If you have a steam toy it's a step up, but not a very big one.
Positive Product Points
CHEAP,CHEAP,CHEAP! This is a good practice machine. I liked the 40 ounce removable water reservoir. The machine heats up in less than minute and is ready for business. For $50.00, you get a pump machine with some pretty nice features
Negative Product Points
The steam wand was about as powerful as an aerosal can. NOISY when steaming milk (Thump, Thump, Thump). shallow drip tray and hard to see water level.
I bought this machine in the hopes that I might keep it for a while and use it to practice with. After all it had the features I wanted: removable water reservoir, pump machine, very good price, it even looked kinda cool.
The honeymoon lasted less than two weeks before I was looking for the box and checking the return policy. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad machine unless you are "obsessed" with espresso (as my wife describes me).
I was able to get some good shots with decent crema that I could drink straight, but for some reason I could only get those results with the single shot basket. When I used the double shot basket in the portafilter the espresso would come out very quickly and the stuff tasted like thin motor oil.
I agree with the other review on this machine, the thump, thump, thumping during steaming was very annoying and although I never had the portafilter blown off the grouphead, I also noticed the vibrating problem when I was pulling a shot.
The drip tray was shallow and even when it was only slightly full, water would run out on the counter.
The worst part was the steam wand, the foaming attachement was okay, but the pressure was almost nonexistent and the steam was far from being the dry type that everyone says is necessary for good steamed milk.
Wal-mart.com is great, the buying is easy and the machine came fast, the shipping charges were very good, less than $10.00. I am mailing it back on Monday, so I will add something about how that went when that is over (how long it took to get credited back, etc).
Please note, if your product is only available online, you CANNOT return it to the local Wal Mart for a refund, you have to mail it back. Wal Mart does provide a prepaid return label with the invoice which is very nice.