Oooh, there's nothing like a brand-new, redesigned, high-profile piece of tech plonking itself down on our desks. The latest A-lister to grace our humble abode is the Xbox 360 Slim, also known as the Xbox 360 250GB or the Xbox 360 S. Before you read our full Xbox 360 Slim review, check out our sizzling shots below -- we don't mind confessing this is one peep show that got us a little hot under the collar...
The unboxing begins -- the first thing you'll see when you break open the box are the boring setup documents. If you're anything like us, you'll cast them recklessly aside in your haste, then realise you desperately need them later. But hey, that's a problem for future-you!
We've removed the console itself from the box, and have begun to unwrap the soft protective foam that kept it secure on its long voyage...
Already we can see a distinctive departure in design from previous Xbox consoles. This beast's topside is devoted entirely to ventilation.
And there you have it -- the console free from its cardboard bonds. As you can see, it looks absolutely gorgeous. We like the angular style and black gloss, and at 270mm high and 70mm wide, it's a whole lot smaller than previous Xbox consoles.
Each side features an indented Xbox 360 logo -- it adds a touch of class, and while grabbing hold of the Slim reveals its plasticky nature, it really is a treat on the eyes otherwise.
The buttons on the front of the console are now touch-sensitive (yes, like on the PS3) and issue forth a little chime when you touch one. This eject button is one such key to undergo a makeover.
Likewise the power button is now touch-sensitive. You'll have to be careful not to turn off the system by accidentally brushing your hands against the centre button, however. Incidentally, it's now impossible for this console to suffer the dreaded Red Ring of Death, because Microsoft has removed the red LEDs. Seriously.
From the side you can see the ventilation ports make a smart pattern -- we like this console's asymmetric style. This image also demonstrates that black plastic gloss is a fingerprint magnet though.
We included this image to illustrate just how reflective that black gloss casing really is. Perfect if you ever need to fix up your lipstick during an intensive Call of Duty session.
Here's the back of the console, where we can check out the port selection. There's an HDMI out and three USB ports, plus two more round the front. There's also Ethernet and S/PDIF on board.
In the box you'll find a tasty black headset, so you can be hurling abuse at your fellow Xbox Livers within minutes of unboxing your console.
And of course there's a lovely matte black wireless controller (batteries included).
Here's a shot of the assorted cables, from left to right -- composite to SCART adaptor, power brick and composite cable.
We're dismayed to see that there's no HDMI cable (or indeed any cables necessary to get the Slim outputting in HD) in the box. That's a real kicker, seeing as how hi-def gaming is easily the best thing about this system, and you'll have to pick up another cable separately to enjoy the beautiful games of tomorrow as they were, er, will be intended.
Microsoft has made much of the Slim running at whisper-quiet volume, and we have to say it really is exceedingly quiet once you plug it in. This power brick, though, has its own little fan inside, which actually creates more noise than the whole console! It means the system as a whole is a little louder than whisper-volume, but it's still a marked improvement over previous, noisier Xboxes.