I have no connection with the foodsaver company other than as a satisfied customer and I have recieved no compensation for this review.
The unit itself is nice looking; it stands vertical and takes about 6" horizontal, so you can use it on a standard-width counter without too much difficulty. It's automatic. You put your food into the bag and insert the open end of the bag into the unit. It pumps the air out, and then heat-seals the bag. You cannot remove the bag while it's doing this. You can press the "seal" button at any point during the pumping, which turns out to be handy if there's liquid in the bag.
As it removes the air any liquid goes into this drip tray. It's not too hard to get to it, but if you're not pressing the button to seal soon enough, you have to open the machine and clear this tray for each bag, which is a bit of a hassle. If you press the seal buttom as soon as you see the air out, so that not much liquid is pumped, you can avoid this little chore.
If too much liquid is in the seal area it won't seal well -- best to test each bag as it's sealed to see if the seal happened. With bags with a little liquid in them this is easy -- i just tipped them upside down over the sink. Dry bags you might have to look at carefully.
If you are sealing things that don't have liquid, like pork chops, the drip pan isn't really an issue.
I don't have a handle on how much it costs per bag yet. I'll be using it to seal meat when I slaughter, so if it's a penny a package it's not going to bother me much. When i buy supplies I'll update this entry.
First day impressions: With the liquid/drip pan issue being the only minor problem, good.