- Retro design
- Small capacity
- No oven or grill
- Door doesn't stay open well
- 800W microwave
- 20 litre capacity
- 270mm glass turntable
What is the Swan Vintage SM22030?
The Swan Vintage SM22030 is a compact and straightforward microwave that stands out from the crowd thanks to an attractive retro design.
Features are quite basic but there’s a good array of automatic programs with cute on-screen icons to select the type of food, so it lacks the cheap feel of a generic supermarket microwave.
SEE ALSO: Best Vacuum Cleaners
Swan Vintage SM22030 – Design and Features
If the Swan was a car it would be a Nissan Figaro because of its dinky size, its retro styling and its attention to detail. Our review sample had a lovely mint green paint job but it’s also available in black, cream, bright red, powder blue, orange or bright lime green.
But it’s not all retro. For example, there’s a bright digital display. This comes into its own when selecting one of the 12 built-in auto cooking modes. This brings up a dozen cute little icons. So it’s retro in a thoroughly modern way, a Jetsons microwave if you will.
There are five other cooking modes: defrost, microwave low, microwave high, high and speed cooking. It also has a 60 minute digital timer and a clock.
The capacity is only 20 litres and it uses a 27cm glass turntable rather than a flatbed design, so you won’t be able to fit large dishes in it.
Swan Vintage SM22030 – What’s it like to use?
The Swan’s design brings a smile to your face and the controls are simple and cute. The knobs – for choosing cooking mode and weight or time – are straightforward, if rather cheap and clunky feeling. The icons on the display though bring a futuristic look: lord knows what a fifties housewife would have made of it.
We started testing by defrosting a pitta bread by weight. The minimum weight was 100g, which is a bit too high, so we stopped the microwave early and found that it had defrosted fine in less than a minute, but the underside was soggy despite having turned it over half-way through defrosting.
The start and pause/cancel buttons felt like they should have been swapped around. Having the start button on the bottom-right and the cancel button slightly to the left is much more common. So we kept hitting the wrong one, cancelling a program instead of starting it. Annoying but you’d soon get used to the layout.
We went on to cook a large (600g) jacket potato, using the relevant auto cook mode. This is where the 12 icons come up on the display and you have to squint a but to spot the difference between a steak and a pizza because the pictures are so tiny.
Jacket potato selected, it gave a choice of just two sizes: 450 or 650g, nothing in between. It said it would take just over 10 minutes to cook.
Unsurprisingly for an 800W microwave and a large potato, this wasn’t long enough. We let it rest for a bit and then zapped it for a further 2 minutes at full power to finish the job. The results were a respectable microwave jacket potato: quick and edible but not a patch on the crispy jacket of spuds cooking in an oven or combi.
We also noticed that the door didn’t stay fully open but swung back on itself a bit, which was annoying. That all said, the Swan did offer a pleasant alternative to the usual budget microwaves with their cheap looks and uninspiring features.
Should I buy the Swan Vintage SM22030?
Maybe. If you want a small, budget microwave but you don’t want something that screams “cheap” then this is a good alternative to a supermarket special. It looks cute and the controls are simple and pleasant to use. It’s not terribly powerful, but what do you expect for the price?
The retro-styled Swan Vintage SM22030 is a fun alternative to boring-looking budget microwaves.