I have been playing with my boxee box for a few hours so I figured I would put up a review of what I have experienced so far.
First the good:
I love the size/shape and build of the physical box - some people don't like the shape, but I like the creativeness.
I LOVE the remote - it's simple and to the point and the QWERTY on the back is a great touch. Only complaint is I wish it was backlit and maybe there was a dedicated home and menu button since the "menu" button acts as a back button more than anything and there is no home button.
I love how easy it was to get my video files recognized and working flawlessly - now let me say that I do not use any BD ISO's so I cannot confirm nor deny there is an issue with that. But all my DVD rips in many different formats played back flawlessly.
I love that you can just type in and it automatically brings up the web/search bar which is a nice touch to find things fast. It works in a lot of apps but not all and especially not while viewing your own media.
Content Content Content. There is so much content on this thing it's amazing! I haven't even used 1/4 of the apps on it yet, just the main ones to see how they worked and overall they work well.
The system itself boots up pretty quick (under a minute easily) and loads right into the main menu which is simplified now due to 1.0.
Now on to the bad...and unfortunately there is a lot of bad.
First, I like others am not a fan of the 1.0 interface. I get that its supposed to easy and simplified but by doing that it kind of lost some of the boxee design charm that was there. I hope they either bring back the old interface or tweak the hell out of the new one.
the webkit browser is pretty bad. It browses to pages well but its hard as hell to navigate. There is a mouse cursor and you use your error keys to move it - takes forever! I have no idea why its not like google chrome is on a laptop, all you use is arrow keys and it works flawlessly. The other issue is webpages are WAY too small to view - it loads the whole page in view. A zoom shortcut on the remote would be key here similar to double tapping on a mobile phone.
One of the things I hate most about this is how poorly it handles some of the video apps. For example, I decided to try to load an episode of Entourage through spike tv that was found through browsing popular TV shows in the UI. All it does is load spike.com and the specific page with that video - it does autoplay but on a webpage so now you either have to move the mouse cursor to enlarge it to full screen or if you hit the menu button it brings up the web bar where you can click on to make it full screen - is it me or shouldn't this be DEFAULT? If I want to watch entourage I don't want to see spiktvs website, I want to see entourage in full screen, seamlessly. After I make it full screen I see white bars on the bottom and right of the screen which is annoying. I tried a few video apps such as MTV and its the same story although at full screen it fits better.
I hate I can't just go to the main menu while a video is still in the background. That was one of the things I loved about the old UI is navigating through everything was much easier. To go to the main menu you have to keep hitting the back or menu button until you back pedal all the way through - its pretty bad.
Missing content - Justin.TV works through the web but there is no app. Vudu is non functional yet and we all know about hulu and netflix which are bummers but at least will be there eventually.
So all in all for my needs the box is suitable since my main concern was a good way to organize and watch my video files and have some access to online content. If you are an online content power user you will most likely be disappointed with the current version.
Now some of my issues could very well have solutions that I don't know about yet, so if thats the case please let me know of them and I will gladly re-edit my review - but for now this is what I see and how I feel.
I am definitely a fan of the box and boxee.
Boxee definitely has the right foot forward they just need to make some leaps to kick it into full gear.