Vitamix Ascent Series – New Blenders for 2017
In December 2016, Vitamix released their new line of blenders called the Ascent series. So we went from C to G and now to A with Vitamix. Let’s see what’s new with the new Vitamix blender line just in time for 2017.
Note: I’m not an affiliate – so no biasm here – An affiliate normally gets a cut when you click on their links so there’s a conflict of interest with a lot of the big smoothie blogs out there. Vitamix sent me anything for free either.
Here’s a breakdown of the new Ascent series models released (4 in total so far):
|Ascent Series Blenders|
|Speed Dial||1 to 10||1 to 10||1 to 10||1 to 10|
|Digital Timer||Yes||Yes||Yes – Touch||Yes – Touch|
|Program Settings||No||3: Smoothies, Hot Soups, Frozen Desserts||No||5: Smoothies, Hot Soups, Dips & Spreads, Frozen Desserts, Self-Cleaning|
New A series model comparison to C and G series models
A2300 compares to the Total Nutrition Center C series and 7500 G series
The A2300 compares a lot to the typical Total Nutrition Center (C Series) and the 7500 G series. The controls center a lot around manual control – where you control the speed from 1 to 10 and also use the pulse feature. This model gives you the most manual control without the bells and whistles of presets or having to fiddle around with touch controls. Essentially purely analog and old-school.
A2500 compares with the Pro 500 and other variants
The A2500 compares a lot to the Professional Series 500 (C Series). It’s really just an updated version. The G-series never had a 3 preset version. I personally prefer this version as it gives you essentially everything every model can do (minus the 2 presets for dips and spreads and cleaning – however you can use the smoothie preset for automated cleaning). The bonus here is you still get to use analog switches which can be quicker in the kitchen depending on your workflow preferences.
A3300 is the odd one out, but still an interesting choice
The A3300 is essentially the A2300 but with touch start/stop switch and a touch pulse switch. It;s a bit of an oddball and is really only a fit if you love touch controls for those two switches.
The thing is is that he G-series 780 tried the all touch approach and the variable speed control using touch just didn’t cut it as well as having an analog knob. So you’re not going to get full touch anyway – so might as well save some money and go with the A2300.
A3500 compares closely to the G-series 750 and 780
The A3500 is the new flagship, it really is a mix between the G-series 750 and 780 in terms of functionality. All touch controls except for analog variable speed control. I guess Vitamix realized that the slight lag with the G-series 780 and maybe usability workflow for a full variable touch control on a vertical panel didn’t work quite as well as an analog dial.
Regardless, you’re getting the exact same features in terms of actual variable speed control, pulse, start/ stop and your 5 presets as the G-series 750 and 780.
Self-detect technology – New containers – I’m not convinced
With the Vitamix A-series (Ascent series or At series) you get a whole new main line of completely clear containers (clear lid as well as body) so you can see your blends better. These come with NFC so the base unit machine will never run without a container on it. This makes all C and G series containers incompatible – yeah time to shell out for new containers 🙁
Whats interesting is that these new containers now include a smoothie cup and a little container that you can screw onto a blade cap that can be used to blend without having to use a large size jar – very cool – but I’m not convinced right now that this is all that useful as you’ll be locked into Vitamix’s line of cups and containers for drinking your smoothie or serving baby food.
“how useful extra lines of cups and containers remains to be seen”
I know a lot of parents that want to use glass only containers for baby food for health reasons. Also with the smoothie cup – you’d have to consume almost immediately unless you want your smoothie to get warm – the cup just won’t compete with a Zorijushi or thermos for keeping things mega cool or hot.
So how useful the extra lines of cups and containers remains to be seen. I get the feeling Vitamix needed to come up with something new and this was it – I mean you can only do so much with a blender in terms of features, I’m just not convinced this was the way to go.
There’s no doubting that the new Vitamix blenders in the A series look sharp and very stylistic. I like the groove on the side for easier moving of the machine. Overall the lip is kept so the display stays as clean as possible. The silver/ chrome look in places is nice. I don’t think there is anything absolutely gorgeous about the design though compares to the C and G series.
In fact the C series are a bit more timeless in terms of that classic look that won’t look like crap after a few years. I feel like Vitamix could have gone for a more simple timeless look as opposed to the somewhat aggressive futuristic look that may fade in style over time, but each to their own.
Other things about the Ascent range – Vitamix A series
WiFi – the new units come with wifi for future updates. They could theoritically update the presets or other little bugs – but there really isn’t anything else that will be a game changer here in terms of updates. Kind of a flashy feature that’s just not needed in a blender (sorry Blendtech!)
Noise – The G-series came in quieter than the C series – although let’s be straight up here – it’s a blender, it’s going to get noisy. I imagine that the new A series blenders will most likely be quieter, but so far there is no evidence or any hard tests done yet.
Touch controls vs analog controls – This is really a matter of preference. In the previous gen – the G-series 780 had the touch variable controls which combined with everything else being touch looked very slick. But there was slight lag and workflow wise doesn’t allow for quick changes up and down as fast as an analog variable speed controller – especially on a vertical screen – something that is easier to do on a Blendtec due to it’s horizontal capacitive touch screen.
Clear lid – This is actually pretty sweet. This makes the blender look very slick and you’ll be able to see your food from all angles. However the tamper is still black – not sure they could ever get around this given the strength and type of material is made of – or whether a clear tamper would actually be any use (my guess is no)
Conclusion – Not a Game Changer
If you still own a C or G series Vitamix there really is no need to upgrade here. Aside from better visuals – overall functionality wise you’re not getting anything that is a game changer.
Even when buying a Vitamix for the first time I’d suggest going for a certified reconditioned unit with 3 or 5 presets (with 3 you can still do self-clean with the smoothie preset) which is going to be significantly less and do the same thing.
If you really want to jump on the Ascent series I’d say hold off for now to see just what Vitamix will do with the container system when additional containers come out in 2017.