Saw the results of a sample roast at Neli Coffee Roastery in Clontarf this morning from a "Handy Roaster" (Dr Mahn). The owner of Neli Coffee, who sells these, said the results were excellent, and he says he can't personally explain why they are as good as they are. Suggests it's possibly because you can see the whole roast as it's roasting, and can control the heat easily by just lifting and lowering the pan. The results I saw looked like a really nice and even roast. The pan has a lip along the top so you just swirl the beans around as they are roasting. Stainless pan with a wooden handle, looked nicely constructed. I did not do a taste test myself, but on his say-so, provided you use good quality green, you will be delighted by the outcomes. His words are that the good quality Sidamo he roasted tasted almost Geisha like. You should know however that he does obviously have a vested interest.
However for $69.00 it sounds like a good bit of fun and I reckon this could be a nice cheap and effective introduction to roasting, and looks easier to control than a popper. Works probably best with a gas burner, and those small camping units work well apparently.
The following is the link to them on the Neli Coffee website. Note:
I have no personal or financial interest, just popped in there this morning while taking the Bonneville out for a spin. I rate his coffee highly, so stop in there on occasions when I'm out Redcliffe way for great coffee. http://www.nelicoffee.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=288