30 + days later: Vitamix S30 review -- only one stone left unturned
The Vitamix S30 brings the “Cadillac of blenders” into the personal blending world. Its unique design makes it an interesting subject for comparison.
Today, it retails for $409 (see current price).
Good thingsAt 8lbs, the S30 is Vitamix's first baby blender. Plus, it's the only one that's dishwasher safe.
Not good thingsThe Vitamix S30 still comes with a Vitamix price tag.
All things consideredThe Vitamix S30 seems to make sense as an on-the-go blender. Despite being less powerful than its Vitamix siblings, it's wonderful for a quick and easy blend.
Several notes for this review. 🙂
1. This is a follow-up to my initial review of this blender. While the conclusions are similar, it’s worth noting the differences between both my first impressions and the initial reader’s comments.
2. I tested the S30 over the course of 30+ days. I started a “30 days of the S30” series to document my learnings.
3. I have a complete guide for which Vitamix to buy. It’s long, but people have found it pretty helpful.
4. In this review of the Vitamix S30, I’ll be as thorough as possible. Even if it’s something that doesn’t portray this product kindly, I will make note. My goal is to help products like this get a better design. At any price, nobody likes buying a poorly designed product. Nor does anyone deserve to be misinformed or misled.
Yes, I earn money from links out. But beyond referral fees, I am not paid to promote any products. Nor do I accept repeated offers to place ads on the site. My goal is to create a resource that I would want to use. A place I would go to. A community to which I would subscribe.
Of course, the commentary in this review is from my eyes. My experience and perspective. So, while I tell it like it is, sometimes I make mistakes or leave stuff out. So for the benefit of the Life is NOYOKE community, let me know if you see any errors or omissions.
P.S. I just published the NOYOKE Vitamix guide. Check it out. 🙂
What’s it like to open up a brand new Vitamix S30?
- Is it like the other Vitamixes?
- What comes inside?
- Is there any assembly required?
Answers to these questions…
…and more as I unbox the Vitamix S30.
Let’s do it.
The Vitamix S30's box is basic "cardboard" color. Probably a cost-saving measure.
Other Vitamixes come in a full-color, glossy box (shipped inside a nondescript one like this). Not a huge deal, but I definitely wouldn't keep the S30's box to show off.
The one-page Quickstart Guide is the first thing you see upon opening. Bravo, Vitamix, wasn't sure how long it would take you to realize NOBODY read the old and winded Quickstart Guide (except me).
Here's the S30-specific cookbook. It's mini, just like its blender.
Can't wait to try ALL your recipes.
Okay, maybe just a handful. :)
That's where YOU come in, reader. Try some recipes and report back!
This is the plastic-wrapped blender base. I am pretty sure this is new for Vitamix products. They used to come raw (unwrapped).
Don't worry about cutting your fingers unboxing the blade. It was well-covered by the plastic wrap. Assuming you aren't diving in too fast, you'll be fine. The blades are basically dull out-of-the-box.
Mini tamper: cute.
Baby container: wrapped. Good to know. Zero chance the O.C.D. in me gets upset because the container didn't arrive sterile.
Heyo! You look friendly, Mr. S30.
The whole Vitamix S30 family. Motor base, 40 oz container and its lid, 20 oz portable container and its lid, blade base, and mini tamper. What a nice looking crew!
Good things: What I love about the Vitamix S30
Based on my 30+ days of testing, here’s what I like about the Vitamix S30
The Vitamix S30 is the smallest Vitamix ever made. Here are the specs and what they mean.
It weighs 8 lbs.
Similar to a child’s bowling ball, the S30 is very light. By comparison, it weights 33% less than my Vitamix Pro 750.
It’s 16″ tall.
Its literal footprint is only 6″ x 9″. This is a nice space-saver for me. Certainly, a better fit for my friends living in those tiny NYC apartments.
The Vitamix S30 is small enough to pack in a carry-on bag. While I’ve joked about traveling with my Vitamix, it was never realistic with my Pro 750. In fact, I brought the S30 on the plane (and through airport security) with ease.
Easier to clean
If you are familiar with the Vitamix cleaning cycle, you know how easy they are to clean.
Well, it just got a whole lot easier. The Vitamix S30 is dishwasher safe.
All you have to do is put it in the top rack and let the dishwasher do its magic.
What’s more, the blade base is removable.
So, if you’re in a hurry, you can rinse the blade base in two seconds. Just hold it up to the faucet.
And yes, the removable blade base is a brand new design.
Let me explain.
Ever in a rush to get out the door?
The S30’s new design removes several steps in the smoothie-making process.
The Vitamix’s blade base is removable from its containers. The design is similar to how the As-seen-on-TV-famous, Nutribullet works.
The blade screws onto the containers. So when you make a smoothie:
- Fewer dishes are dirtied.
- Transferring to a to-go cup is not necessary.
- Quicker cleaning can happen when you’re running out the door.
