Making Memories Slice Machine came and after a couple days of playing with it I am really liking it! I will dive right into my review...
Size and weight: This is a great little machine. Very portable. Cartridges are also small. This would definitely be a great tool to tote around with you to crops. Just be prepared to be asked about it. A lot. LOL People will want to see it in action and will want you to demo it. And it is CORDLESS. That in itself is pure genius. It only takes an hour to charge it up and get going.
Cost: This can be both a pro and a con. The cost of the machine is comparable to the Cricut. However, the Cricut has much more functionality. BUT the regular price of the design cartridges are much more affordable than the Cricut. Unless you wait a year and catch those Cricut Cartridges on Ebay like I do... :) The Slice retails for around $130 - $149. The cartridges retail for around $39.
Cost of Ownership: This is also a plus. Because the mat is glass, you do not have to replace it. The only consumables you need for this machine (besides your paper) are the repositionable adhesive ($5.99) and Blades ($9.99 for 5). I have not had the unit long enough to review blade life. But this cost of ownership is comparable to the Cricut (Mats = 9.99 for 2 Blades = 9.99 for 2). Cost of ownership may even be less than the Cricut depending on blade life/mat adhesive life.
Cartridges/Accessories: There are only a few design cartridges so far, but the ones that are out are very nice. They all have a wide array of shapes and one font per card. There's also already a wide array of accessories for this machine (tools, handbag case/ card storage/desktop storage).
Paper Saver: You can use the smallest of papers with the machine, BUT it does take practice on the placement. Since everything is manual as far as paper placement, you can really save paper with this machine. But it will take a little practice on where to place the paper in conjunction with where the blade starts in order to get efficient cuts. The measurements on the glass mat and the see-through panel on the bottom of the machine really help with this.
Cons: Some of these Cons aren't really "Cons" per se, but just points I wanted to mention that could be negative for some...
Cutting Ability: Don't get me wrong, this thing cuts like a champ. However, it is a little cumbersome in the fact that you can only cut one letter/shape at a time. I guess I am just spoiled by my Cricut Expression. I can cut a whole slew of letters and shapes (the whole paper's worth if I want) while off doing something else. You also have to hold this cutter while it is working. It isn't too slow, but it isn't lightning fast either.
Mat Prep: I was highly against this aspect of the machine at first, but after doing it a couple times, this really isn't too much of a con. You have to apply your repositionable adhesive to the glass mat before using it. Then you have to let it dry for two minutes. This really isn't that big a deal. You can even keep the adhesive on to use at a later cutting session. I just keep my mat in a drawer so that dust and lint don't accumulate on it. If it loses its stickiness, just wash it off (with dishsoap and water), dry it off and reapply the adhesive. I thought this was going to be really inconvenient, but really it isn't. I have tried other repositionable adhesives on this mat (such as a spray quilt basting adhesive), but I really prefer the liquid adhesive that comes with the Slice. I just have to remember to always have some on hand.
Noise: This isn't eyelet hammer noisy, but it is noisy. Then again, what electronic die cutting machine isn't?
Blade Housing/Safety: I will admit I am a bit of a klutz. I put a deep gouge in the palm of my hand trying to get this thing out of the package. But then again I was in a hurry to get it out. And excited. LOL The bottom of the machine is totally open and the blade is SHARP. Not a good combo if you plan on leaving this thing on your desk and you have a small child around. You have to be careful how you hold this machine - and how you store it as that blade is out in the open. I would recommend keeping that hard plastic packaging piece that is on the bottom of the machine when you take it out of the box - and keeping it on the bottom of the machine when it is in storage. And store this FAR AWAY from small hands.
In a Nutshell:
This is a great machine for those wanting to put their toe in the water and try out an electronic die cutter, or for those looking for a secondary machine to take to crops or keep on their desk for quick die cutting projects. If your scrapbook space is very limited, this could be the diecutter for you. The price point for both the machine and the cartrudges makes it a nice beginner's machine.
However, if you are a high volume die cutter, or tend to want to multi-task while you are die cutting, you might feel yourself a little hindered by this machine, and you may be wanting a more "feature rich" machine that will grow with you.
I plan on keeping mine on the desktop (my kiddos are older), and using it for quick cards and layouts when I don't have the time (or space) to set up my Expressions machine. I also plan on keeping it handy for taking to Crops and get togethers as I really hate lugging my Expressions machine out of the house. So, my big bug will stay cozy at home, while her little sister can be out on the town... :)
This machine is super easy and fun to use. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.