Appearance and Size
My first thoughts when I took a look at these machines is that they do look a bit basic. The outer shell is constructed completely of plastic which looks a bit, well, cheap. The front of each machine looks the same. In fact, the only difference that you will see design wise is the color. The BL201 is black while the BL204 is white. I usually like black over white for kitchen appliances as that color seems to make the unit seem sleeker. But in this case, the Ninja BL204 looks better to me. Of course this is simply a preference thing.
These machines aren’t very large as they measure about 5.5 x 9 x 13.5 inches. Besides, they are two machines in one and thus they more than earn their space on your countertop as they will get a lot of use.
Power and Performance
Ninja Kitchen System Pulse BL201
Both models work with pulse action only – some customers really don’t like that you have to “baby sit”. You will need to hold down the cup or work-bowl to engage the motor. You can’t just choose a speed and walk away.
The bl201 has a 550-watt motor which does pale in comparison to the bl204 which has a 700-watt motor – I trust that you would experience a much better level of performance with the bl 204. When it comes to blenders, typically, higher wattage means better performance.
That doesn’t mean that the 550-watt bl201 is no go. Actually, there are plenty of folks whom are happy with their choice of the 201. But I did come across some bl201 users that were underwhelmed by the promises of this kitchen system.
Ninja claims that with the “Total Crushing Technology” you can turn ice into snow, and that you can use these machines to make dough. Well, I suspect that you will have some luck doing both of those things to some degree but how well and for how long would be the lingering questions for me.
Can you consistently liquefy very fibrous foods, i.e.?
Can you consistently turn ice into snow?
Will the smoothie consistency be smooth most of the time?
If the results are favorable, how long does it take to make that so?
Knowing what I know, from doing a lot of research, I have my doubts about how either of these machines will live up to lofty expectations. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy with either of these machines, it’s just that you may want to reconsider what you expect from them.
Get more details on the Ninja bl201
Get more details on the Ninja bl204
Remember, it’s fool-hardy to expect $500 performance from a $50 machine (not saying that either of these machines cost $50, just using these numbers as an example for my point).
Processing Bowl and Cups etc.
Ninja Kitchen System Pulse BL204
Both of these models come with a 40 ounce work bowl, as far as food processors go, that is a small capacity. The bl201 comes with two go cups with lids while the bl204 comes with three cups. The work-bowls and cups are BPA-free.
To help you make your dough, both kitchen systems come with a dough hook and a dough paddle.
Both of these models come with a standard one year warranty.