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The only real criticism I have with the Quiet PC Xbox 360 isn't one that I can fairly blame Quiet PC for. I'm not a big fan of the Lian Li XB01 case. Certainly brushed anodised-black 'aluminum' will never go out of fashion, but the XB01 is a big case, dwarfing my PlayStation 3 - hardly a small console itself.
Furthermore, the XB01 has a few design niggles that just don't sit with me. Why is the eject button above the memory card slot, not next to the drive bay? Why are the USB ports about an inch inside the case making them impossible to plug anything into without dropping to my hands and knees? Why couldn't the power button be relocated to a more convenient position? Just why is the case so big?
Despite these complaints, though, I do like what Quiet PC has done with the Xbox 360, some foam, some rubber grommets and Lian Li's case. I like using a console that doesn't interfere with the enjoyment of the games and media it's built to play.
It's hardly surprising that Quiet PC is charging a premium for the improvements it's offering. The 60GB Xbox 360 sent to us would have cost around £170 sans alterations and Quiet PC is asking for an almost heart-stopping £355.98 for its modified version. Even taking into account the £60-odd XB01 case that's still around a £120 premium for an aluminium box and some acoustic dampening.
Luckily Quiet PC also bestows a 360 day - I'll resist the urge to scoff - warranty on its modified Xbox 360s sweetening the deal somewhat. Quiet PC will also happily charge £200 for modifying an already purchased Xbox 360, but with only a 30 day warranty offered in this instance - it's a less tempting proposition, but if you already have the console, you may consider it.
The smart buyer however, would doubtless flog their existing Xbox 360 and buy new, getting the improved warranty and still spending less overall in the process.
Scoring Quiet PC's Xbox 360 is tricky. Scores are subjective enough at the best of times but here I'm really in turmoil. On one hand, this is the Xbox Microsoft should have made as it's undeniably cooler and quieter. On the other, for £360-odd, you could buy two Xbox 360s and still have change.
Horses, courses. You get my drift.
If the price doesn't scare you off and you're keen on the design of the Lian Li XB01 case then there's no reason not to invest in a Quiet PC Xbox 360. Your ears will definitely thank you for it!
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