Monday, 16 September 2013

Xbox 360 Slim Review

With the Xbox One scheduled to be released fairly soon (November), we take a look at the state of the current gen Xbox 360 Slim (S).

The Xbox 360 Slim (or simply 'S' as it was technically known) was Microsoft's way of saying sorry for the whole RROD (red ring of death) fiasco. The Xbox 360 Slim had the function where it would automatically start to turn itself off when it got too hot. This allowed the console to prevent itself from getting any hardware faults by overheating and give the user a warning message that they have been using the console for a lengthy period of time.Apart from preventing the RROD the Xbox 360 Slim had many other things going for it.

The Xbox 360 Slim was a smaller device compared to its predecessor which was bigger in size. Not only that, but the Slim was released predominantly in black, while the older Xbox 360 was widely known for its white look.


The console itself has 2 USB ports in the front covered by a flap. On the back it has more USB ports, an ethernet port, a Kinect port, HDMI port, AV cable port, optical out, and the power adapter port.

Both the eject and power buttons in this console are touch sensitive buttons instead of a normal button where you push in and it turns on. This caused us some problems especially when moving the console. Often times our hands would brush past the sensitive eject button and out the tray slot would pop out without us even wanting that to happen.

The console has vents on the side and top (depending on how you want to stand it). If standing it veritcally it has vents on the top and the side. The top vent takes in air while the side vent pusher hot air out. Either way the console never escapes from having dust enter it. If you place it horizontally dust will settle on the top vent (the one that pushes hot air out). Another problem to note is that if laying the console vertically upright then you will not be able to place something on the right hand side of the console. For those of us who like to line our consoles in a veritcal stand-off then the Xbox 360 Slim would have to be at the very end of the line. This is because of the hot air it pushes out of the side vent with risk of heating up anything that is on the right hand side of the console. This appies to a wall as well, so it is best to place the console in a well ventilated area.

The first batch of Slims came in a glossy black texture, which at the time was a fingerprint magnet but now looking back it did seem quite cool. Later on the console was released in a boring matte black finish, which was ok but less chic than the glossy look. There were several releases of the Slim console with the latter having minor upgrades in the hardware.

The Slim came in a 4gb model and a 250gb model. It also came in few special edition models where it would include a 320gb hard drive (Gears of War bundle). The 4gb model is mainly for those of us who want to save on cost and quickly play games without wanting to install them. The 250gb is for those of us who want to enjoy downloading demos, install games and playing indie games with all that hard drive space.

The console comes in a nice white box which includes the 360 Slim (S) console, the 360 Slim controller (in black), 2x AA batteries (for the controller), a composite cable, a power brick and connector to connect to the console. The box also comes with manuals and various leaflets that not many people read but is worth noting.

One thing that we were confused about, was the fact that when the composite cable was inserted at the back of the console, it was physically blocking us from putting a HDMI cable at the same time. This was never seen with the PS3 Slim console and was quite handy for those of us that want to switch modes.

The 360 Slim is also a quieter device. With only a sound of a humming breeze there is not much sound that is heard when the console is running. If placing the console on the table, there can be sounds of vibration coming from the DVD drive. The first batches of the Xbox 360 Slims had louder power adapters (there are fans inside the power brick). With newer models of the Xbox 360 Slim, this is not very common and you can expect a silent console when playing games

Hardware aside, the Xbox 360 Slim features some nice software. The latest update now features a metro style layout. Our favorite aspect of the consoel has been the ability to install games onto the hard drive. This has saved a lot of stress that was being put on the disc reading laser.

The menu systems are fast and responsive. The smooth scrolling form left to right is also very nice when wanting to go from one screen to another. As with the previous Xbox 360 we have the option to create our avatar that is shown on the screen when the console is started up.

The 360 Slim also comes with a Wireless N inbuilt adapter which offers faster speeds wirelessly (compared to the PS3 Slim's G wireless signal). This is also a nice addition to the console.

When playing games, especially when they were installed first onto the hard drive, we never noticed much lag or crashes. The need to ever reset the Xbox 360 Slim was very minimal. On some occasions we even found the Xbox 360 to display a sharper image during games when compared to other consoles.

Overall the console has a list of good things that are included with it. 
Here is the postive list:-
- Nicer compact design.
- HDMI port.
- Black color seems cooler.
- Silent console.
- Less chance of RROD (more robust system).
- Built in hard drive space and removable HDD.
- Easily stands vertical and horizontal.

The negative list:-
- Strange places for the vents to be in. Would have been better if the heat vent was at the back.
- Annoying touch sensitive power and eject buttons feel too sensitive.
- Discontinued glossy design means we would have to buy an older batch if we want that glossy look.

We have been running various 360 consoles and found the Xbox 360 Slim to be a nice console and a very popular console in the US and UK. If wanting to play some 360 games then the Slim is definitely the console of choice.

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