I bought this to replace my old Ryobi which still works but the bag finally rotted through and replacements are no longer available. This machine is substantially lighter although not quieter. It does shred the leaves but not nearly as efficiently as the Ryobi. The nozzle is a good length and the wheels are actually effective which means it is easy to use and avoids giving back ache. The power is variable and on the strongest suction would pick up just about anything. You have to turn it right down to avoid picking up stones. The nozzle isn't as wide as my old machine and this means it takes longer to do the job, also - and this is the biggest down side - the bag is substantially smaller than our old bag (and it isn't waterproof). Given the shred ratio mentioned above this means you are frequently emptying the bag. However this might be an advantage for people who can't manage a heavy bag. It is actually very easy to handle so overall I would recommend it but those with bigger gardens might consider something with a more generous nozzle width and bag.
Edit: I am now a 75 year old engineer and my leaf blower/sucker is still doing a perfect job. A great product. As a 72 year old design engineer I can see how very well designed this piece of equipment is. I cannot praise it highly enough - every single one of its design features has been perfectly designed. I don't know where to start. So first, let's be practical, I have only used this garden clearing device for a short period of time, so I cannot vouch for its staying power. However,so far it has not blocked up, and has chopped up the leaves nicely. It was as easy as pie to quickly assemble with a small Philips screw driver - nothing else(five minutes, clear instruction leaflet) . It looks well built and more than adequately powered for its purpose. My advice to people with regard to this type of equipment is to be sensible as to what it is intended for - which is (in my opinion) is to clean up your garden and keep it tidy on nice dry days when the leaves are dry, and to keep it tidy by occasional sessions. Let's look at its ergonomics: perfect design. The handles are ideal and well positioned. It has a very good power range. The controls are all perfectly placed to hand. There is a strap to carry it if you want, but for me, the wheels are the very best part of its design and the shape of the inflow nozzle works very well with them. Together, they allow you to work for half an hour without tiring. Then, the handy lever for switching from suck to blow - perfect for dislodging obdurate leaves jammed into nooks and crannies. Suck away, then a quick blow or two, then carry on sucking. Rev up the power if needed, and then drop it back to a lower level of suck which is more than adequate. The collection bag is perfect - just the right size, and it unzips and unloads into my green bin perfectly. What more can I say - buy it and be happy! And thanks to Einhell for making my garden look so neat this Autumn. I used to have to try and rake up individual leaves from across my lawn, now I just suck them up. Even my wife says the garden and front drive looks really good. Thanks again!