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The Panasonic SD-255 breadmaker has swept all before it, winning almost every comparative review going, and selling by the thousand. Not surprisingly, its 2010 replacement, the Panasonic SD-257 breadmaker (or to give the machine its full title, the Panasonic SD257WXC breadmaker), is only an incremental upgrade. Bearing in mind the superb design of the existing model, it's been hard to predict how Panasonic could have made the SD-257 breadmaker a significant improvement over its predecessor.
However, there are some small changes. The main one, as far as Panasonic is concerned, is a tough new coating on the pan and the kneading blade, called 'diamond fluoro coating'. Now, after three years of regular use of our SD-255 (full review), we've not had problems with scratching on the pan or blade, but maybe some people make their breadmaker work even harder, and will appreciate this improvement.
In addition, there's a setting for brioche baking, and some small changes to the recipes. Panasonic are pushing the gluten-free program quite hard too. We're working on a full review of the new model, but it's quite clearly every bit as good (and indeed slightly better) than its best-selling predecessor. You might like to take a look at the 4-minute video (above) which we made on the day our SD-257 arrived here in the ChrisRand.com kitchen.
Whether or not you opt for the new SD257, or pick up a classic SD255 while stocks last, is up to you. The SD-257 breadmaker is available in a selection of stores, but it's hard to know which, so most people seem to be buying theirs online; Amazon appear to have both the old and new models available, and delivered ours in 48 hours (via HughesDirect) for around £115. I'd say that as long as you're happy with the retailer and the price is under £120, you can buy with confidence.