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Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jul 10, 2024 at 10:13 am

The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS is a lower-end countertop microwave. Unlike some other budget-friendly, medium-sized options, it has a steam sensor that allows the microwave to automatically adjust the cook time. It's also possible to mute the controls.

Our Verdict

9.4 Power

The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS is a very fast 1100-watt microwave. Some microwaves, like the Panasonic NN-SC67NS, can heat food faster, but not by much.

  • Heats food quickly.
  • Steam sensor and mute function.

Performance Usages

  • 9.4 Power
  1. Updated Jul 10, 2024: Review published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

This microwave is available in 'Black Stainless Steel' and 'Stainless Steel.' We tested the 'Black Stainless Steel' variant, and you can see the label for the unit we tested here.

If you come across another variant, let us know in the comments, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Microwaves

The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS is a budget-friendly countertop microwave. Its design is almost identical to the Toshiba EM925A5A-BS, but it's bigger than that model and comes equipped with a steam sensor, which can make microwaving a bit more automatic. This 1100-watt microwave heats food very quickly, but if you want maximum speed, you might prefer something with a bit more power, like the 1200-watt Panasonic NN-SN67HS, which is about the same size and has many of the same features.

If you're looking for other recommendations, check out the best microwaves and the best over-the-range microwaves.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Height 12.9" (32.8 cm)
Width 20.5" (52.0 cm)
Depth Without Handle
15.7" (40.0 cm)
Depth With Handle
17.0" (43.3 cm)
Power Cord Length 3.53 ft (1.08 m)
Cooking Chamber
Advertised Chamber Volume
1.2 cu. ft.
Turntable Diameter
12.4" (31.5 cm)
Chamber Height
9.3" (23.5 cm)
Chamber Width
13.1" (33.2 cm)
Chamber Depth
15.2" (38.6 cm)
Measured Chamber Volume
1.1 cu. ft. (0.03 m³)

It has a medium-sized cooking chamber, so it's good for heating food on dinner plates or bigger bowls but won't fit something like a full-sized lasagna. It's quite easy to see into the cooking chamber when the door is closed.

Controls And Functions
Door Release
Cooking Sensor
Popcorn Button
Defrost Button
Add Time Button
Kitchen Timer
Mute Sounds Button
Lock Controls Button

This microwave has several sensor heating programs, where the microwave detects steam to automatically calculate the cook time. You can mute the controls and use its 'Eco Mode' to switch off the display when the microwave is in standby mode. There's a dedicated 'Favorite' button, which you can program yourself, and like most microwaves, it has a 'Popcorn' button, 2-stage cooking, and a defrost mode.

In The Box

  • Turntable
  • Turntable roller
  • Manual

Inverter Technology
Advertised Microwave Output Power
1,100 W
Tested Heating Rate At 100% Power
737 W

The manufacturer's website lists it as a 900-watt or 100-watt microwave. This appears to be a mistake, since in the manual and on the appliance label itself, its power is listed as 1100W.

Shallow Dish Heating Uniformity
Area Of Underheated Dinner Plate
Grayscale Range Dinner Plate
Area Of Underheated Turntable
Grayscale Range Turntable

You won't notice a difference in performance between microwaves when it comes to heating evenness. Evenness depends on what you're heating, how much of it, and the placement of your dish. You can read more about our investigation into microwave performance here.

Deep Dish Heating Uniformity
Min. Food Temperature (100% Power)
68 °F (20 °C)
Food Temperature Range (100% Power)
132 °F (74 °C)
Min. Food Temperature (50% Power)
68 °F (20 °C)
Food Temperature Range (50% Power)
106 °F (59 °C)

Like with shallow dishes, when heating food in deeper containers like bowls, evenness depends on your specific container, where you place it, and what kind of food you're heating. There isn't any significant difference between microwaves. You can read more about our investigation into microwave performance here.