The Vitamix A3500 has a loyal following and for very good reason. The Vitamix brand has a distinct history of offering high-tech power in thoughtfully designed and easy-to-use packages. Vitamix machines tend to be on the expensive side and the company’s new top of the line model retails now for $619.95 in the brushed stainless steel metal finish.
The Vitamix A3500 meets and exceeds the expectations held for this brand. It is versatile, easy to use and even easier to clean. It uses NFC (near field communication) wireless technology to recognize its blending jar by itself.
Vitamix A3500 Design and Features
Every detail of the Vitamix A3500 screams high end. To begin with, this blender is heavy. The base is nearly 15 pounds (14.9 pounds, 6.8kg). It feels quite substantial and that is appealing to consumers. With a heavier base the blender is much more stable. It’s also a good sign that the blender has a robust drive chain. With a powerful 2.2 horsepower motor, the Vitamix A3500 does not disappoint.
Secondly, this machine has a gorgeous brushed stainless steel finish that adds to its premium appearance. The A3500 Ascent series offers six different colors to choose from: copper, black stainless, brushed stainless, candy apple red, graphite, and white.
The most striking feature of the Vitamix A3500 is the LED display. Inside the black, rectangular strip are bright white lights that display the blender’s status. As an example, you will see information such as blade speed, elapsed time or it will indicate if you have selected one of the blender’s automatic programs.
Five different preset modes blend ingredients for frozen desserts, smoothies, dips, soups and spreads, all at the touch of a button. The final mode runs a program that will clean the blender. All you have to do is fill the pitcher halfway with hot water and add a drop of dish soap before you select the cleaning mode.
A variable speed dial is located at the center of the control panel. Turning the knob left or right dials the velocity of the blades either up or down. All of the other controls are flattened touch-sensitive keys that are flush with the blender’s front panel. These keys include icons for start and stop, pulse, as well as plus and minus keys that adjust the automatic blending time.
The Vitamix A3500 comes with a pitcher and blade array joined inside one unit. The 64-ounce jar capacity is generous in size. This machine is a marquee blender, a literal vanguard of appliances with app-connected technology. As an example, the blender base and jar communicate with one another through NFC (near field communication) technology. This allows the blender to know whether the pitcher is present to avoid any potential accidents. This specific ability is not just for safety. Vitamix states that different jars with custom NFC technology help the Ascent series alter its auto-blending programs to match the style and size of the jar that is being used.
One feature you can use with the blender is the Perfect Blend wireless scale and mobile app. Together they guide you through a veritable library of preapproved Vitamix recipes. The scale does cost an additional $100.00 though.
Vitamix A3500 Performance and Usability
The Vitamix A3500 relies on its 2.2 horsepower electric motor to drive the steel blades. This blender handled all of the grueling tests spectacularly.
Many of the other blenders on the market today suggest adding a little water along with ice if you plan to crush it. However, the A3500 pulverized two cups of rock hard ice into snow-like powder in only 10 high-speed pulses.
The Ascent 3500 only required 8 pulses to blend up frozen strawberries and orange juice into a delicious smoothie with little to no noticeable chunks. After 10 pulses at the highest speed, the mixture was totally smooth and creamy.
We were also able to completely liquefy frozen orange juice, frozen strawberries, and coconut yogurt into a creamy mixture in only fifty seconds flat using the preset smoothie program.
We tested out making pesto using the Vitamix A3500 and it was not difficult at all. The blender was able to make the pesto after only 15 high-speed pulses but it was nearly there after only 10 pulses.
Whipped Coconut Cream Test
The whipped coconut cream challenge was not quite as easy for the Vitamix A3500 series. The coconut cream inside of the blending pitcher was still a bit on the runny side after only ten high-speed pulses. It took more than 15 pulses spinning on high for the blender to achieve a thick and luscious whipped coconut cream.
Pancake Batter Test
The Vitamix A3500 was able to blend up a smooth, velvety pancake batter after only 30 seconds. We ran the blender from slow to high and were able to achieve a consistently smooth pancake batter.
Almond Butter Test
One of the hardest tests for any blender to pass is the nut butter test. We took dry, raw almonds and added them into the blender pitcher. The A3500 was able to grind the almonds into almond butter. We had to take frequent breaks in order to vigorously stir the contents by hand during the blending process.
Shredded Cheese Test
We took a 14.1-ounce block of Violife vegan cheese and dropped it whole into the blender’s pitcher. We were very impressed that the Vitamix A3500 was able to process the entire block into shreds in only about 12 pulses. We did have to shake the pitcher several times in order to dislodge the block when it became stuck but, other than that, it worked smoothly and efficiently.
Sometimes using a blender can be messy and some are difficult to clean. The Vitamix A3500 is quick and easy to clean. The fully automated cleaning setting quickly and effectively removes even the largest pieces of debris from both the pitcher and the blades. If you prefer to wash the pitcher by hand, that is another option. The pitcher mouth is nice and wide and the insides are easily accessible. Another added benefit is that this pitcher is dishwasher safe.