Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB
Call it what you will. The Xbox 360 Slim, the Xbox 360 Slimline the Xbox 360 S or even what Microsoft has actually decided to go with: the Xbox 360 250GB. The name doesn't matter, what matters is that it's here and whether it's a worthy upgrade to its rather successful predecessor.
The difference strikes you immediately. Gone is the attractively understated matt finish of both the original white Xbox 360 and the later, blacker, Xbox 360 Elite. Instead this new Xbox 360 250GB is finished in glossy black plastic. We're not so sure that we didn’t prefer the previous colour scheme, but since the PS3 Slim changed from gloss black to matt black, we presume Microsoft has no choice but to go the other way. The chassis design itself is updated to good effect, though, with the front having a far more pronounced "X" shape to it - albeit stretched out a little. In short: we like it.
The chassis isn't really that much smaller, measuring 270mm x 75mm x 264mm versus the old unit's 310mm x 80mm x 260mm. That's a 17 per cent reduction in volume (from 6.5 litres to 5.4 litres maths fans) but in practical terms you'll be allocating about the same amount of free space to this console as the previous SKU. The system's weight is down from 3.5kg to 2.9kg - although quite who would upgrade to or buy the Xbox 360 250GB just because it's a little lighter is beyond comprehension.
The Xbox 360 250GB's power and eject buttons are now capacitive, rather than physical. Whether the 'bing' sound accompanying the DVD drive ejection is an intentional tie-in to Microsoft's search engine is debatable, but we don’t believe in co-incidence.
The infamously large power brick is no longer, replaced by a much smaller affair, no bigger than you'd find supplied with a 15in laptop. Arguably it's a greater boon than the console's size-reduction - housing that oversized unit inside an AV cabinet wasn't the easiest task. The connecting cable is also less beefy, which makes orienting it that much easier, too. This reduction is size is no doubt a fringe benefit of the reduced power draw of the Xbox 360 250GB - 135W, down from the 'Jasper' units' 150W.
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