Superior to Krups and the like but not up to machine for the expert
Positive Product Points
This machine is a good value if you pay $150 or less and it enables you to make a good cappuccino without alot of experience. The pressurized filter is easy to use.
Negative Product Points
Producing a "dry" espresso pod and/or a "dry" foam for a stiff cappuccino is an impossibility with this machine.
I have some experience with espresso machines having owned some of the first espresso/cappuccino carts in New York City back in the early 1990's. This is my first venture into the home machine market and I was more than a little curious at what level a home machine would compare to the commercial units. Since I didn't have alot of money to spend I focused on the low end Saeco/Gaggia units and settled on the Cappuccino Magic because it was easy to get at a bargain.
At first I was skeptical of the pressurized filters but when I let go of my desire to produce the perfect grind, pull time and tamp pressure I found that the machine produces a good shot with nice crema with no work at all and that's fine with me. I drink cappuccino's so people that are focused on espresso alone may not be satisfied with the shots. The frother is small and insufficient for producing a really dry foam or frothing large amounts of milk. The pannarello frothing attachment is not worth the time it takes to clean it. I find that the trick to the best froth is to use less milk and put the steamer on full blast immediately. You can make great latte's and decent cappuccinos, certainly better than 95% of anything you get at coffee bars and restaurants.
I bought this on ebay and it came without some of the extras (i.e. tamper, warranty, cups, regular portofilter) that might otherwise come with the product.