It‘s a big machine that does exactly what its supposed to do.
Positive Product Points
It looks like a coffee maker, not a spaceship. Well built, functional, simple design. Mucho steam and quick recycling for multiple shots. Dip tray is easy-out and easy clean.
Negative Product Points
It looks like a coffee maker, not a spaceship. I actually wanted something that looked more like a spaceship, but they were too expensive. You may have to put the machine in a headlock to loosen a snug portafilter, but that may be the case with any machine. Besides, I was a little edgey with the first few shots - maybe I over-snugged just a tad. The cup "heater" might more aptly be named the cup "holder that is warm when it doesn‘t matter". The instructions were sometimes amusing and seldom helpful. If you‘re not manually inclined or a tinker by nature, don‘t buy this espresso machine. Drink tea, instead.
Easy to fill, easy to clean, fast heatup and tons of steam (for a 20oz. pitcher). After many trips to europe I decided there was no reason I couldn‘t make espresso at home - and now I can. Right out of the box (and after a pound of experimental beans) I was pleased with the results. The coffee is great, crema rich and the frothy drinks look and taste as good as anything I had poured for me "over there". And at least as good as anything over here, too. For $299 online, it is an OK machine. I‘ll let you know what I think a year from now.