That's how I describe my Gypsy to those wanting to know "what is it?" It's like the Design Studio Software only without the computer. I love the car charger - although the battery gives you 4 hours of charge time. It's light and very user friendly and beats taking a book to read when you have time to kill waiting for the kids or traveling in the car. I absolutely love it. One really cool feature is that you can see every single image a cartridge offers - every cartridge that's been made.
The bad thing is - the only instructions included in the box is how to turn it on. You have to go to cricut.com and view the message boards for instructions. You can download a copy of the user manuel but it's like 30 pages to print. Basically, you register your gypsy; download the gypsy sync software, download the trial version of the design studio (if you don't already own it) and using an usb cord (which is not included in the box) and hook your computer up to your cricut to download the latest firmware. You can only link a cartridge to one gypsy but you can still use them on any cricut. If you need to get a replacement Gypsy, return it to provo craft, they can reinsert cartridge codes with your replacement, otherwise you've lost the use of all your cartridges in the replacement gypsy. The message boards are quite helpful. I don't consider myself a "techie" but was able to wade through this fairly easily - which was not the case for many people who bought this gem at the World Launch.
All in all, set up took a bit, (mainly because a gazillion people were all trying to figure it out at once) but I love, love love it now and everyone I show it too (true scrappers) drool!
I find that it has everything I need and MORE!
PROS: I think the ability to use any mat whili designing gives flexibility. Placing items anywhere you want is great! the angling and turn functions are just a few of my favorites, as is the hide function!l I linked all my carts and love having them with me! With DS that carting carts, your laptop, and your regular crop stuff to the lab? NO FUN. now it is my bag and my Gypsy. Yes, DS has some of these too but when you are on DS it is a little more difficult to do. You can't see the buttons as clearly as you can the Gypsy. Via zoom button you can. You can work in the car (AS PASSENGER ONLY) with the car adapter. Or take it out, 4 hour life with fully charged battery.
CONS: The screen is small so for when I have tired eyes and I'm feeling a little seeing impaired I use the DS. Without the stylus it is difficult to maneuver. If they had a stylus with one of those ergo big cushy rubber things I would be set!
I Think this is my new best scrap buddy!
I got this awesome tool as a gift from my sweetie for Christmas. I seriously don't remember how I ever went without it. I love the fact that I can quickly and easily scroll through the cartridges and view what I have with a tap on the screen. It sure beats having to open up packaging time and again, flipping through booklets and getting it all set up once I've decided what I want to cut. It has saved me tons of time. I also love that you can easily cut varies sizes of shapes at the same time without having to cut, adjust the size, and cut again. Like the others have said, it does take time to figure it out because it didn't come with a manual. (how silly is that?!) But once you do a little research on the web, you get the hang of it pretty quickly. It's simple to sync your cartridges, too. I give this 5 stars-easily. I love this little thing!