Update: If you're buying new, I recommend PopBox v8 (available via popbox.com); same $130 price. It's noticeably faster and has a better stock UI than the original PopBox / PopBox 3D.
Decided to revise my kinda outdated post and updates going back to PopBox's original release date with my latest impressions. PopBox had a very rocky launch. Multiple delays, no Netflix at launch (never came), no hd audio, no resume playback, etc., etc. It was referred to as "Poop-box" by Syabas' own Werner.
I bought two units at launch, then eBay-ed them, only to re-get two later... much later, a year since PopBox's launch. What changed? Well, Syabas fixed many issues and has made the PopBox a solid streamer.
- Price (just $130 shipped from Amazon)
- Solid HD audio passthrough (bitstreaming)
- Solid video file playback, just as with Syabas' PCH-line NMT's
- Eversion (Flash UI) for YAMJ support
- Many more Internet apps now compared to launch (CNN, Revision3, etc.)
- 3D support (SBS and top/bottom format, not frame-packed full 3D)
- Meh native UI
- Poor internal movie/TV scraper and jukebox
- Somewhat sluggish if many titles and using native jukebox
To me, what makes PopBox a great little box now is HD audio coupled with Eversion/YAMJ. This for $130 shipped when it's basically the same box as Syabas' own PCH A-210, which costs $200 shipped. PopBox is locked-down and doesn't support community apps, but I honestly haven't found anything useful and I also own an A210.
After PopBox, I went to PCH A210 and Boxee Box, but as Boxee still hasn't fixed its HD audio dropout problems, I'm getting out. Also, the Eversion skin with YAMJ has been a huge boost to PopBox/PCH IMHO.
Syabas has just released PopBox v8 in Europe with additional capabilities (faster chip, better internal scraper, better stock UI, smaller form factor, etc.). I'm hoping it gets a U.S. release as well.