This machine is the only espresso machine I've ever used. It was sent to me to use and write about my experience with it. I'll be sending it back soon, and will probably miss it!
So, the setup was pretty simple and had clear instructions. There are 2 metal filters to put the grounds in, one for single cups, one for 2 cups. you have to pull and push pretty hard to get the filters in and out, but I guess it's so they'll stay in when you insert it into the machine. Which I found I had to push pretty hard to get it into position, I don't have other espresso makers to compare that to but it was pretty tough to "slide" into position.
I liked that there is a good size water reservoir, so you don't have to endlessly fill it up. When you turn the machine to "On", it takes less than 30 seconds for the "Ready" light to come on. Once you start brewing, it will make espresso until you manually turn it to "Off". So you have to be right there while making your cup, and if you haven't made espressos, lattes, etc. before (like me!) it will take some trial and error to get the amount of coffee and length of brew to find what works best. Also, it took a few practice shots to know how much tamping to do. I did think most every attempt did make a nice crema. WARNING: When using the frother, which again I have never done before, the instructions are probably pretty clear, but make sure the nozzle is actually in the milk or it will splatter all over everything within a 1 foot radius - messy,lol! After the initial mishap, I thought the froth came out pretty good, but not as dense as at a coffee shop.
The size is a little wider than a plain, regular drip maker, but close to the size of most Keurig machines. I prefer regular coffee over the espresso and other drinks this makes so I'm not sure I would buy one because then I would have to have both appliances on my counter. I did not buy any special equipment or even coffee to try this out with and still think for a machine at this price point it would be a good choice.
Note: This product has been put at my disposal for no compensation and in order to share my honest and unbiased opinion. Once I have completed my testing it will be returned to the manufacturer.