Vitamix S30 vs The Nutri Ninja Auto iQ Personal Blenders
In this 2016 updated Ninja vs Vitamix review, the two most popular machines in the personal blender category get compared and rated.
The price gap between them is pretty wide - find out if it is really worth it to invest in the Vitamix
The Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ and Vitamix S30
Personal blenders have become super popular over the years with the surge of the smoothie making.
One of the first blenders on the market in this category was the unique and humble Magic Bullet. It dominated as the only personal blender option for a long time.
These days, there are much better and higher performance personal blenders which have made their way onto retail shelves.
The Ninja and Vitamix brands definitely offer machines which fit into this slot.
Comparing Ninja and Vitamix Personal Blenders
There are so many models of the Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ, it is important that I am clear about which one is being reviewed here.
To be specific, I am comparing the BL492 model of the Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact System with the Vitamix S30.
As usual, Ninja spent a lot of money in advertising this product with hyped up infomercials and even celebrity endorsements.
So will this be the first Ninja to fully live up to all that hype?
Or does the demure and "Made in America" Vitamix
Here's a quick comparison for some of the main features:
Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Compact
1200 watt motor
Plastic Socket Drive
1 Year Warranty
3 Program Settings, Pulse & Smooth Boost
Flat Button Control Panel
Made in China
$ Medium Price Range $
120+ Reviews on Amazon
790 watt motor
Metal Socket Drive
5 Year Warranty
Unique Dull Blade Design
10 Variable Speeds & Pulse
Large Control Dial
130 Recipe Book
Made in America
$ High Price Range $
50+ Reviews on Amazon
Now... Let's dig into more of the details and facts so you can decide for yourself which one is best for you after scanning this review.
What Each Blender Comes With Out of the Box
Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ
- two 24 ounce to-go cups (BPA free plastic)
- one double-wall stainless steel to-go cup to keep drinks cool
- one 48 ounce food jar for family size blending
- three sip and seal lids
- one Pro extractor blade
- a 2 pronged power cable with a handy cord wrap on the machine
- one 20 ounce BPA free plastic, double-walled portable cup
- one 40 ounce compact family size blending container
- one metal blade base - allows for interchangable blades
- one flip top lid which locks for the portable cup
- one tamper for pushing down thick ingredients
- has a 3 pronged power cord
- 130 recipe book
Design and Build Quality Comparison
The Base Units
One of the key differences between these two blenders is easily noticed when you look at the materials used to build these machines.
Ninja uses *plastic drive sockets and blade connections. Unfortunately, plastic parts are cheaper and will wear out way sooner than the Vitamix's metal parts.
*Note that those plastic parts are NOT covered under the Ninja’s limited warranty.
The base for the Ninja does have some nice weight to it, but I think it's lacking in good looks or style.
Of course, looks do not matter much to those who only care about function.
In the video below, the Ninja Auto iQ and Smooth Boost functions are explained.
I noted that the base for this Ninja and the Vitamix are both significantly more massive than most of their rivals.
Never mind the heft of the Vitamix - which makes to unit stay put while processing heavy duty blends - the S30's base makes up almost 2/3 of its total size.
You could say the Vitamix S30's motor housing is almost statuesque in appearance. Furthering its good looks is a glossy piano-black finish, tasteful curves, and impressively solid construction.
More important than looks is quality, and Vitamix most certainly has that going for it.
The Vitamix reputation for top-notch quality is legendary.
Since Vitamix uses metal parts, it makes their S30 much more reliable and durable than the Ninja.
In the video below, you can quickly see a tour of the features and how well the system works for making soups and smoothies.
Vitamix S30 comes with a 20 ounce, double-walled construction pesonal size container which helps to keep beverages cold. Plus it has a tapered design made to fit most cup holders.
It also comes with a larger 40 ounce jar to handle normal blending tasks.
Nutri Ninja's 24-ounce container which is not double-walled also does not claim to insulate your beverage. These cups are not tapered as much, so they will fit into fewer cup holders than the Vitamix's cup.
But they do provide a third cup made from stainless steel which is double-wall contruction to keep your smoothies cool. The problem with this cup is that you can't monitor how well your smoothie is blended because the cup in not see through.
Also, their Sip & Seal lids are supposed to prevent leaks.
Both companies make their containers from BPA free plastics.
Ease of Use
The control console on the Ninja is soft touch keypad style.
It offers a good variety of processing options:
- Smooth Boost button
- Extract button (Auto-iQ)
- Blend button (Auto-iQ)
- Chop button (Auto-iQ)
Plus it has a digital display timer to count down the blending time.
The Vitamix S30 is controlled with just one large dial in the center of the base.
It has the following settings:
- Pulse setting
- Variable speeds from 1-10.
This simple design is super easy to use and less complex to operate than the Ninja.
There is a rubber gasket seal is on both the Vitamix and Ninja which needs to be removed for cleaning. But the seal on the Vitamix is much, much easier to come off than the Ninja.
In fact, you need to use something to help pry it out of the base of the Ninja's base to get it out. It's a REAL PAIN!
This makes thorough cleaning more difficult. And if it's not done properly, it will lead to contamination over time. Ewwwww!
If you need a good personal blender to make basic smoothies, the Ninja Auto-iQ can do the job pretty well. But even with their Smooth Boost function - it really can't come close to match the velvety smooth quality produced by Vitamix.
Now if what you want is a really great compact blender that can process just about anything you toss into it and make it super smooth - then the Vitamix S30 is by far the better option.
Plus, the way the Vitamix is built is well worth the extra money.
Vitamix's high quality build means you will have many years of hassle free use, and in the long run that will make the extra cost seem trivial.
THE GOOD - Vitamix offers very high quality design & construction. You'll make super smooth smoothies. The blade system is easy to clean. It's great for blending to go and much more.
THE BAD - This unit is expensive, and isn't as powerful as full sized all-purpose blenders. Plus it comes with fewer accessories than the Ninja.
THE BOTTOM LINE The Vitamix S30 is the best choice if you need easy personal to-go blending and the highest quality. The is the right machine if those things are your aim and the cost isn't too much for you.
Price - MSRP $399 but we found it selling for a lot less on Amazon
THE GOOD - The to-go cups are very handy with the locking lids.
THE BAD -The 48oz jar didn't perform well and the Auto-IQ feature isn't as intelligent as hoped. It is much harder to remove the rubber gasket seal, making it a real pain to clean properly. The plastic parts are a concern as they're not covered by the warranty and they won't last as long as metal parts.
THE BOTTOM LINE The Nutri Ninja Auto-IQ Compact system falls short of making the most of its power or its pieces. It's just an okay blender.
Price - MSRP $169.99 but we found it selling for less on Amazon