I was wowed when I first saw the ads for Bowflex 552 SelectTech dumbbells. If they worked just like the infomercial claimed, I knew this set of dumbbells would be a hit among exercise buffs. For somebody like me, with a small apartment the compact design is just what I need.A little way into my research however, it seemed that despite the reports of a few locks breaking, Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells still had a solid base of raving fans.These fans were so passionate further investigation was warranted to weigh the positives against the negatives.What I really like about these dumbbells is that you can change the weights within seconds. Put down the dumbbell (better on its stand) and you can adjust the weight in 2.5 lb increments very quickly by just turning the dial on the side of the dumbbell to the amount you want to lift.That means that there is no more any need a huge rack of weights cluttering up your space. It's a significant benefit for those of us with small spaces - less room has to be dedicated to fitness equipment. You have the equivalent of a huge weight set with a much more compact footprint.Aesthetics matter too. Frankly these dumbbells just look really cool. These babies resemble some type of high tech toy - the slick fun design just exudes modern electronic gadgetry.Next, the hand grips feel sturdy and really comfortable in your hands even without gloves. These grips are made of rubber, not the textured metal so I'd be surprised if you had any issues with blisters or callouses.Of course the biggest detractor is the price, but then I rationalized - it's not too bad if you are considering getting a dozen different dumbbells instead. To me I like the benefits of the space you save, the portability of the dumbbells and the time you don't waste repeatedly putting a dozen dumbbells neatly away.Something else to consider is that because of the ways they are designed the dumbbells are always bulky - doesn't matter that you may only be lifting light weights. Basically the 'spaces' for the heavier weights are still allocated for on the rod, even though you don't need certain plates. Not a huge deal, but you'll probably need a little time to get accustomed to it as the length might get in the way for some exercises.All in all though, these dumbbells look like an excellent choice for the most part. Improvements Let's hope that Nautilus/Bowflex finds a way to make the footprint of the dumbbell even smaller (slimmer, denser plates) - now that would make a great product even more attractive.