The Gypsy is a handheld device that allows you to manipulate the images to fit your needs. You can weld letters together to make a word and hide parts of the images. You can design with ANY image on the Gypsy. HOWEVER you can only cut the images that are linked (preloaded or linked via cartridge) to the Gypsy. Those will be displayed in green otherwise they will be in red (you cannot cut the images that are in red). The Gypsy is not available too many places as it is possibly being phased out. They do have an online version named Cricut Craft Room. It does the same thing as the gypsy, but better. They also give you free shapes to cut each week starting on Wednesdays.
As far as the Cricut you should buy,that is a personal choice. The Cricut Mini works with the Cricut Craft Room (CCR) it can cut up to 8 1/2x 11. It is not a stand alone machine. The Expression or the Expression 2 cuts up to 23.5". Again, it is a cartridge based system.
If you like to design your own images or you like SVG files, you may want to look into getting a different system. The Cameo is comparable price wise to the Expression. There are also heavier duty systems too such as the Zing, Pazzles, Gazelle, KNK and Cougar.
The Sizzix Eclips may be another option as it is a cartridge based system, but it can also use a computer based software Ecal. So it is like having the best of both worlds. You can pop in a cartridge if you want or if you see a file online, you can use that as well HTH
The larger cricut is on sale on their website for a refurbished one. I have the gypsy and never use it cause the screen is too small for me. I did use design studio software at one time but it does not work on mac and that is what i have now. Also, if you link cartridges to the gypsy you can't unlink them say if you later want to sell them. You can still sell them but they are less desirable if they are linked.
I have a Gypsy and loved it for the couple of years it worked. They're discontinued and PC doesn't do repairs. So, when it fails, you're SOL. Many many many people are having problems with their Gypsies. It is a convenient concept but based on old technology. If you're not convinced, just know that updating the Gypsy takes HOURS... and HOURS.
I do like using the Cricut Craft Room with my Expression. I replaced my laptop with a Mac last year and simply found room for my old laptop in my crafting space. I can also use CCR on Mac. I would say that you would be better off buying a small, cheap laptop than the Gypsy. If space isn't an issue, just use desktop/laptop- whatever you use daily. The CCR is by ProvoCraft, regularly updated, and FREE.
Yes, the Cricut CraftRoom is one of my obsessions right now- and y'all are probably sick of my jumping up and down, shouting my love for it- but really, the Cricut CraftRoom made me LOVE my Cricut. Finally. It is just too cool. And EASY.
I used it, recently, to design a Viewmaster-like picture wheel. After seeing the preview of the upcoming Tim Holtz die, I was wanting one RIGHT NOW (and will probably still buy the TH die anyways, lol) so I used the Cricut CraftRoom to make my own cut file! If anybody wants it, let me know, I'll email the file to you- I used shapes that are in the free 'cartridge' (CraftRoom Basics) that you get just for using the CCR.
Also- if anybody is reading this that knows- I have linked my cartridges with the CCR- which makes it so cool when you do an 'image search' and it shows you the shapes you HAVE first in the results- but how do you link a cartridge that came with/is built into the Cricut?! I have the CE2 that came with 'Essentials' and something else- but when I click 'link' it just says to inset the cartridge into the machine. Well, there is no cartridge, dangit, LINK!
Kory, do you have your E2 registered with PC?
I have the E2 and the Gypsy and all my preloads that came with both those machines are available to me in the Craftroom.
I don't know how it works, but I am just assuming that they are linked by the registering of each item?? How else would they know I have them.?? I'm no techie all I know is they're there!
I have about 50 cartridges that are not registered and about 75 that are. How will they know. I have updated my Gypsy so will that tell Provocraft what I have? When you first got the carts they didn't have certificates OR I threw them away. I got the baby bug the day it first came out.
I don't think it has anything to do with carts at this point.
I was just saying that because there is no physical cart to insert in the machine when using CCR, by registering the E2 and the gypsy, they know I own those and therefore can access those carts in CCR.
As of last I heard, the Gypsy will still not communicate with CCR, so whether the carts or linked or not doesn't matter at this point, they still need to be inserted when wanting to cut with them in CCR. Which is the main reason I seldom use CCR, it's a pain to dig out all the carts and switch them out.
They just need to get them to work together like they told us they would.
That's a good question!
I would think it would- I may drag mine out just to see. Of coarse you'd still have to go through all your carts to load the jukebox!! Just being lazy here, I just want the Gypsy to work with CCR. And I want what I want, dangit!!!!!