The Keurig K450 is the mid-range machine in the new "Keurig 2.0" line of coffee brewers. The 2.0 line is particularly difficult to review since it combines so many things we do like with several real head-scratchers. We'll start by looking at "just the facts" and then branch out into the more subjective realm of pros and cons.
Let's start with what we really like about this brewer. The K450 takes the basic things that have made Keurig so popular (ease of use, great coffee, great costumer service) and gives the consumer even more brewing options.
The full color display is easy to use, yet incredibly powerful in terms of the options it has. The machine itself is sleek and would look good on most kitchen counters.
The Keurig K450 carries over the "pulse brewing" technology that first appeared with the Keurig Vue, which is a real plus when trying to brew stronger coffee.
This machine also gives the user the option to brew k cups, vue packs, as well as the new k carafes. This is a significant step forward. K cups are nice since they are still the dominant form of single cup coffee and the options are nearly endless. We were excited to see vue packs are supported, since we've felt that the coffee brewed from vue packs is always slightly better than the same coffee brewed from a k cup. The k carafes are larger and allow us to brew up to 4 cups of coffee at a time. You can even program the machine to brew the carafe at a specific time in the morning.
The main negative about this machine is that with the Keurig 2.0 line, Keurig introduced "DRM," which only allows the brewer to brew k cups, vue packs, and k carafes specifically designed for the new brewer. In other words, those k cups that you have lying around your house may not work with this new machine. This has led to a real outcry in the single serve coffee community. Workarounds are being developed, but this is still an issue.
Another potential negative is that the Keurig K450 gives the user no control over the brewing temperature. This is a puzzling decision. The original Keurig brewers brewed at about 192 degrees (a little too cool for optimal coffee brewing). The Vue then came along and took a nice step forward in allowing temperatures up to 197. The 2.0 machines, however, seem to revert back to the cooler temperatures.
The Achilles heel of many of the earlier Keurig brewers was the water pump (which frequently failed). The Keurig K450 seems to have used the same water pump used in the Keurig Vue (at least if the sound of the pump can be used to judge), and this bodes well for reliability. The machine feels solid, and if the newer water pump is indeed being used, we expect to hear of very few issues with this machine.
You should have no concerns on this front. Keurig has excellent customer service and will take care of you if you encounter any problems while using the brewer.
The Keurig K450 retails for $169.99. If you're in the market for a new single serve coffee brewer, this would seem to be a reasonable option. The chief question is whether the DRM is a significant enough downside to outweigh the advances from the 1.0 line of brewers to Keurig 2.0.If you want to have access to the largest line of kcups, stick with one of the older brewers. If you like the option of using vue packs and k carafes (as well as some k cups), opt for one of the 2.0 brewers. Here's a direct link to the K450 on Amazon for your convenience: Keurig K450