I really, really liked this capability. Something about turning off the Vitamix, twisting on the to-go lid and leaving the house feels really good. What’s more…
Two containers means more flexible
The Vitamix S30 comes with two containers:
- 40oz container, similar to traditional Vitamix containers
- 20oz container, useable as a double-insulated travel cup
So, when making smoothies, I don’t use the large container at all. Plus, I don’t need a separate to-go container.
It was basically blend-and-go.
In theory, I could also prepare dishes faster. For example, if I needed to chop onions and make a dessert, I wouldn’t need to clean the container right away. I would just use both containers separately.
Surprisingly smooth smoothies
With less than half the power of Next Generation units, I had my doubts.
Would the S30 be able to handle making smoothies as smooth and creamy (without the dairy, of course!) as a full-sized Vitamix?
For the most part, it did!
The smoothies were pretty damn smooth.
Certainly, there was less room for error. Meaning, getting the ratio just right was crucial. If there were more than 50% frozen ingredients, the S30 had no chance. Compare that to any full-sized unit which can process 100% frozen ingredients (like banana ice cream).
With the right ratio, however, the smoothies in the S30 were very smooth. Even with ice and frozen bananas (featured in the Chiberia Chiller), there were practically zero clumps or chunks.
And, here’s the best part…
It blended perfectly smooth smoothies with ease.
- No stopping.
- No shaking.
- No spoon-mixing.
So, overall, I was pleased with its ability to make smoothies. They were damn smooth. But what about the hot stuff?
Powerful enough for batters, hot soups and drinks
One of the best parts of a Vitamix is that it’s more than a smoothie maker.
It makes batters, hot drinks and soups, too.
The Vitamix S30 is no exception.
I made hot cocoa in the S30 and it came out steaming. I also made pancakes (with frozen bananas in the batter) and they came out great.
Just note: You cannot make soups or hot drinks in the S30’s portable 20 oz cup.
There is no ventilation in the portable 20 oz cup for steam to escape.
But, that’s by design; and one of the BEST parts of the Vitamix S30!
Here’s more on the design of the portable 20 oz cup.
Portable 20 oz container: The Ferrari of to-go cups
If you appreciate well-designed products like iPods or Briggs & Riley luggage, you’ll love the S30’s portable 20 oz container and lid.
I sure do.
Every time I use it, I think, “Wow. That’s exactly how I want this thing to be designed. Perfection.”
And while I was initially skeptical of the container’s “features” being touted by Vitamix marketing, my 30+ days of testing eliminated all doubt.
Here’s what’s awesome about it.
Double insulated container walls
- Cold drinks stay cold.
- Hot drinks keep your hands warm.
- You can drink at your own pace (no rushing to avoid melting).
This spout is the best-fitting mouthpiece I’ve ever used. And, with the vent near the top, drinks flow at just the right pace.
Air tight, locking seal
It clicks shut and screws on tightly. I thoroughly enjoyed throwing the container around with no fear of bright-colored leaks. 🙂
The hook is a space-saver
You only have so many hands. I was surprised at how much I liked using the adjustable hook before, during and after enjoying my smoothie. And when you use the hook, it’s easy to show off the S30. That is, if you want to…
Either way, be prepared for questions.
The Vitamix S30 is very exclusive
There’s no other Vitamix like the S30.
I liked that about it.
I liked the exclusivity of using the latest Vitamix.
Plus, I love knowing I have the best personal blender on the planet.
Sure, people will claim that their Nutribullet or Ninja is just as good.
But those people are either lying to themselves or lying to you.
Come one, come all, Vitamix haters. Do it, leave a comment below. 😉
Please be sure to get your facts straight and assumptions organized.
Here’s where you should start:
The most powerful, longest warrantied personal blender
While the S30 is half-the-size of a full-sized Vitamix, it dwarfs all other personal blenders in power and performance.
It dwarfs the rest.
Let’s compare the S30 to a NutriBullet — the original, affordable, on-the-go blender.
For fifty bucks, you can get a NutriBullet. It comes with a 1 year warranty. That’s $50 per year ($50 / 1 year). Yet, the motor is relatively weak — 33% the size of the S30.
For $409 (see current price) you can get the Vitamix S30. It comes with a 5-year warranty. That’s $80 per year ($400 / 5 years).
So you’re basically paying an extra $30 per year ($80-$50) for 3x the power. So you’re getting:
- Quicker blends.
- Smoother blends.
- More efficient blends.
And of course, you’re getting the Vitamix brand.
Overall, if you’re going to get a travel blender, the Vitamix S30 makes sense.
As a permanent fixture in my home, however, I’d rather have the Pro 750.
Not good things: What I did not love about the Vitamix S30
The following section highlights the not so good things about the S30.
Less powerful than a full-sized Vitamix
If you’ve never owned a Vitamix, you can skip past this section.
Most of my criticism is based on comparing the S30 to a full-sized Vitamix. And no first-time Vitamix owner will be this picky.
Let’s compare the S30’s power to a full-sized Vitamix (either C-Series or G-Series).
