The Cuisinart SmartPower CPB-300 blending system includes one 32-ounce blend jar, an 8-ounce chopping cup and a set of four, 16-ounce travel mugs. It gets great reviews as a powerful, versatile machine that is popular for families who have multiple members because you can individualize smoothies by blending right in the travel cups. There are more than a few scattered complaints, and the fact that the travel-cup lids drinking hole can't be sealed makes it unsuitable for some "travel" situations.
Small blender makes great smoothies and more. Most blenders give you a large pitcher or a single-serve cup -- but the Cuisinart SmartPower CPB-300 blender gives you both. You can choose to blend in one of four 16-ounce travel cups, a 32-ounce jar or an 8-ounce chopping bowl. Despite its small motor (350 watts, about half the power of most full-size blenders), the Cuisinart hangs with big blenders in one top test, cranking out very nice piña coladas, puréed soup and grated Parmesan cheese. Crushed ice turns out good -- not great. Most owners use the Cuisinart for smoothies with positive results. A number of reviews say it's important to follow the directions carefully; those who do seem happier with this blender.
Convenience mastered. One professional testing organization gives the Cuisinart SmartPower CPB-300 blender a Very Good rating for convenience (ease of use and cleaning), and owners agree. The blade assembly screws onto the top of the travel cup, and then off after it's blended. All parts are dishwasher safe, and with several cups included, there's less cleanup than with a standard blender, buyers say. Many commuters like that they can make four shakes before they have to run the dishwasher. If you're a two-smoothie household (or more), owners say the Cuisinart makes it easy to blend different shakes for everybody. The travel cups have lids, but with open holes at the top for drinking. Some owners wish the lids sealed shut, but others point out that the design is perfect for a straw.
Small footprint and streamlined look. One expert reviews says the Cuisinart SmartPower CPB-300 is a full-service blender that takes up half the space of a normal one. The columnar base (in black/stainless steel, white or pink) flows seamlessly into the clear blending cups for a sleek look that owners like. At less than 16 inches tall, the Cuisinart CPB-300 fits into the standard space beneath upper cabinets -- and at less than 6 pounds, users say it's highly portable.
Read the instructions. We found more durability complaints about the Cuisinart SmartPower CPB-300 than we did about other blenders in this report, but the number seems comparable to other blenders in its class. One interesting thing we discovered: Some users complain the blender will not turn on out of the box. Others point out that the troubleshooting guide clearly explains why and that it has to do with the blade assembly. The take-home message here would be: Read the manual before giving it a 1-star review. Otherwise, the general consensus is that this is a durable, powerful appliance. The blending containers are made from the same super-tough BPA-free material (Eastman Tritan copolyester) as pitchers for the top-rated Vitamix 5200 (Est. $450) and Breville Hemisphere Control (Est. $200). It comes with a three-year warranty.
The Cuisinart CPB-300 is among five single-serve blenders Valentina Palladino reviews for Wired. She notes that it's powerful, but a bit loud and takes some practice to get the right consistency in drinks. She likes the size option of the included cups/accessories, but the fact that the travel lids don't close is inconvenient.
Review: Smoothie Operators: 5 Single-Serve Blenders Tested, Valentina Palladino , June 13, 2013
Editors of ConsumerReports.org test and rate 79 blenders, including the Cuisinart SmartPower CPB-300. Testing methodology includes blending yogurt, pureeing soups and crushing ice for smoothies. They also evaluated convenience, noise and durability. User reviews are also helpful for real-world perspective, but are not part of the editor's evaluation process.
Review: Blenders, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
3. Good Housekeeping
The Cuisinart Smart Power CPB-300 is tested by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute and given an overall letter grade of B. Overall, it performs very well and they note that it's easy to use and clean. However, it's not good at making margaritas, they say, and tomato sauce left stains in the jar.
Review: Cuisinart SmartPower Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System CPB-300, Editors of Good Housekeeping, July 2013
In more than 1,000 reviews, the Cuisinart SmartPower CPB-300 earns an overall average of 4 stars out of 5. Some owners give it a low grade with complaints that the motor burned up, but most love it, saying that if you follow the directions carefully it makes great smoothies, hummus, nut butters and more. This link is for the black version, but includes reviews for the blender in white or pink.
Review: Cuisinart CPB-300 SmartPower 15-Piece Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System, Black, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2014
More than 65 customers review the Cuisinart SmartPower CPB-300 at BedBathandBeyond.com, giving it an overall average of 4.2 stars out of 5. Owners say it's a great value and is highly efficient at making a quick smoothie in the morning. However, there are a few scattered complaints about durability.
Review: Cuisinart SmartPower 4-Cup Compact Blending/Chopping System, Contributors to BedBath&Beyond.com, As of July 2014