Ninja Blender 1200 BL688 Review: Full Sized Ninja with Auto IQ
When Ninja came into the scene several years ago, their main goal was to challenge the Nutribullet for supremacy in the compact blender segment.
In their earlier blender releases, Ninja’s main selling point was the Auto-IQ feature.
If you’re not familiar with the Auto-IQ, this is Ninja’s version of preset controls that’ll extend its functionality.
Now Ninja has expanded their product line that now includes both compact and full sized blenders.
The Ninja 1200 is a reflection of their expansive product line as a blender with power that rivals a Vitamix. It comes with a 1,200 watt motor with 3 preset or Auto-IQ settings that offer walk away convenience to the table.
Is this blender a good option if you can’t afford a Vitamix?
To help you answer that question, let’s first look at the features of the Ninja 1200 BL688…
- Has Ninja’s Auto-IQ technology that has 3 preset controls for walk away convenience
- 72 ounce pitcher (64 ounce max capacity for liquids)
- 1,200 watt motor is capable of crushing ice, blending frozen desserts and smoothies
- BPA free and dishwasher safe container
- 75” tall
- 7 year warranty
- Full size power at less than $100
- Preset controls add a lot of convenience
- Long warranty
- Large pitcher is great for large families
- BPA free
- Some reports of quality control issues with the pitcher
- Design of blades make it a little finicky to clean
What to expect from the Ninja Blender 1200?
Don’t let the sub-$100 price fool you. This blender packs a lot of punch thanks to its 1,200 motor.
It’s easily a few hundred dollars cheaper than a Vitamix. But the price difference does not reflect the difference in performance.
If you don’t mind the lack of versatility then give this blender a long look.
Powerful 1,200 motor
Under the hood, this blender comes with a potent 1,200 motor that Ninja says is capable of crushing ice. Combine this with the preset controls for smoothies, frozen drinks and purees, you have a machine capable of creating a multitude of recipes ranging from frozen desserts to sauces.
Unlike the Vitamix Ascent series or an Oster Versa where the blades are at the bottom, Ninja has a different design. There are three blades on varying heights that resemble a food processor than a blender.
These blades are both stiff and sharp, giving this machine the capability of crushing ice and pureeing stuff.
One big disadvantage of having blades at the middle instead at the bottom would be its inability to make small quantities. You would at least need to fill up the container at least a third of the way to maximize the functionality of this blender.
Interface and preset controls
If you look at the user interface of the BL688, it has a total of eight buttons. Three of them are presets – smoothie, frozen drink and puree.
The other three are speed controls – low, medium and high. Lastly there’s a power and pulse option.
One big advantage of this interface design would be the cleaning. If you get something on the controls, just wipe it down with a clean rag.
This blender comes with a generous 72-ounce pitcher that’s great for big families of more than 4. If you’re making smoothies, the pitcher would be able to blend up to 64 ounces of liquid.
The pitcher is BPA free and dishwasher safe. Be careful though if you’re cleaning this by hand because the blades are sharp. One way to safely clean it would be removing the blade and rinsing residue immediately after the blending cycle.
Ninja backs this blender with a generous 7-year warranty which is crazy at this price point.
What can this blender make?
To show you the capability of the Ninja 1200 let me share with you a few videos.
Check out this video from QVC as they demo the different functionalities
To see the demo, you can fast forward to the 3 minute mark…
To be honest, I’m really impressed on how this blender was able to crush ice so easily without water. If you’d be doing this even with a Vitamix, you’ll need to add a little bit of water. This is perhaps the biggest advantage that a sharp, knife-life, multi-layer blade design has over a traditional blender blade design has.
It was able to crush ice into a fluffy like consistency in just 2 seconds! This is very impressive.
You can also make margarita, ice cream and smoothies.
The beauty of the Auto-IQ system is you can set it and walk away. And the blender will do all the blending work for you. This removes the guesswork and ensures consistent results every time you use this.
This is a different 1200 variant but it uses the same pitcher.
I just wanted to share this with you to show how it is capable of making stuff like nut butter.
It only has one ingredient –peanuts. If you’re into homemade nut butter, this machine is capable of doing this.
What do consumers say?
Consumers marvel at the power of this machine. This machine is capable of making a variety of recipes from smoothies, baby food and much more. What’s great about this machine according to reviews would be the price. At less than $100, you’re getting a lot of value for your money.
The all-digital design makes this very easy to use and clean. And it also comes with a recipe book that will help you get on track.
Design of the pitcher makes it easy to use as it has guides to line up the blade.
Quality may be an issue because of low cost. One consumer says that it feels a little too “plasticky”.
Another complained that the pitcher broke after 5 months of infrequent use.
As with all consumer electronic products, you cannot really avoid these issues because there is always a percentage of items rolling out that’ll have substandard quality. That’s why there’s a warranty for these type of issues and Ninja backs it up with a 7 year warranty.
Where can I buy this?
You can buy the Ninja 1200 BL688 from Amazon for less than $100. And it is eligible to their free 2-day shipping if you join Prime.
If the 7-year warranty still isn’t enough, you can avail of Amazon’s extended warranty offer of up to 4 years to extend it to 11 years.
To wrap up
This full sized blender is a great option folks looking for a versatile machine capable of making a variety of recipes from smoothies, frozen desserts and even nut butter.
What I like most about this machine would be the long 7-year warranty. It gives you assurance that Ninja standa by their product’s quality. If something goes wrong you can just contact Ninja and they’ll do the rest.
If you’re looking for an affordable blender capable of making a variety of recipes, this is a good alternative to the Vitamix and Blendtec that’ll cost easily a few hundred bucks more. It also comes with a complete recipe book to help you get on track in healthy eating.
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