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Dave D
2005-07-06, 20:49
Just wanted to take a few minutes to thank you folks at Slim Devices for a superb product and maybe let a few lurkers out there know what a great product this is.

First thing I noticed was that UPS was not too nice with the box. I thought to myself, "Wish they would have packed this inside another box for protection." Well, when I opened the box I saw you had done just that. Nice clean, white box inside, and well-packed. Thanks!

The next thing I noticed after opening the box was that I had spent way too much time worrying about whether the black case would look as nice as the platinum, and which one I should get. This soft-touch black finish is impressive, guys, and the remote's finish matches! (For you lurkers: the soft-touch finish feels a little bit like the surface of a peach.) The black fades away to nothing in my entertainment center and all I see is the pretty VF display.

Set-up: what a breeze. I bought the wireless unit even though I've gone to the trouble of wiring my house in the last year (don't ask me why; I wonder that myself). Anyway, the setup was very straightforward. I first set it up in wireless mode and it had not a bit of trouble finding and authenticating to my ancient 802.11b (not g) Cisco Aironet 340-series basestation.

After that, figuring I might as well use the Cat5 cable in my walls, I plugged in the ethernet cable and (using the left-arrow-hold-to-go-back-to-setup) re-set up the box for wired mode. Easy as pie.

Next thoughts: Ambiguous. Part of me felt like I was silly for worrying about spending a couple hundred bucks on a little box to play my music from the computer to the stereo, though it does a lot more than that. (Why did I wait so long?) The other part of me was really glad to have waited long enough to get the 3rd generation Slim Devices box with the oh-so-cool new high-res display. [Aside for lurkers checking out Roku: Slim's $300 box has the same vertical resolution display as the $400 M2000. The M2000 does have a wider display, though.]

Next: play some tunes! Okay, here goes. Already know the VF display is sweet. Let's hook into Radioio and see what happens. Awesome and easy. And I don't have to pay anything? Wow! I'm like a little kid with this thing, trying out the screensavers and various settings. Next impression (which I already had from using SoftSqueeze, but felt it renewed), "they've done a really nice job on this user interface." Then, "hope I can read this from the couch," (plop down) "Oh nice, they put a text size button on the remote."

Back to the lurkers wondering what box you are going to buy. Note this is not intended to bash the other product; I'm simply stating my opinion. I studied Roku vs. Slim for a long time. I checked out the M1000 and M2000 at a local Tweeter store. I chose the Slim product because I felt it had a much better user interface, would be better supported over time, and could be tweaked. (You can read my comments in another post from a few days ago.) Add to that the same vertical resolution display as the more expensive M2000, and the choice was clear.

That was before the Squeezebox2 arrived and I've had a chance to play with it. Now the choice is even clearer and I'm wondering why I ever spent so much time looking at the other product.

Although I'm an EE, I'm a stickler about user interfaces. Much more so than with electrical specs. Often a great product shows up with a substandard UI and it's a real shame (I am not necessarily referring to Roku here.) Slim Devices broke the mold and did it right.

[An aside about electrical specs. I read the white paper on the Ubicom IP3023 processor in the Squeezebox2 and I keep wondering what gthe folks at Slim have up their sleeves for that chip. It a pretty nifty uP.]

My impression of the Squeezebox2 is that this is a very well-thought-out and well-implemented design, from bottom up. Kudos to the Slim Devices team!

- Dave

mkozlows
2005-07-06, 21:09
Often a great product shows up with a substandard UI and it's a real shame (I am not necessarily referring to Roku here.)

I am! That thing is horrid, horrid, horrid. The PlaysForSure capability was a very good thing (and I really do believe that this stuff is going to be critical before too long, so I hope that the Slim Devices people are working hard on it behind the scenes), but the UI was painfully unusable. (A longer rant/review is posted here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=553516 .)

seanadams
2005-07-06, 22:24
Mkozlows,

I hope you'll also share your impressions after trying Squeezebox2.

It is really a huge advancement from Squeezebox1, let alone any competing tubular products.

mkozlows
2005-07-07, 07:09
Already posted: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=555364