Crew Comparison: DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino vs ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart

How Does It Compare?

On this week’s Crew Comparison, we’re bringing you a DeLonghi showdown: The DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino versus the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart! In one corner we have the Eletta packed with programmability; auto-on, espresso and milk volume, LatteCrema system and—for all your drip drinkers—pulse-brewed coffee! In the opposite corner the Smart puts up a fair fight with seamless operation, LatteCrema system and affordability. But it’s hurting on programmability. We’re rooting for the Eletta! It feels like a shoo-in, but the match isn’t over until we’ve seen what these two superautomatics can do!

The Eletta features a LatteCrema system that creates ideal milk foam for a variety of drinks. The Eletta features a LatteCrema system that creates ideal milk foam for a variety of drinks.
The DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart is equipped with a simple interface and one-touch technology. The DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart is equipped with a simple interface and one-touch technology.

Shot

The DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart’s simplified menu rises to the challenge to wake you up and get you out the door. Its select dial swiftly scrolls through your two espresso and three milk drink options. There’s no need to worry about choosing the wrong drink either! When you’ve chosen your drink, all you do is hit brew to start the Smart. The catch-22 for the Smart is the lack of programmability that we've seen on the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino, which might be worth the extra investment for some coffee lovers.

The DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart Cappuccino features a simple interface for early risers. The DeLonghi Magnifica S Smart Cappuccino features a simple interface for early risers.

The Smart plays a fair game, but the Eletta’s customization hits its mark every time. Customize the espresso and milk volume for all your favorite drinks—that includes the milk menu drinks! The Eletta requires a little one-on-one time to find your ideal drink settings, but your hard work pays off with one-touch cappuccinos brewed to your liking. But the real knock-out is it’s pulsed-brewed coffee—not espresso! The Eletta’s strategy is to deliver slow and steady pressure to achieve drip coffee consistency. And you know what? It truly is like a cup of drip.

In 'My Coffee,' when you program the volume of your single shot, it daisy-chains to the rest of your drink options. In 'My Coffee,' when you program the volume of your single shot, it daisy-chains to the rest of your drink options.

Steam

Both superautomatics introduce the LatteCrema system to the new lineup. The system features a three-setting milk foam dial that makes a creamy froth, medium foam or a thick, fluffy foam with the ability to froth in between. The first dial steams instead of frothing the milk for a texture perfect for hot chocolate or lattes. The last option is our go-to for traditional cappuccinos!

The LatteCrema system has three milk foam options to create creamy lattes or fluffy cappuccinos. The LatteCrema system has three milk foam options to create creamy lattes or fluffy cappuccinos.

While both machines impress us with frothing, we’d put on money on the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino for it’s winning combo—the LatteCrema system and programmable milk volume. You’ll whip up creamy lattes with just the right proportions of espresso, milk and foam. Bonus: With the Eletta, you can program each drink’s espresso and milk volume.

Where the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart excels, again, is the LatteCrema system; however, the factory settings leave us yearning for more action. That said, if you’re satisfied with the convenience and consistency of your cup, you won’t blink an eye without it! With the Smart, one-touch cappuccinos are brewed without a second thought on your part, coffee lovers.

Both machines feature a removable carafe that stores in the fridge for tomorrow's coffee. Pictured: DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart.

Style

Standing at nearly 15-inches tall, the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino seems to dwarf the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart. However, when you compare the numbers, the Smart isn’t that much smaller! The Smart saves half an inch in depth and barely a full inch in height thanks to its tall bean hopper. Both DeLonghi’s sport sleek profiles with clean edges to easily cozy up to your other appliances under the cabinet. In fact, with the front-access to the water tank and grounds bin, both the Eletta and Smart are well-designed for modern homes.

The Eletta's larger body holds a two liter water tank. The Eletta's larger body holds a two-liter water tank.

Where the Eletta visibly squashes its opponent is its display. Not only does it open up features like automatic on and off options, but it also flaunts an easy-reading digital display and touch-sensitive buttons. Program the Eletta to turn on in the morning and shut off when you’re heading out the door—this sort of customization saves time and energy. We appreciate the angle of the display, which offers a clear view for taller coffee lovers. That said, the Smart isn’t an underdog—it brews delicious coffee and cappuccinos without extra finessing. The Smart will also make delicious coffee without breaking the bank.

Conclusion

We had a close match between the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino and the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart. Both machines feature the LatteCrema system that whip up foamy drinks, but the Eletta offered us customized coffee that we couldn’t find on the Smart. That said, if you’re on a budget and willing to sacrifice customization, the Smart might be for you! What do you think of the latest DeLonghi superautomatics? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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