Excellent machine for money, especially when getting $100 off the Costco price!
Positive Product Points
A quality machine with lots of features for a decent price.
Negative Product Points
Some parts seem/are flimsy.
My wife and I bought the Syncrony Digital as our first venture into the world of espresso. I had looked at other machine like the Rancilios and such, but after more reading decided I have neither the time/patience to acquire the barista knowledge to make the ultimate shot of espresso. That said, other quality espresso machines were roughly $500, plus you're looking at AT LEAST $200+ for a decent grinder, so already, without tax and shipping your looking at roughly $700-$800. That's when I realized a decent, entry-level super-automatic was what I needed.
This machine has all kinds of great features like adjustments for coffee dosage, grind setting, water hardness, brew temperature, 3 custom programable coffee settings (small, medium,large), the ability to make 2 cups at a time, and a bypass doser. These are similar features to higher-end models like the Juras, but the Syncrony simply does not have the stainless-steel pinache that those models do (hence, the difference in price).
That said, this machine is easy to use, produces excellent shots of espresso, and is very easy to adjust to your taste. If you're new to the espresso world like I am, you can appreciate the user-friendly set-up of this machine.
Click, pay, PRESTO! Arrive at your front door and VOILA! Espresso time. Costco guarentees their products, so IF anything does go wrong, we can always return in. Hopefully not, though, because my wife and I have already cranked through nearly 2lbs of coffee per week since we've got it!
Three Month Followup
We have since returned this machine and decided to go with a semi-automatic machine with a separate grinder (Silvia and Rocky). Ultimately, despite the adjustability of the super-automatic Gaggia, it simply does not have the fine-tune adjustments that you have when you pull the shot yourself. After doing different tests with different grinders, and comparing the results using the Gaggia bypass doser, I feel the biggest problem is the grinder does not grind fine enough to produce a truly well-extracted espresso shot. However, for those of you who normally only make milk-based espresso drinks, the machine does very well. That said, for a person who likes to drink straight espresso shots, you would be better off getting a machine where you control all of the variables in order to fine-tune things yourself. The Gaggia is a good machine for someone who has no interest in getting their hands dirty pulling shots and is satisfied with mostly milk-based drinks.