If you pay very close attention to the photos you mouse over you will notice the lower photo is the older model one and the top one is the change they made in the smoker, moving the temp and time controls to the front in the same flimsy plastic housing that the Master Forge has "both built by the same company" as I said before. Don't believe me call them and ask 1- 800-489-1581
I would find a retailer that still sells the model with the controller at the back top of the smoker. Or you can shoot Bearcarver a question about it he knows more than I do about this model smoker, plus years more experience.
I don't know anything about the new model with the controls up front, other than to say it looks cool, and it has the top exhaust at a smarter place.
I will warn people though that a lot of these companies use stock photos, and the picture they show isn't necessarily the smoker you will get.
And I personally would not buy an MES from Sam's, but maybe that's just me.