Convection microwaves combine the quick heating of conventional microwaves with the baking capabilities of convection ovens. While both heat food relatively quickly, convection microwaves are faster and more versatile.
Traditional microwaves are great at warming up food quickly, and their small size and relatively low cost makes them a popular option. However, the food they heat doesn't have the crisp, browned look and taste of oven-baked foods. Convection microwaves heat food quickly but are better able to match oven cooking.
One of the advantages of traditional microwaves is their ability to cook food on a plastic or ceramic plate without heating it directly. Convection microwaves lack this ability since they circulate heated air. As a result, many foods designed to be cooked in a microwave cannot be cooked in a convection microwave unless the convection heating is disabled. Plastic, in particular, quickly melts when exposed to hot air.
Convection microwaves have dropped in price over the years, and, as of 2015, many are only slightly more expensive than their conventional counterparts. People with limited kitchen space, however, need to determine whether their area has enough room for a convection microwave. Convection microwaves typically take up a bit more space since they contain two heating systems.