Link: UDG | Price: €79.95
UDG has been making things that hold other DJ things for quite a while now, and have some pretty good pedigree in the bag and carry-case markets. This latest UDG Creator DIGI Hard Case Large offering from the company seems like a strange product on the face of it, but how does it stack up?
IN A NUTSHELL
Large hard-shell case for your loose bits, that comes with a seven port powered USB hub.
IN THE BOX
You don’t get much for your €80. Along with the case itself, there’s an aluminium encased powered hub with seven extra ports and an international AC adapter. The adapter has four slip-on bits to fit any country’s power sockets you might find yourself near.
The hub feels sturdy, and is very light. This is useful for transport, but can be a bit of a pain with all the cables plugged in, as it means the hub can be dragged around by your equipment. To be fair, that’s pretty much a universal problem with USB hubs in general. It can also only be laid flat, which might make it a bit inconvenient. The hub is only USB2.0, giving yet another reason to ponder the asking price. Perhaps if UDG offered USB3.0?
The case itself has a few mesh pockets and straps, designed to hold various cables and audio parts. These are all quite small and aren’t designed to fit anything larger than the hub and maybe a portable hard drive or two. It would have been very handy to have some bigger elastic straps or clippable belts to hold larger items such as a tablet in place, especially at this price.
HERE’S HOW IT MIGHT BE USEFUL
Many years ago, back when we were skratchworx, we featured a bag called the “Electronic Musician’s Emergency Adapters”, which contained all sorts of odds and ends. You can delve into our archives to check it out, or take a look at the store page. I have no doubt this has saved the backsides of the DJs that bought it, but maybe it’s time to bring it into 2014?
A feature over on digitaldjtips.com talked about making a DJ emergency pack to keep near you when you’re working gigs. Basically just a cheap fishing tackle box with all your spare cables and adapters, it does the trick when you need it. The UDG Digi hardcase could fit your bag of odds n’ ends, a spare iPod, the hub, memory sticks and any extra cables you need. There’s even space for extras like a multitool, torch or even an iPad. Drop that in your DJ bag and good to go.
For what you get, this a rather expensive bit of kit, even with the solid-build aluminium hub. I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out why this product exists, and still can’t figure it out. There are plenty of decent USB hubs available online for much, much less than this. I got mine from a local electronics place for less than a tenner. If you desperately need a sturdy carry-case for your bits, there are cheaper alternatives, including from UDG themselves.
A SECOND OPINION FROM MARK SETTLE
Having reviewed the small and large DIGI wallets, I find myself a little perplexed by this Creator DIGI hard case. The purpose of such things is to round up your DJ accessories safely and neatly in one place, rather than littering your DJ bag. And the wallets do a very handsome job of that for less than half the price of this DIGI hard case. The addition of a USB hub is potentially a draw, as is being a harder and more luxurious hard case. But when you can get a solid powered 7 port hub from Amazon for £10-15, we’re paying a premium for something we might not want. Thus I cannot help but feel that the inclusion of a hub, and subsequent price hike may actually limit rather than increase the appeal.
Ultimately however, there’s no denying that the UDG Creator DIGI Hard Case Large will do a most excellent job of keeping your assorted DJ bits and bobs luxuriously safe. And if you’re needing a USB hub at the same time, then the included one works well.