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 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.
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.
You can tell the difference by looking at the lip of the cup. The Ascent cups have a wide lip that extends all the way around the cup. The non-Ascent cups have a single tab on the lip. For example, this is a non-Ascent Vitamix cup, and it will not work with Ascent machines.
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.