Based on the S30 motor’s specs, it is half-as-powerful as a full-sized Vitamix.
And guess what?
The S30’s motor is 750 watts. Compare that to 2,200 watts on any G-Series Vitamix. So, switching from a Pro 750 to an S30 is like trading in your Ferrari for a Prius. You’re going to notice the difference in power.
But here’s the thing:
Comparing a Pro 750’s power and performance is like comparing apples to oranges. You shouldn’t do it.
The real comparison, however, is going from a Nutribullet to an S30. And that’s like comparing a riding lawn mower to a Prius.
Alas, you probably shouldn’t be comparing those either. 🙂
But since we’re comparing it to G-Series Vitamix’s, I should mention my relative disappointment in the S30’s warranty.
5-year warranty — why so short?
When you’ve been in “the Vitamix family” for a while, you know about their 7-year warranties.
They’re the best.
Except, the Vitamix S30’s warranty expires after just 5 years.
Yes, two-way shipping is still free of charge.
And yes, you get to try it out free for 30 days and can return it with no questions asked.
But the two fewer years makes me weigh the cost of convenience over protection of my investment.
Perhaps this is the future for Vitamix warranties?
Why? All full-sized, Next Generation models still come standard with 7-year warranties.
But, what if I was okay with a 5-year warranty? Then, wouldn’t I want a Certified Reconditioned Next Gen at the same price? That comes with a 5-year warranty, too.
This makes me consider the price…
The “Vitamix” price
The S30 is a personal blender.
But it is NOT cheap.
(See current price)
At that price, it’s definitely a Vitamix. 🙂
And, given its relative lack of power and relative lack of warranty, it’s worth considering whether or not the S30 is worth the sticker price.
But hey, similar to Apple products, Vitamix has proven time and time again that you get what you pay for.
The S30 is no exception.
Just be sure you have a dishwasher.
Let me explain.
One of the things I like about full-sized Vitamixes is that they’re NOT dishwasher safe.
Classic and Next Generation Vitamix blenders have blades that are attached to the container.
Therefore, nothing can get stuck in the crevices between the blade base and the container.
Running a cleaning cycle on one of these (C-Series or G-Series) gets the Vitamix perfectly clean.
Not the case with an S30.
Since the S30’s blade is removable (a feature which drives its convenience), you cannot simply run a wash cycle.
Running a wash cycle on the S30 doesn’t clean the gap between the blade and the container.
Instead, you have to take the S30’s blade base off to clean it completely.
Then, you have two choices.
- Thoroughly wash the pieces by hand. (Time consuming and kind of dangerous because you’re so close to the blades)
- Put it in the dishwasher.
Not that hand-washing is bad. I just found that if I tried to wash it by hand, it didn’t get as clean. Read: smelly blender container.
But maybe that’s just my poor dish-washing skills?
Either way, running it through the dishwasher, I found, is essentially required if you really want a clean, well-maintained blender (not the case with a full-sized Vitamix whose blade is NOT removable).
And you really want to keep it clean if you’re using it to chop onions and other vegetables.
Yes, the S30 can chop vegetables.
But, there’s one caveat.
Vegetable chopping ability: just okay
The Vitamix S30 is able to chop vegetables.
But it chops differently (not as well) as a full-sized Vitamix.
Full-size Vitamixes have wider containers and longer blades. Chopping onions, for example, in a full-sized Vitamix is a breeze.
I do it all the time.
Expecting the same chopping ability in an S30 is not realistic. It can’t chop as much due to simple physics.
But you CAN chop in the S30.
You just need to use the wet chopping technique (featured in the cookbook). Basically, add water to the stuff you want to chop.
So while a full-sized Vitamix can completely replace a food processor, I’m afraid the Vitamix S30 cannot.
If you’re not doing much chopping, you’ll be happy with a Vitamix S30.
Try an S30 if you find yourself saying…
“I love taking smoothies and shakes with me on-the-go.”
“I’ve always wanted a Vitamix so I make the smoothest smoothies ever.”
“Having a Vitamix with me on the road would help me lose weight.”
“I have a dishwasher and am not afraid to use it.”
“I should make a good investment in my health.”
“I already have a full-sized Vitamix and want one specifically designed for my travels.”
Do not try an S30 if you find yourself saying…
“I want everything a Vitamix has to offer.”
“I want to upgrade my Vitamix to the newest model.”
“I think a Nurtibullet or Ninja is just as good.”
“I’m a culinary expert looking for an all-in-one kitchen tool.”
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The Vitamix S30 lives up to it’s name. It’s the best on-the-go, personal blender I’ve ever tested. If I was still consulting on-the-road every week, I would not hesitate.
I would buy one immediately.
While it’s not suitable as a replacement for a full-sized Vitamix, I have definitely been recommending it to my friends and family.
Where to buy a Viamix (popular)
Dairy free recipes (most recent)
Banana ice cream recipe (unreal delicious)
S30 (current price)
Recipes and other articles published during the “30 days of the S3o”Try the Vitamix S30