- Looks good
- Better ventilation
- More USB ports
- Smaller than the old system
- Includes WiFi
- Includes 250GB HDD
- Vibrations when vertical
- No included HD cables
- No included ethernet cable
I got this XBOX 360 to replace my 4 year old 20GB console that was starting to have a couple of problems and had also been repaired once already. I needed the space and quite liked the design of the Slim when they announced it.
The console doesn't disappoint and delivers on pretty much everything Microsoft said. The impressive design of this 360 instantly hits you when you unbox it although I found that at certain angles it does look a little awkward due to having sharper and non symmetrical angles to the older XBOX 360. The design now looks and feels expensive, unlike the old consoles which felt like they were put together as an airfix model kit. The only thing I would say about the design is that I preferred it when it was in a glossy black, but at least with the matte black finish it doesn't get scratched or show any scratches.The touch sensitive buttons are a very welcome addition and work as expected, but the eject button is a little too sensitive and I find myself accidentally opening it at times.
As for ventilation, Microsoft have learnt from their mistakes. There's now a massive vent on the top side of the system (side if vertical) acting as the only air output vent meaning you can put this horizontally without blocking any important vents unlike the old system. There are two intake vents on the left and right of the system (top and bottom and bottom if vertical) and so far these seem to be working well, but the output vent does get very hot, very quickly. Like the old one, the Slim can be put vertical or horizontally, but I found it develops a nasty buzz when vertical (although this seems to depend on the surface its on).
The system is quiet when in use. You cannot hear it when idling on dashboard and in fact the power brick is louder at this point. When playing a game the system does get louder, but it still very quiet. It is not quite whisper quiet, but still very close. I did a test between this and my old 360 with the same game and the TV at low volume and was amazed at how loud the old 360 actually was. I could hear my game well with the Slim, even at low volumes whereas with the old 360 it was no easy task.
The inclusion of WiFi is also very good, although I have not tested gaming over this connection yet. The 250GB hard drive is also welcome so you can install your entire game collection and still have room for loads of downloads. The Hard Drive is now integrated into the ventilation which makes the unit a lot sleeker than the old protruding design. It is still proprietary though, which is a shame, but at least they give you a lot of space. You can also transfer your old Hard Drive from the old 360 to this one if you know how. The only thing I would say about the Hard Drive is only 227GB of it is usable and it is only 230GB total capacity. I know this space difference happens with any device with a Hard Drive, but a 20GB difference seems a little excessive considering the old 20GB consoles only used 8GB for themselves.
This review is starting to drag on for a bit so I'll wrap it up now. The 360 Slim is a great console and there is clear evidence that Microsoft has learnt from previous mistakes. Included WiFi, 5 USB ports, Kinect Adaptor and and optical out port make this console a lot more capable than the previous XBOX 360. It also appears to be a lot quicker in operation. It's able to keep itself cool (although the power brick does get very hot), is smaller than the old one and appears to be better constructed while giving you 250GB (227GB) to play around with. It's just a shame that no HD cables (only Composite AV cables) or ethernet cable was included, but if you have the old system this shouldn't be a problem. Great console and well worth the buy.
=== QUICK WORD ON THE PACKAGING ===
The packaging this was sent in was awful (or at least it was when it got to me, don't know if this is Amazon's fault or the fault of the HDNL courier). The box it got to me in was not properly sealed up at the top or the bottom. The bottom was taped, but not properly closed so you could see through to the invoice and the top didn't look properly taped and wasn't properly sealed. The whole thing looked like a makeshift job. I was not impressed.