securing the glass turntable and plugging in the appliance. One thing which struck me as a little odd, though, is that in the instructions it lists out how to unpack it. Good to get confirmation you've done it correctly, I guess.

These instructions are super clear to follow but a couple of things which I want to point out BEFORE you first use it; do not remove the cardboard mica board on the right hand side of the cavity and, for use less than two minutes, you'll need to turn the dial past the two minute point and back again. These are what are advised in the instruction manual which really stood out for me.

After all the above, you're ready to microwave. There are five power settings to choose from - Low, Defrost, Medium Low, Medium, Medium High and High - which can all be selected by turning the designated dial. These should generally cover all your cooking needs. The settings we're tending to use the most in our household is the Defrost and High settings, which both do as one would expect. The other dial on the control panel is the Time dial. This goes right up to 30 minutes should you ever need it.

Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave Oven

Close up shot of the textured control panel and dials

(Image credit: Russell Hobbs)

Cleaning and maintaining the Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave Oven

There will come a point that you'll need to give the inside and the outside of this microwave a wipe. The top gathered a little dust, the door and handle attracted finger prints and the inside got a pretty splattered with meal reheats during testing. 

To clean the top and door I used some disinfectant kitchen spray and wiped it away with a paper towel. The same went for the inside of the microwave, although I did leave it to soak for a good 30 seconds to a minute to lift the more stubborn spills. If you wanted to, the glass turntable could be put in the dishwasher but for ease (and I speed) I just wiped it down with an squib of spray.

The design

The Inspire microwave features a unique textured control panel and a sleek mirror-finish door with chrome accents. This is in keeping with the Inspire rage which already features a kettle, 2-slot toaster and 4-slot toaster.

It's kept in place with non-slip feet and, as with the other small appliances in the range, is available in white or black so you can style it with your kitchen decor. I can vouch for the black – very smart!

Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave Oven

A closer look with the door open and inside the microwave

(Image credit: Russell Hobbs)

What did we think?

Overall, we (my husband and I) have been very impressed with this microwave. It's compact so fitted perfectly under our top kitchen cabinets with still some space left to play with at the front. And it's easy to use and easy to clean, which is good because you will need to clean this appliance regularly. Not too sure what else one would expect from a microwave. It just missed out on half a star because of those finger marks appearing on the front but all-in-all, it's a good price point for what it is.

More on cooking:

  • Best ovens: our top 11 range cookers and built-in ovens for all budgets
  • Best hobs: our top 11 gas, ceramic and induction hobs
Jennifer Oksien
Large Appliances Editor

Jennifer (Jen) is our Large Appliances Editor on the Homes eCommerce team.  Jen is constantly on the look out for the latest tech which claims to revolutionise how we wash our clothes, rinse the dishes, keep our food chilled and our floors dust-free. When she's not doing this she can be found at home in her Victorian terrace which she has lovingly (patiently) been renovating with her husband over the past few years. Jen also likes tea and homemade cake, very much.