If you've ever burnt the roof of your mouth on too-hot pizza, or stunk up your kitchen with the smell of burnt popcorn, you'll appreciate a good microwave. The best machines use sophisticated sensors to determine how fully-cooked food is, and ensure that food doesn't get cooked unevenly.
There's a special caveat for cooking microwaveable popcorn: Read the instructions on the bag! It'll tell you to use your ears and count how often the pops happen instead of relying on your microwave's preset setting. Even Whirlpool's AccuPop feature isn't perfect, and it "listens" for the sound of popping kernels.
Hero image: Flickr user "Veggiefrog" (CC-BY-2.0)