Setup was a bit of a hassle and having to update firmware via ethernet is a pain having gone laptop now but overall a great interface. This has a little bit of everything as the centerpiece of your home studio. Lightning fast thunderbolt, decently fast USB, a couple really transparent mic/instrument preamps, 8 line ins and outs for synths.... stereo FX send (you have to use line ins to record and monitor the return though)... dual headphone amps. MIDI. Onboard DSP which I haven't fiddled with too much yet. Expandable with other motu products over AVB or with anybody's preamps and converters over spdif, ADAT/smux or AES/EBU. Paired with a good rack of focusrites over SMUX this thing can do a lot... I'll probably be getting a new one to use as my gateway to the computer with this slaved over AVB when MOTU gets around to making a thudnerbolt3 version. I highly recommend this interface to anyone who doesn't want to get caught up in the apollo plugin racket. If your PC is fast enough to run all your plugins native in real time and you're using a lot of hardware synths like I am at home? Get a MOTU.
Excellent feature set and probably as future-proof as you can get!
After years of struggling with various audio interfaces, I've finally found one that I am extremely happy with! The 828es, which I purchased when I outgrew my MOTU Ultralight Mk4, offers plenty of high-quality I/O and enough interface options to ensure a long life in my home studio. I think that few, if any vendors can match MOTU when it comes to being future-proof. This unit has no fewer than three computer interfacing options including USB, Thunderbolt, and AVB. While the best latency figures probably come from Thunderbolt (which is the mode in which I use it) the USB drivers from MOTU are the best I've ever used, and shattered my expectations. It's class-compliant USB interface ensures it will be functional for years to come.
The 828es has a great amount of I/O and is well-though-out; it includes two front-panel mic inputs, monitor outputs on XLRs in the back, and plenty of balanced analog TRS. It supports word clock sync, includes TWO ADAT I/O for a total of 16 inputs and 16 outputs when running at 44.1khz or 48khz, includes SPDIF, and can support higher sample rates as well.
The MOTU 828es has excellent quality converters (ESS Sabre32, same as found in some Apogee devices that cost $$$$$) and it exposes an onboard mixer and router that can be configured from a web browser (another future-proof feature.) The routing matrix is relatively straightforward to use and enables the user to configure the device in the best way to integrate with your DAW.
I see no drawbacks at all with this device, and it forms the cornerstone of my studio. Along with two MOTU 2408 mk3 units used as standalone analog-to-digital converters, I am thrilled to have 24 line inputs on tap at 48khz for my large number of synths. Before considering the hype of more expensive units with similar features, check the specs and the reputation. MOTU has been around since the start, their drivers are solid, and their designs withstand the test of time.