"I fell in love with Mindstorms in college when we used a Lego RCX to program our projects in my Intro to Robotics course. It was a lot of fun and you really could express your ideas in so many ways. That is what Mindstorms brings to mind. Brainstorming solutions, the limit of what you can do is what your mind can think of.
After opening my EV3 kit, I set aside the instructions and went about creating my children a little robot. I start looking through the pieces and I realize that all of the things I loved to build with a not in this set. No differential drive. I have 4 wheels and two treads, but I can't create something with both treads and wheels. No technic bricks what so ever. 3 gears sizes but it's really hard to build a gear reduction when they don't align, let alone when I don't have any non-friction connector peg cross axles. And then I'm looking at the servo motor and thinking to myself, man this takes up a ton of space. I'm going to have to find some creative way to build around all of this. I've got a handful of swords... K, I don't really need those but they're nice decorative pieces. I've got plenty of body plates, weird balls, and pre-casted cages pieces but it's all decorative fluff. When you get does to it, the guts are missing.
This kit is setup to build the 5 basic robot layouts designed on the box and not much more than that. Even my 8 year old daughter picked it up and within 5 minutes said, "I can't build what I want with this".
Now, on the positive side, I do like the new controller. I like that it features Bluetooth. With the iOS app, you can build your own custom controllers which is pretty cool. It has a nice diagnostic page for checking the values on all the ports and positions of all the servo motors. It also has a page to manually drive the motor ports with the buttons.
But... It does take a long time to turn on which is a real pain when you're iteratively building your own creation and you want to test ideas while not leaving it running all the time draining batteries. And it seems a bit heftier than the old RCX controller. I had some concerns because it's a tad weighty for the servo motors to lift (particularly with the extra length of the motor unit, creating leverage against the motor). It features a stud less design, which speaks to some of the frustrations with this set. It'd be nice to have other ways to connect my lego's and technic parts to this other than connector pegs.
This set really needs some more spare parts included with it to let the users run wild with their imagination. Or alternatively, if we're minimizing giving the consumer extra parts that won't be used in every creation, then give me an add-on set I can purchase that has the pieces I'm going to very quickly realize I need if I want to do more than what's in the 5 sample robots.
Overall, this set has left me disappointed. I much prefer the technic motors to these ones. I wish they could give me servo motors in the technic motor form factor. I wish they included bricks and studs with this set, something other than angular beams. I wish there were cams and diff drives and turrets. I wish I had a full collection of connector pegs and cross axels and gears. I wish I just had more..."