by Garrick Dee
Updated December 18th, 2018
Just in case you don’t know Vitamix has a line line of blenders they call the Ascent.
The A3500 is the crème dela crème of Ascent series meaning it’s got all the bells and whistles.
It has variable speed, pulse, 5 program settings and a touch screen interface that looks absolutely stunning.
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All Ascent blenders have the 2.2 hp motor that’s similar to the motor inside the “professional series” blenders.
The big question is – is this blender worth the asking price of around $530?
I think it’s a better deal than the Vitamix 780 that costs close to $630 because first it’s cheaper and I find the controls more intuitive.
But that would be my opinion. Let’s look closely at this top-of-the-line Vitamix.
A quick look at the features
- Comes with 5 program settings – smoothies, hot soup, dips & sauces, frozen dessert and self-cleaning
- Touchscreen interface that’s easy to use and clean
- 10-speed variable speed setting
- Built-in wireless connectivity detects the type of container you put on the motor and automatically adjusts program settings to fit the container used
- Digital timer helps you be precise when making custom recipes
- Comes with the Ascent series cookbook
- Only 17” tall – shorter than the 750 or 7500
- 10 year warranty
- Powerful motor can make just about any recipe you can think of from smoothies to batters
- 5 program settings gives you consistently blended soups, smoothies, sauces and dessert
- Long warranty
- Tamper makes allows this to make stuff like frozen desserts or nut butter much quicker without the need to stop the motor
- Stainless steel blade resists corrosion
- New container has a transparent cover that improves visibility
- At $600 this blender is expensive
- Short power cord
- It is very, very loud
Everything about the Ascent A3500 screams sophistication. One quick look at the interface reveals a totally different design but retains a similar layout as the 750.
Touch Screen Interface
Instead of using toggle switches for the power and pulse features, Vitamix switched it to a touchscreen setting that’s easier to use and clean. It still retained the rotary dial but even that is digital element to it.
Turning the dial is smooth as butter and if you look above it you’ll see the LED screen and preset controls. And pressing the pre-programmed controls shows you the time and speed on the screen.
What I like about the digital dial is that you don’t need to turn it back down to one after a cycle. It automatically resets to 1 when you stop the machine.
All second and the latest generation Vitamix blenders have 10 speed settings that give you more flexibility on how fine or chunky you want your recipes to be.
When you look at the features the A3500 is similar to the legacy series blenders 750 and 7500. But the biggest difference would be the A3500 does not use toggle switches anymore.
Compared to the 780, this blender still retains the old familiar layout found in their older variants but with a touch of modern in it.
I’ve mentioned that this blender is actually cheaper than the 780. If you’re considering buying the 780 why not look at this newer variant instead?
Another element redesigned in the Ascent A3500 is the container. The new pitcher has a redesigned spout which makes it easier and less messy to pour.
Lid also has a new design. Instead of using a black rubber lid the new design now is transparent with the lid plug doubling as a measuring cup.
The transparent design allows you better visibility and do your blending from the top. It has the same low profile design found in the 750 and 780. Overall height of this blender is half an inch shorter at 17 inches.
If you look at the bottom of the container, it has a square design which makes it easier to clean.
At the button is a stainless steel blade that will resist corrosion over the long haul.
Compatible with Self Detect Containers
All Ascent series blenders will be compatible with “self- detect” containers that Vitamix will soon release. Right now these include an 8 ounce container for making baby food, dips and spreads and a 20 ounce container for making smoothies on the go.
You don’t need to adjust any settings because the motor base will read the container size you put it and automatically adjust program settings.
It also comes with variable speed of up to 10 settings. This gives you the ability to blend different types of recipes according to your preference and taste.
In addition to having variable speed, the Ascent A3500 has 5 pre-programmed settings for making smoothies, hot soup, frozen dessert, dips & sauces and even a setting for cleaning the container.
These settings are there for convenience. If you make these recipes often it is a time saver because you can set it and do other things.
This is one of the most versatile blenders you’ll ever find in the right now. Aside from making the usual smoothie recipe with water and ice, this can make recipes with very little liquid.
Blending with Henry demonstrates how to make one with mixed berries and avocado.
The first part of the video shows the actual recipe.
This isn’t your typical smoothie recipe that’s has a liquid consistency. It looks more like a yogurt and I like how you can top it with stuff like nuts, coconut, rolled oats, etc.
This recipe looks filling and best of all this stuff is health and does not have any artificial sweeteners. It’s a great alternative if you don’t like yogurt.
Now how about some hot chicken soup using broccoli, chicken and some carrots?
The beauty of this machine is that it’s all hands free. And if he didn’t stop the blender it will run for around 7 minutes and it’ll be hot. Follow the recipes in the booklet and you can make gourmet quality meals at home.
Here’s a demonstration from Vitamix headquarters on how the 8 ounce container works on a 5 spice blend.
You can use this container to grind coffee beans and such.
Blending with Henry takes a close look and demos the 20 ounce and 8 ounce containers.
These add-ons are pricey but if you grind plan on making your own spices or using it to grind beans, it should pay itself over the long haul.
Yes, this variant comes with its own clean setting. Just fill the container halfway, add a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap and run the cleaning setting. Don’t forget to rinse the container of any soapy residue afterwards.
This is dishwasher safe but if you wash it immediately after blending there is no need to stick it in there.
|Jug capacity||64 ounce|
|Blade Type||laser cut stainless steel|
|Preset blending cycles||Smoothies|
Dips and spreads
Even with the high cost, consumers think that the Ascent A3500 is well worth the price. Its powerful motor and sharp blade helped them make really smooth smoothies and even piña coladas.
This machine will make just blend anything you put inside. If you have trouble eating healthy this will make that easier since it comes with a recipe booklet.
Quieter than an Oseter
Compared to an Oster blender this is around 30 to 35% quieter and much more powerful.
The pre-programed setting is another popular feature that helped deliver consistent results.
It looks sleek with the touch screen interface and modern looking rotary dial.
If there is a complaint it would be the inability of this machine to make smaller batches effectively because of the size of the container. But that’s what the smaller 8 and 20 ounce containers are for.
Granted these add-ons are expensive but if you find yourself needing to make small batches of sauces it could be a good investment.
The best deal you’ll get would in Amazon where this sells for just under $530. I like buying from Amazon because you have the option of getting an extended warranty. But it might not matter for the Ascent series because it did come with a 10 year warranty.
If you buy this from Vitamix it’ll cost around $650 so it’s pretty significant.
The Ascent A3500 is the latest and one of the most feature rich blenders Vitamix has right now. Crazy thing is it’s cheaper than the 780. If you want something with that combines power and sophistication then this blender is worth buying.
It has 5 pre-programmed controls for smoothies, frozen desserts, hot soup, salsa and for cleaning the pitcher.
If you’re looking to invest in a machine to help you eat clean or for your business, it’s hard to look past this Vitamix. And they back it up with an industry leading 10 year warranty.