293 of 308 people found the following review helpful
Excellent build quality with a couple of niggles
, 19 July 2010
This review is from: Xbox 360 250GB Console (Video Game)
The proven track record of 360 games and the XBox Live experience is well documented - so I'm not going to review this side of things. Quite frankly the software experience on the 360 is second to none. Its hardware history over the years has been plagued with RROD failure and noisy hardware operation.
My thoughts on the new 360 compared to the old. The only differences with the new Xbox 360 S 250GB compared to older design 360s are the standard larger 250GB HDD, wireless 'N' WIFI now built in, the whisper quiet operation and the redesign of its outer appearance (including touch sensitive buttons). It has an optical output for surround sound amplifiers too, which I don't use, and is Kinect ready such that the 360 slim will power the Kinect camera directly whereas the old 360 will need a separate AC adaptor for Kinect.
I've had my new 'slim' a few days now and the new black sleek shiny design is surely very sexy, and will not look out of place under your TV with your other AV equipment. The slim 360 is slightly smaller than the old 360 (not by much though, mainly in height when vertical by approx 1.5 inches) and it's definitely quieter. The DVD drive is still fairly noisy when playing games, but this can be solved by simply installing games to the HDD. All in all the new slim certainly has an excellent exterior build quality and finish which finally gives it a quality AV component feel. And the 250GB HDD will take some filling, even when installing games to HDD. These are the pros of the new slim.
The cons of the new slim. Well it appears that the 360 slim kicks out a lot of heat from its main exhaust grill - which heats up the surrounding exterior casing too. And I mean it's hot!! Now, this isn't necessarily a problem as perhaps this shows that the unit is adequately expelling the hot temperature from the inner casing of the 360, away from the main heatsink that sits on top of the combined main processor/graphics processor chip on the new Valhalla motherboard. The old 360 due to its design had a problem expelling the heat from the console and as such resulted in the dreaded RROD. So the heat coming out of the new 360 slim may not be a con (negative) at all. I guess time will tell. One other thing to note, the slim will also shut itself down if it overheats, allowing itself to cool down before permitting the user to switch it back on - which should help reduce the chance of permanent damage to the console.
The second slightly concerning thing for me is the noise coming from the external power brick (the PSU) - which is also smaller than the old power brick. The fans are clearly audible and in some ways negate the new quietness of the new 360 console itself. Now, I've discovered something. My power brick used to sit on the carpet behind my AV cabinet, and I could still hear it. I've moved it onto a wooden shelf at the back of the AV unit so it's now on a solid level surface and much closer to the AV unit therefore muffling the sound much better than where it was positioned previously. As a result I can barely hear the power brick at all any more - even when I put my ear over the back of my TV. I think placing it on a solid surface has helped. And I don't think my power brick is faulty because the noise comes from inbuilt fans - and even Microsoft's xbox website reports that the noise of fans from the power brick is normal, and will even increase as the power brick heats up.
In summary, the new Xbox 360 slim is a definite improvement on the old 360 in all respects. Only time will tell if it's more reliable but I suspect it should be.
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