The features the traditional Tassimo look, with a soft, rounded brewing chamber lid, reservoir in the back, and a cup lift built into the drip catcher. On right side of the device's front, you'll find a control button and screen. The screen mainly tells you how to brew the cup of coffee, or pretends it doesn't see that bootleg T-disc you're trying to use.
The brewing chamber is a bit awkward to use if you're used to Keurig machines. The part that pierces the T-disc can slip out of place easily since it's not attached. The chamber lid itself is also a bit hard to close. The front rim of the lid is used to lock the lid in place once it's already closed, but it feels natural to simply close the lid by the front rim.
The features an screen that displays instructions about each step in the brewing process.
The 's water reservoir tank has a few interesting features and a somewhat poor placement. The tank itself can fit about 52 fl. oz. (1550 ml) total, accounting for the filter's displacement, but it will take a little while for the water you add to filter through. While the large tank means you won't need to refill constantly, the slow filtration process means you probably won't be able to brew more than a few cups in quick succession. The tank is located in the back of the device, which might make it a bit awkward to reach and refill.
The comes with a filter packed in, but not much else. Unlike most K-cup devices, the doesn't come with any T-discs in the box.
Our refractometer measured the 's brew as pretty squarely within the international standard with a total dissolved solids (TDS) measurement of 1.15. This is significantly stronger than you'll find in most other one-cup devices. The is still slightly towards the weak and bitter corner of the standard, but the average K-cup machine would be almost off the chart to the lower left. If you value a strong cup of coffee, the will be happy to oblige. More on how we test the brewing process.
If you're looking for a quick cup, the isn't the best. It takes about 90 seconds for a cup to finish brewing, but we found that can vary quite a bit depending on when those last few drips stop. The average Keurig in this price range can make about two and a half cups in about that time. Still, if you're willing to wait the minute, you'll net a much stronger cup of coffee with the .
The can only produce one quantity of coffee, about 7.61 fl. oz. (225 ml). While other one-cup devices give users a bit more freedom to choose how much coffee they want, this restriction allows the machine to produce a strong cup of coffee every time.
The brewing process on the is remarkably straight forward, since there's really no user-controlled options. The one minor downside is the T-disc system itself. There were a few times during testing when the internal mirror got a bit fogged up and couldn't register the pod's bar code. Since this model doesn't have a display built in, it's was initially a bit difficult to figure out what the problem was.
The first step is to make sure there's enough water in the device's water reservoir.
The next step is to place the T-disc into the device. The T-disc fits face down on the interior shelf, with its bill fitting in the opening along the shelf's rim. It's not as quick and easy as inserting a K-cup, but it's not too difficult to figure out. Once the T-disc is inside the brewing chamber, close the lid first, then push down on its outside rim to lock the lid in place.
At this point the machine will start brewing your coffee. If you hear some strange thumping sounds, that's just the machine doing it's thing.
Cleaning the machine is easy since most of the pertinent parts can be quickly removed and are dishwasher safe. The drip stand and water reservoir can be removed and disassembled. The bit in the brewing chamber is also very easy to remove.
The has a water filter to insure a good water quality. You'll find a filter packaged in with the device.
On the lid of the water reservoir is a simple timer to remind you to change the water filter. It's nothing fancy, but it does the job.
According to our test results, these two brewers are nearly identical. Both provided very strong brews: according to our tests the produced a slightly stronger cup, but not by a huge margin. The also has a small screen that provides information about the brewing process and lets you know what's going wrong. This definitely helps usability, but we're not sure if it's a $30 improvement.
Both of these units occupy about the same price point, but they're geared towards different things. The focuses more on speed and ease of use, while the sacrifices speed for coffee strength. If you're looking for a coffee maker to use in an office, we'd probably recommend the , because it's a faster brew, can brew more cups back-to-back, and the user interface is slightly more friendly. If you're looking for a coffee brewer for home use and would prefer a strong cup of coffee to a quick one, the is probably the right choice.
The is a lot less expensive than the , but it underperforms across the board. While the is slower than some Keurig machines, the takes almost twice as long to brew a significantly weaker cup. If you're looking for a bargain, the will provide the baseline pod coffee experience. If you want a strong cup, you should check out the .
The definitely has some issues that make it seem a bit clunky compared to some of the Keurig machines, but overall it provides a stronger cup of coffee. We aren't huge fans of the T-disc system, since there currently isn't a "fill your own" option and the bar code system feels a bit clunky when the sensor can fog up. On top of this, the machine isn't particularly quick to brew a cup and is a bit hard to close. Of course, waiting an extra minute for a cup of coffee and briefly wiping down a fogged mirror aren't the biggest inconveniences, and once you get used to closing the lid it shouldn't pose a problem. The throughput isn't going to be as fast as a Keurig, but unless you're looking for put this in a small office, it shouldn't be a huge problem. We'd recommend the for users who care about a strong brew but who don't mind waiting for it.
Meet the tester
Mark Brezinski is a senior writer with seven years of experience reviewing consumer tech and home appliances.
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