Easy to use once you figure it out. Highly reccomend opting for the digital.
Positive Product Points
Attractive compact packaging and the stailess front looks great on the counter. Effortless espresso, just push a few buttons. Support staff is very helpful and knowledgeable.
Negative Product Points
Suprised to see how much plastic on the machine, especially on parts that will be repeatedly moved and used. Terrible instruction manual, and a very dated VHS with equally poor and boring insructions. Even the customer service gentleman I spoke with commented on how poorly done the manual was.
I have only had this machine for about 3 days now. After 5 uses, I had some unusual lights faintly blinking. Since the instruction manual explains only how to use the machineand very basic care, I called their CS#. The gentleman I spoke to was great,and walked me through every detail. As far as the lights go, we are just going to wait and see as the machine is working wonderfully. He made it very clear that it would not be an issue to exchange/repair the machine if anything else comes from this in the future. Overall I am pleased with machine so far (I know it is a bit early to say still). I am very curious to see how well all of the parts hold up as the steam wand and much of the inner parts are plastic. It is really so easy to use and I would reccomend this machine.
Three Month Followup
Unfortunately, I had to exchange my Italia a few weeks after writing my first review. It had a few different issues such as lights not turning off, and the steam knob getting very difficult to turn. I decided to upgrade to the digital version (which was a bit more expensive). Wow, was it worth it. One nice thing is the digital comes with a DVD with much easier to follow instructions, as opposed to the VHS that came with the other. It has been a few months now since the exchange, and I love this machine. The plastic pieces have been upgraded to metal, and seem to be much more sturdy, and I definately have more options with this machine. One thing I have to mention is how amazingly professional, and courteous the Starbucks staff was with the exchange. A few of the additional options that I like on this model would be the screen that tells me when to empty the drip tray, and when the water level is low. It also clearly shows how many shots I have requested, and will go into energy saving mode if left on for a while unused. The steaming wand has great range of motion, and the warming tray has metal lips or edges which help prevent your cups from slipping off. Starbucks obviously listened to the numerous complaints about the plastic parts.