First impressions: It's a bit bigger and bulkier than it seems in the pictures, definitely giving the vibe of nice solid construction. Faders feel good, and buttons have a solid feel with a clean click when you press them. Some of the knobs were a bit sticky, due to the rubber on the knobs rubbing against the surface of the controller. I'm assuming that these were prototype or very early production units and this minor fit and finish issue will be solved.
The LCD displays above each channel are larger than expected and very clearly readable from a distance. No need to lean forwward to squint. A great feature is that the LCD's are close enough together that they can also function as one large LCD to display longer messages. Longer words or short sentences are spread out across several LCD's, a very nice touch.
Another first impression is how well the hardware is integrated with the software. While a mouse still seems needed, most normal recording/mixing chores can be handled from the 002 controller. For example, adding eq is as simple as selecting a channel and then hitting the eq button. The eq plugin pops up onscreen and you can edit it with the 8 multi-function knobs above the channel strip. Finished editing - just put the eq away by hitting the eq button again.
The Digi 002 can also be used as a stand-alone 8x4x2 mixer. In that mode it has built in EQ, dynamics, delay, reverb and snapshot recall. Digi claims near zero latency from input to output in this mode.
Plugins bundled with the Digi 002 include: the usual Digi Rack plugins, Native Instruments Pro-52 synth, Sample Tank SE, Waves Renaissance Collection, IK's Amplitube, and Digidesign's D-Fi, D-fx, and Maxim. What I'm not sure of is whether these are demo plugins that expire or full registered versions that don't expire. Earlier versions of PT LE have the D-Fi/D-fx/Maxim plugins, but they expire. Nevertheless, it is a great collection of bundled plugins.
List price is $2,495. For more info: Digidesign