I have about 150 km of trails on this fork now so I thought I would give a little review on my thoughts with it.
As a preface, I have ridden about every other common fork on the market, except a DT Swiss fork. I have extensive time on: Lefty w/ fox internals (ti spring, not air), Lefty PBR, Fox 32 F100 (all but the newest model), lastest generation of SID's and Reba's, as well as Manitou R7's.
I am using it on a bone stock 2012 Scott Scale RC 29er that I wasn't expecting until February or March. I weigh 70 kg and am 188 cm tall. Have used it exclusively on trails (other than about 5 km of to and from riding), and this is the aluminum steerer tube model.
It comes in at 1638 grams, with starnut installed and a 196 mm long steerer. I set it up to have 17-19 mm sag, which takes 85 psi.
First thing I noticed was that the damping felt slow. It rebounded at a normal rate, but compression damping felt slow pushing down on it in front of my house. I also came to notice this on the trails. My dad at 90 kg doesn't really notice it, but I guess that's what you get for weighing more. What this translates to is poor small bump compliance. Though, with the 29er I have found I don't need this as much. Still not overly happy about it though. I am planning on changing out the oil in the damper to a lighter weight hoping that will help.
Next, this fork feels very bottomless, I would say the Auto Balancing Spring system lives up to DT Swiss' claims. The spring rate feels incredibly constant through out the entire fork travel, it feels even more like a spring fork than my coiled Lefty... miles ahead of Fox and Rock Shox in this aspect.
Something everyone is probably wondering about is stiffness. I have found it to be just as, maybe even stiffer, than my Fox and Rock Shox forks, obviously way more than the Manitou R7, and a little less than my Lefty - but honestly not far off. It is a stiff fork, for me at 70 kg.
Through rock gardens and off drops, big hits, etc, this fork performs great, the bottomless feeling is great. Over the roots and smaller stuff though it leave a bit to be desired. I have bottomed the fork once in this time, so I would say I have the pressure just right for around here.
Pedaling performance is great. I like to think I pedal smoothly... pedalling sitting there is little to no movement, as well as standing. If you are really throwing the bike around and stomping or 'jumping' on the pedals it obviously moves, but less than any other fork I've ridden while the fork is fully open. Lock out is pretty solid, Lefty style. The remote lockout works well enough, nothing to complain about, nothing stellar, glad DT has gone from their internal cable to one like Rock Shox.
Now the big complaint. On my second ride, after about 60 km, the fork has developed play... We'll see what happens in the near future... Basically there is play in the stanchions and when compressing the fork after full extension (ie after the front wheel lifts off the ground) there is a pretty audible clunk. I get my bikes direct from Scott, so we'll see how they or DT Swiss handle this, no LBS to go through.
full bike from front
remote lockout lever
(sorry for the dark cellphone pictures from in my garage...)
My bottom line: this fork is what they claim it to be. A race fork, stiff, fairly light (the carbon steerer tubed one should be 100 g lighter). If they fix the play I will probably be selling it though for a SID XX since I am technically supposed to be using SRAM product... Otherwise I would be happy with it as a race fork and would want to use it, I also think it looks pretty good. I would want something with a little more small bump compliance for general trail riding though.