Good cheap machine for casual espresso drinkers. Cappuccinites and fanatics look elsewhere.
Positive Product Points
Good, but not great espresso. Compact and easy to use. Holds up well over time.
Negative Product Points
Somewhat cheap looking. Steam is not so special. The crema enhancing portafilter is cheesy and requires extra cleaning.
This is a great machine for a weekend warrior type espresso drinker. It works fairly well, producing good and sometimes great coffee from the preground coffees, like Illy or Kimbo or Lavazza. It does better with a grinder, but I don't think it is ever good enough to really warrant the extra expense. Definately for the casual, but not tasteless, user.
It is fairly easy to use, especially since its reservoir is removable and is easy to fill and since the reservior comes with an indicator which clearly indicates water level. The machine never gets super hot and is consequently a mediocre steam producer, but it does do well for espresso. The weak spot is the stupid SAECO crema enhancing handle. Though this machine has been owned for nearly 10 years and has not needed any work, the handle has failed, since it is made to get clogged up and really needs regular soakings to keep it opened. At one point I gave up and went and got a new handle (for once, thank god for Starbucks).
I actually used to sell these at this shop. At the time, it seemed to me like where a weekend espresso drinker who liked quality, but didn't need a new hobby, would go, so my folks bought this on my recommendation.