My sister has the old version and I have the new version, and turning the handle is exactly the same. The only difference is that you don't have to attach the handle to the new version. I didn't find that cranking the new one was any smoother than the other.
The new Cuttlebug machine is the same width and measurement, nothing has changed except for the shell has been streamlined, a bit lighter than the original, and the handle has a storage.
You will experience the same amazing embossing features.