I'll start with the positive: The model is very light, great for someone with a bad back who will be blowing for extended periods of time. The blower started right up right out of the box, was easy to use and was a lot more quiet than my older Echo. It also had a full pad for your back unlike the $300 model.
The downside was that it just couldn't push the leaves once they piled up to approximately a foot or so across the yard. This blower is only good for blowing into piles for pickup, for small yards, yards without many trees, grass clippings, etc. I was very disappointed as I loved everything else about it as mentioned above. I was also perplexed because my old PB300E which had similar specs, 157 mph and 328 cfm, blew those leaf walls right to the back of the yard. The only thing I could surmise on my own, since the ECHO customer service rep had no clue, was that the older model had smaller diameter piping. You would think that 25 years later they would have figured out how to make a lighter weight blower with more power.
To end, I just returned the unit today and have no clue as to what model to purchase now. I was trying to avoid the heavier units at 22 to 23 pounds versus this one which was 13.3. I am going to miss my 25 year old ECHO which was 16 pounds and blew like crazy.