This is the world's smallest microwave oven, the iWavecube.
A couple of weeks ago, the company behind the iWavecube, iCubed International, contacted me to see if I'd be interested in test driving one of their small microwave ovens. I turn down many more of these offers than I accept but there was something about the description of this appliance I found intriguing. I was skeptical of course but I agreed to have them send me one of their models.
Right now there's a black iWavecube sitting on my kitchen counter and I've been putting it through its paces for a week now. As soon as it arrived I was struck by how small it is. It takes up .73 cubic feet of space, that's less than a square foot for the decimal impaired. Its actual dimensions are 10.5"W x 10"D x 12"H and I can see it fitting in all kinds of tight spaces.
The interior dimensions (8"W x 8"D x 6"H) are just large enough to accommodate a coffee cup, a frozen entree or a bag of popcorn. Considering that I use my microwave as a butter melter exclusively, it makes sense to minimize the space I devote to having a microwave oven. I think that holds true for a lot of people. Despite its small size, it's still a 600 watt appliance and that's plenty of power for its intended uses.
Another thing I like about it is that its controls and display are on the top of the unit. If I don't feel like setting the clock, its unset clock doesn't taunt me every time I walk into my kitchen.
The iWavecube comes in three colors right now, black, silver and white. There are more colors in the pipeline but for now there are three.
But back to its intended uses for a moment, iCubed International has been compiling user feedback on their website and they're uncovering all sort of neat uses for this microwave. Aside from the expected uses like heating cups of soup or boiling water for tea, iWavecube customers are using their appliances to do things like heating shaving soap or hair conditioner in a bathroom. Optometrists and dentists are using them to heat up moldable plastics. Physical therapists use them to heat up gel packs. These microwaves only weigh 12 pounds and come with a carrying handle so people are traveling with them or taking them camping.
I'm sure none of those uses were expected when the product was being developed but the iWavecube's definitely come a long way from the dorm rooms they were intended for.
The iWavecube retails for $99 and is available at Office Depots everywhere and you can buy them from iCubed International directly through their website.
Make no mistake, this is not an appliance you'll be cooking whole meals in. But honestly, how many people use a microwave that way? If you're looking for a compact way to heat up small things, the iWavecube may be a solution.