I have bought the Hercules Universal DJ as a beginner learning for the first time.
The build quality seems quite solid, and this does not feel like a toy. I have read about competing DJ controllers in this price range having cheap build quality issues. This Hercules Universal DJ has a good feel for the knobs, sliders and jogwheels.
It has two endless rotation encoder knobs (one for each deck) which perform multiple features like gain, filter, FX level, loop length etc depending upon which mode you are using it in.
As it has a smaller form factor, it will be easy to carry in a backpack if needed. There are no dedicated knobs for filter, FX control and Loop in/out. These are mapped in DJUCED and accessible through the controller itself. You have to use the encoder. sometimes with the shift or pad buttons, to achieve different functions.
The DJUCED app which you will get for free from the website, integrates well with the controller. However, the app is still somewhat new compared to the better-known DJ software and there are a few minor bugs I encountered which are being fixed.
The Bluetooth feature allowing wireless control via a smartphone(with the DJUCED software running on the laptop), is very impressive. However, the tablet mode, where you don't need a laptop and run it with a tablet running the DJUCED app, is not very well documented and apparently may lack headphone monitoring.
Overall compared to the Pioneer equivalent beginner console, this seemed to be priced way less. Just remember that the layout is a little different from the professional DJ controllers.
If you are looking for a compact, sturdy, beginner/intermediate DJ controller to use for a few years at least, then this is a good cost-effective investment. But if you are planning to shift to more professional equipment soon, you might be better off going for a controller that matches a professional layout.