I saw a message on the message board about this machine being on sale at Costco for $389, but when I added it to my cart, it was only $289!
It came with a sample of primary color pacesetter thread, some stabilizer and pre-wound bobbins, a few accessories, like a cool little pair of embroidery scissors. I love the fact that it is a dedicated embroidery machine, so I can still sew on my sewing machine while I embroider.
I love this machine! The stitch quality is excellent. I have tried it with different brands of polyester thread, and so far, I haven't had any problems with tension, breakage or anything. I still have to try using Rayon threads with it. I am using the 90wt bobbin thread that came with the machine. I am making my own bobbins.
The needle threader works EVERY time! I keep giggling when I thread my needle, this thing is amazing.
Transferring a design into the machine is very simple. I plug in my computer, and the machine shows up as a removable drive. All I have to do is copy and paste the design I want to stitch onto the "removable drive" and touch the upload button on the machine. Unless you save the design in the machine's memory, it will go away if you shut the machine down.
The machine is OS independent, my computer runs Linux Ubuntu, not a Mac, not a PC, and it works like a charm. You do not need to keep the machine connected to the computer in order to stitch the design.
There are some editing capabilities right on the machine's screen, like adjusting size, placement, rotating or mirror image etc. etc. I do not have embroidery software yet, so I save my designs on my computer along with the thumbnail image I find on the embroidery website where I purchase a design. It works.
The 5X7 embroidery field is HUGE in my humble opinion, so I bought a 4X4 hoop to save on stabilizer.
This machine is perfect for my needs, I intend to embroider a few items, once in a while, but I am not big time into machine embroidery, so I do not need to invest thousands of dollars into an embroidery machine.
9/18/2013 I tried Sulky rayon thread today, and the pre-wound bobbins that came with my machine, and I did not have any problems. It embroidered beautifully. :)
The screen could be bigger and in color....but then it would not be $289
Would have been nice to have the 4X4 hoop included with the machine, but then.....