Oh lord, do people not realize what we mean when we say "education market"? We in apps knew this would happen and weren't given any time to even "educate" ourselves on these machines. This was designed for absolute newbies who want to easily learn about machining. Not machine controls. Machining! 2D contouring, drilling and all of the other basic stuff that comes with teaching a new young guy or gal about machining.The 3D surfacing question is relevant for anyone considering this machine, who will on occasion need to do 3D surfacing. Anyone buying any machine cares about the performance capability.
"Commodity level machine?" If by commodity you mean "anything which may be bought or sold," then yes, as is any other machine. If you mean something else, then I don't know what you mean, and I can only infer that you mean "not very expensive," which is relevant but doesn't make the 3D surfacing capability question any less so.
Surfacing? Sure. I did a LOT of surfacing back in the 90's on machines that only had 20 block look ahead. It works. But it is slow. SLOW. My fear is that people are going to try surfacing on this machine with the expectations that we all have about conventional machines. We all know what good surfacing machines can do. 15K RPM, 100-200 IPM. That ain't gonna happen here. If you set your expectations to the machine itself, fine. If you expect something else? Well, buyer beware. I will help anyone with these machines. Anyone that buys one will deserve the same help as any other machine. But we can't pull rabbits out of hats.