This is around the same size as the smaller-of-the-range Dolce Gusto machines, on a par with the Piccolo model that I've had and used for the last two years. I wasn't sure about having an 'electronic' model, and admittedly the stupid, stupid instructions had me confused, but it was a doddle to operate. Additionally, this looks sleeker and classier than the manual Piccolo model, and will now take pride of place in my kitchen.
Don't bother trying to understand the operating instructions, which only have pretty useless diagrams and do the following:
Before first use, fill the container and place an empty mug under the drip spout. Turn on the machine, wait 30 seconds til the flashing red light on the side turns green, and then turn the dial in the middle of the top cover (located in between the blue 'cold' button and the red 'hot' button) to the top position (which allows max water to flow thru). Do not insert a drinks capsule, but do lower the handle mechanism and press the blue cold button and allow the mug to fill - all this is doing is rinsing out the mechanisms.
Then, select your drink: very handily, a small selection is supplied, each with a level of liquid indicated on the cover. Insert the pod into the drawer, press down to pierce, check there is enough water in the dispenser, then turn the middle dial to position 1-6, depending on which drink you want (see cover of pod), and when the water level on the top of the machine indicates that the correct amount of water will be dispensed through the pod - it 'lights up' to the selected level (like a levelscore indicator on an arcade machine!) in glowing green - just press the blue or red button, depending on whether it's a cold or hot drink you're preparing.
The machine will dispense the right amount of water for the drink selected, then if the 'creamer' pod needs to be inserted, just follow the same steps. If you want less water in your drink, simply pressing any button stops water coming through, before the allotted amount is dispensed. With this machine, even if you walk away and forget you're making a drink, there will be no spills, as long as your mug is big enough for the drink you want, as only the right amount of liquid comes through before the machine goes into economy/sleep mode.
The bit where the drink sits can be adjusted to different heights, depending on how tall the mug is; this bit is also easier to remove for cleaning than on the Piccolo model. A word of advice - remove the pods straight away, and rinse out the pod holder if there is spillage, as leaving a pod in can cause the holder to become jammed. A couple of times, I have left the pod in by mistake, and then the holder has been hard to pull out, and has needed gentle manipulation.
Overall, this is excellent and value for money at the amazon price. Whilst I've always been happy with the drinks from my Piccolo, this machine has made me realise that I've been diluting some more than I needed, and the drinks are better. I didn't think I'd part with my Piccolo model, but there's a new guy in town!