I just had the chance to play with one of the three existing Smartfade ML's and thought I would write up my impressions of it. When walking up to it your first impression is that it looks like another one of those little NSI boards. It's so small and unassuming. You couldn't hook up a video console to it if you wanted to because there's no output. It's only about 2 feet wide and just 6 pounds... and it's also pretty cheap with a street price a little over $3k. Then you notice that it's got encoder wheels which definitely gets your attention. On the back it has two DMX universes, Midi in and out, and USB to interface with a PC. I think you can only edit one instrument at a time on the smartfade, the PC interface and additional software, allows you to look at them all at once... making up for the lack of monitor I suppose. There are 24 buttons in the upper left corner. Each one gets programmed with the profile of up to 24 intelligent instruments. When you select an instrument the row of 24 sliders across the bottom become attribute controls. Below the sliders are a series of buttons that are labeled with which attribute they control. These buttons light up to indicate which attributes are active for the selected instrument. You can of course use the encoder wheels as well. You can set up a series of palettes. And the 24 buttons in the upper left become the your favorite palette aspects. In the case of color palettes they magically glow the color they are programmed. It has some sort of pre-programmed effects however either they aren't on the prototype console yet or the rep didn't know how to access them. This thing was so prototype many of the buttons had a simple typed piece of paper inserted in them to tell you what they do. Show data is saved to the console's internal memory and to SD memory cards. Conclusion: It's not for everyone and it'll never compete with a big Hog or GrandMA. But for a small theater, church, school, or club that wants to add a few moving lights and doesn't want to program a HUGE amount of effects it's a great option. It's very easy to use. The price is really low. It's just a great little product. It strikes me as a great companion product to all those ETC Express consoles out there. You've got a great console for your conventional needs but you want to upgrade and add a few intelligent instruments. The Express can do intelligent gear but it's a pain in the butt. Just buy one of these little guys run it right along side.