Alex Schwindt reviews the AJA U-Tap which is small and simple to use. U-TAP connects directly to your computer system via a USB 3.0 connection which provides the simplest implementation ever, with no drivers to install and incredible software compatibility.
After using the U-Tap on several projects, we were impressed at just how easy it was to implement. The only hang-ups we encountered were the occasional horizontalimage flip, which ended up being issues within the various software solutions themselves, rather than the U-Tap. The capture quality of the video and audio was uniformly high.
However, one important limitation is the fact that users are limited to only one U-Tap connection on a computer at a time.
The build quality felt exceptionally solid while still being extremely lightweight. But the user experience is not forgotten either. For instance, while the U-Tap requires the power from a USB 3.0 connection to function, if you accidentally plug it into a USB 2.0 port a small indicator light changes from green to red, letting you know that the U-Tap isn’t broken—it’s just connected to the wrong kind of USB.
For many working producers, equipment choices can be broken down fairly easily into two categories: gear that takes planning to transport and gear that’s grab-and-go. Call it the “Backpack Test.” Both kinds of tools have their place, but professional-quality products that can easily travel in your laptop case without any additional strain falls in to a very special and much-beloved category all its own. Just like a portable recorder for musicians, producers that specialize in mobile production or live streaming just might find the AJA U-Tap to be a tool so useful that it finds a permanent home in their backpacks next to their laptops and headphones. It’s that good.
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