Zojirushi NS-LAC05 vs. NS-VGC05

Being in the 10 best rice cookers on Amazon, Zojirushi NS-LAC05 and NS-VGC05 rice cookers look so drastically different from the outside, yet they have so much in common on the inside. It’s always worth the time to take a microscopic look at what makes each unique so you can make a smart choice on which one to buy. Below is a side-by-side table with the highlighted features and product specifics:

Model #Zojirushi NS-LAC05Zojirushi NS-VGC05
zojirushi-ns-lac05-3-cup-rice-cooker

zojirushi-ns-lac05-3-cup-rice-cookers

zojirushi-ns-vgc05-3-cup-rice-cooker

zojirushi-ns-vgc05-3-cup-rice-cooker

Capacity3 cups3 cups
Heatingdirect heating/fuzzy logicdirect heating/fuzzy logic
Functionrice cookerrice cooker
Timer24 hours in military time24 hours in military time
Menu Settingwhite rice, sushi rice, brown rice, porridge and quick cookingwhite rice, rinse-free rice, porridge and quick cooking
Colorstainless, stainless blackbeige
Dimensions9-1/8 x 11-7/8 x 7-1/28-3/4 x 10-7/8 x 7-7/8
Accessories1 measuring cup, spatula and spatula holder2 measuring cups and spatula, no spatula holder
Power Consumption450watts/cooking hour & 28 watts per warming hour420 watts/cooking hour and 27 watts/warming hour
Customer Rating4.7 out of 5 with 370 reviews4.6 out of 5 with 48 reviews
Read ReviewZojirushi NS-LAC05 ReviewZojirushi NS-VGC Review
PriceCheck Best PriceCheck Best Price

Differences

Design, Style and Color

The biggest difference is the exterior. The NS-LAC05 has two stainless finishes (stainless steel and stainless black) that gives it a modern and futuristic feel. It will complement a kitchen full of stainless steel appliances. On the other hand, the NS-VGC05 has a safe and somewhat predictable beige color.

The NS-LAC05 is measured as 9 1/8 x 11-7/8 x 7-1/2 inches in width, depth and height while the NS-VGC05 as 8-3/4 x 10-7/8 x 7-7/8. So the LAC05 is slightly larger in both width and depth than the NS-VGC05, but shorter in height. Nothing makes a huge difference in taking up the counter space.

Another distinction between the two rice cookers is in the display control panel. The LAC05 has an edge with a colored display vs. the VGC05 as it’s easier to see the menu options with color.

Menu Settings

Both rice cookers have 5 menu options each although the five choices are different. The NS-LAC05 has menu selections for white rice, quick cooking, sushi rice, porridge and brown rice whereas the NS-VGC05 has white rice, quick cooking, porridge, cake and rinse-free rice.

Unless you are really interested in the caking baking menu, the NS-LAC05 has more popular menu settings for folks in the U.S. I’d venture to guess it might be the same for Asian people as well.

Other Features

Another minor difference is that the NS-LAC05 has a retractable power cord vs. a detachable one for the NS-VGC05. Personally I might like the detachable one better as retractable power cord tends to be problematic after a while.

Accessories

NS-VGC05 has two measuring cups (one for regular rice and the other for rinse-free rice) and a spatula while NS-LAC05 has a spatula, a spatula holder to be clipped on the side of the rice cooker and a measuring cup.

Power Consumption

The power usage is marginally different that I almost would see them as the same: 450 watts for the NS-LAC05 vs. the 420 watts for the NS-VGC05.

Customer Rating

Zojirushi NS-LAC05 received 370 customer reviews with 4.7 out of 5.0 ratings comparing to 48 reviews of 4.6 rating. Clearly, the LAC05 has an upper hand on the overall customer reviews and ratings. The overall feedback for both rice cookers can be summarized as:

  • The rice cooker cooks rice perfectly.
  • They’d highly recommend the rice cooker to others.
  • It’s very easy to use.

Price

The price difference between the two is quite significant in my opinion, about $20 more for the LAC05 vs. the VGC05.

Similarities

  • Both rice cookers have fuzzy logic and MICOM (computerized chip) heating element where the smart logic dictates the cooking temperature and cooking time based on the types of rice and the quantity of rice.
  • Both have non-stick inner pots with spherical heating systems to ensure even heat distribution and perfectly cooked rice.
  • Both are 3 cups of dry rice in capacity, which are perfect for singles and small families. Cooked rice yields double of the dry rice. So you’d get about 6 cups of cooked rice (white rice only) as brown and other types of rice may produce less.
  • Both have a one-year factory limited warranty.
  • Both have very stellar ratings.

Summary

Which one should you buy? Although I can’t make a decision on your behalf, what I can do is to guide you to the appropriate path. For example, if you have stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, it might be appropriate to choose the LAC05 to match the color.

Conversely, if baking cakes in a rice cooker is a novelty idea you’d like to experiment, the NS-VGC05 would be a good option.

The next question is what the extra $20 would buy. Besides the color options in LAC05, it offers a colored LCD that’s easier to see when selecting a menu option. What’s more significant in my mind is the designated menu options for brown and sushi rice. Since the trend is towards eating more brown rice, and it’s often a challenge to cook brown rice for most folks. I’d spend the $20 now to save me a lot of grief down the road.

The power of decision is in your hand. The good news is that now you are armed with all the facts. It shouldn’t be that agonizing and time-consuming to make a wise choice.

 

  1. David says:

    Having used both for years, both in college and at my parents’, I would recommend spending the extra twenty for the convenience of the retractable cord (which had worked well throughout the years), and the spatula holder, which allows you not to have to worry about laying the serving utensil on the countertop or getting an extra dish just for that. If you eat rice regularly this is well worth it.

    • Rice Queen says:

      David,

      Appreciate your stopping by and sharing your personal experience with the finer details that would make a difference in our everyday lives.

      Lei

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