The laser alignment is kind of cool, I guess. I'm more bothered by the "voice" switch, though I'm someone who doesn't like "baking in" coloration to a with a preamp either. There are many people who like this though, so I guess they're going for that market.
Maybe the switch can add "Schoeps-like" color?
Funny you say that. When I posted, I was actually thinking of one of Jörg Wuttke's presentations where he was talking about how it makes much more sense for the microphone to be as neutral as possible and then you can add "tone" or "color" after the fact if you really want to. (Unless you're correcting for a deficiency of the mic.)
I found some more on the voicing switch on the Aston website
Yet another remarkable step-up in technology, performance and cool features! The Starlight has 3 modes of operation, courtesy of some very fancy front-end filtering between the capsule and PCB. You can chose between Vintage, Modern and Hybrid settings to get the perfect tone response for your application… guitar cab, drums, strings, even vocals… whatever the application you’ll get a perfect fit for your music, and each setting has been carefully tuned to give superb top-flight performance, way beyond Starlight’s price point.
Then later down the page under the description of the amp circuit:
The Starlight’s voicing control employs inductive active filters at the front-end of the microphone circuit to alter the response of the capsule without adding any noise to the circuit. The benefit of this means that the voicing switch is effectively the equivalent of changing the capsule to achieve different tonal characteristics and frequency response.
OK, so the voicing is just 3 different EQ curves with cute marketing department names. You actually have 9 different responses to choose from when you combine those with the 3 different LF roll-off settings. Again, I'm not a fan of doing this, but the thousands of mic preamps with EQ sections or circuits that add intentional saturation, distortion, or other coloration out there says there's a huge market for this stuff.
Back to the laser: the more I think about it, the more it seems not just silly, but almost useless for its intended purpose. They are selling it as a tool for recall between takes, yet replicating your laser dot exactly doesn't mean you've replicated the same distance or the same angle, both of which are as important as simply where the thing is pointed for a cardiod mic.
I guess it's very telling that Aston is spending their marketing copy on the laser pointer, variable voicing, and cosmetic features, while there are no published specs or measurements and very little said about the sound quality.