I just took this out of the box and set it up within the past hour. I couldn't wait to try the automatic smoothie setting because I make a smoothie every morning for my wife.
I put two cups of ice cubes (not crushed--yet) and some of my Starbuck's venti Pike Place coffee (that I purchased at the drive though on the way home from WalMart) into the "jar". I then added a bit of peppermint creamer.
Following the instructions, I hit the on/off button to turn it on, the red light flashed and I pressed the "Pre-programmed" Frozen Drink button. The motor reversed, pulsed, whirred, reversed again and went into action. Less than a minute later, I was pouring the frothy, frozen concoction into a glass. No lumps, no ice chunks, just smoothie. I tasted it and promptly poured it down the drain. I didn't care for the concoction. But, the blender worked like a champ.
Good "first" thoughts:
- Quieter than the blender it replaced. As a step of faith the old blender (leaky piece of junk) is already by the curb. Today is trash day and the truck has not yet arrived.
- Easier to take apart for cleaning than its predecessor. Be mindful of the sharp metal blades - just saying
- Rubber lid fits snug, but not so tight that you have to wrestle with it to remove it
- It's heavy enough that it does not "walk" around the counter. I hated that about the old one ,which had to be constantly monitored instead of using that time to pack lunches.
- Stuff can be added while it's running through the capped hole in the top
- 6 cup "jar" atop the base is short enough to fit under the kitchen cabinet and allow the jar to be removed, filled and replaced on the base without moving the base around. I love that part!
- It was only $60.00 - although I am a HUGE proponent of "you get what you pay for" - we shall see
- Pre-programming for frozen drinks - allowing for unattended use
- Reverse - this seems to "pull" the mixture down towards the blades. This is used by the pre-programmed frozen drink setting.
Less than good "first" thoughts:
- Smelled like burning oil when it first cranked up - hopefully this goes away and does not catch fire while I'm not paying attention, packing lunches
- Most of the recipes in the manual require alcohol - given a few more minutes, I could probably think of something snarky to write about that
- I'm a bit concerned about the "little rubbery thin grayish-black" seal that sits between the blade housing at the very bottom of jar. This seal is what keeps liquid inside of the jar and not on your countertops, floors and walls. It's this little teensy potential point of failure that the company is basing the success of the machine. Seems like it could be a little beefier, or more rugged or that they might have thought to include an extra one since it probably costs about .04 cents to make.
Yes, I actually gleaned all of this from ONE use of the machine. Well, one use and maybe two hours of internet research (to find out what I didn't want) and a year with the my old leaky blender.
I also got my new iPhone 5 yesterday... I wonder what a blender would look like if it were made by "Apple in California"?
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