After a long wait, the personal-size blending cups are finally available for the Ascent Series. They are currently selling a 20-oz container kit and an 8-oz container kit. Each kit comes with two containers, two lids, and a blade base. These containers are only for Ascent Vitamix models. (If you have an older Vitamix, you can likely use the personal cup adapter.) These containers allow Ascent models to blend smaller amounts than they are able to blend in the wide 64-oz that comes with the machines.
I don’t know if Vitamix plans to sell other combinations of containers and bases, but I believe they will sell the containers without the blade base at some point.
Update: Vitamix is continuing to have a supply problem with these containers, so they’ve been in and out of stock on Vitamix.com. If they are out of stock on Vitamix.com, check Amazon. Also, for people who don’t have an Ascent model, I’ve tested, and it is possible to use the 8-oz bowls on the personal cup adapter.
The Ascent 20-oz cups are almost identical to the 20-oz cups for the S-Series and personal cup adapter. However, they use different magnets to activate the self-detect system. (If an Ascent model does not detect a container, it will not run.) The S-Series also uses magnets for container detection, but the S-Series magnets are smaller, so they do not work with the Ascent blade base.
The cups are double-walled, and, according to my tests, that means they keep drinks cold about twice as long as a single-walled cup. The lids are solid, and well-designed.
The number one use of these cups is smoothies to take on the go. They also work for salad dressings, but I think the 8-oz may be even more convenient for most dressings.
The lids make storing leftovers convenient. However, note that the magnets in the container mean that these are not microwave safe!
Here’s a demonstration of using an 8-oz bowl to blend spices:
Since these containers completely seal, blending is a bit different from the classic Vitamix experience. You can’t use a tamper, which means that we won’t be able to use them for super-thick blends. However, it’s convenient to pick them up and give them a shake if the ingredients get stuck.
These containers are not suitable for hot liquids, because they are unvented and pressure can build up. For that reason, when an Ascent base detects one of these containers, it disables the hot-soup program. It also adjusts the other program modes to shorter times, to account for the smaller container.