This blender crushes ice really well and is great for making smoothies. I am not much of a cook myself, but it is simple for me to use and my smoothies always turn out great. It can be difficult to clean, though just as much as any blender would be i suppose, and while the limited number of functions/buttons makes for easier use, the lack of options can be frustrating. Blending Power The blender crushes ice very well without leaving any big pieces. Similar for blending fruit for smoothies, though occasionally a larger piece of fruit is left behind. Versatility I have not attempted to use it for much more than crushing ice and smoothies, so i can only speak to its versatility so much. Ease of Cleaning The blades are hard to clean and it is difficult to get inside on the bottom. The glass jar portion cleans well in a dishwasher. Ease of Use Buttons are easy to press and the functions are very intuitive. Durability We have only owned it for a year and a half, and have had absolutely no problems at all.