Purchased this machine as a replacement for an earlier Tassimo T40 machine, which in itself was a replacement for a Senseo type. From my point of view it makes a nearly perfect cup of coffee at home, without any of the fuss of more traditional methods.
Compared with the Tassimo T40, this new little machine is a little smaller, more rounded and takes a little less water (1.5L rather that 2L). It is a good deal quieter than my old T40 too, although I suspect that a newer model T40 may be improved as well. Great for the environment too as the Tassimo machines don't need to preheat the water, so saving energy. Only the water needed is heated and used. If you are really keen, there is also a method for recycling the pods too.
The barcode system is quite clever too as it does not simply determine how much water is needed for the coffee type, it's a lot cleverer than that. For example, for a typical espresso, it will put just enough hot water into the capsule and then wait a while to allow the coffee flavour to start to infuse in the water. Then it delivers the correct measure of water to deliver the coffee, followed by a brief burst of steam to ensure that all of the coffee in the pod is delivered into your cup.
Different processing for a Latte drink, as it produces more of a steady stream of steam, rather than water, to froth up the milk but with a bigger burst of steam at the end to get the last drops of milk out of the pod.
I have read in other reviews that the cup size delivered seems small - but small compared to what? I'll grant that it is smaller than I am normally used to at high street coffee shops, where a "regular" seems to be about half a bucket-full but that's more to do with the much larger than average cup sizes they provide, rather than some failing of the Tassimo. After all, when was the last time you served someone a coffee that size at home? In any case all Tassimos have a manual method of adding more water for a longer drink (or less for a more intense flavour for that matter) by a simple button press, so you really can deliver any size you need.
Lots of variety of pods available and one criticism would be that more is always available on-line than in the shops. But I suspect all machines using pods/capsules suffer from that problem. Having said that, the larger Tescos' always seem to have to most of the more popular varieties. My personal favorite for a good straightforward coffee, is the Starbucks House Blend and my wife's favourite is the Latte Macchiato, followed by the new Caramel Macchiato.
We have tried the teas as well and the Breakfast Tea, Darjeeling and Earl Grey are our favourites, with the Tassimo making perfectly acceptable cups of tea without any fuss or waiting for kettles to boil.
Plenty of long service experience (3 to 4 cups per day, every day) from my previous Tassimo, shows that it warns you when it needs descaling and as long as you follow the instructions, it works perfectly.
A great machine - I would not like to do without mine.