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Customer Review

704 of 776 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New features at a great price!, August 9, 2010
This review is from: Xbox 360 4GB Console (Video Game)
The xbox 360 slim with 4 GB is what the original arcade version should have been.
10 new features of this model are:
1. New Valhalla chip - hopefully improved design to prevent RRoD issue, but tech. reviews noted that the Jasper chip in the older Elite model runs cooler
2. WiFi N - this is the newest wifi standard that is 12X faster (up to 600 Mbits/ sec) than wifi G; you'll need a Wifi N router to get the max. speed
3. digital optical audio port (IF your sound system is separate from your TV, then you'll need this to get full 5.1 surround sound)
4. 4 GB of flash memory (although 1.1 GB is used by the game system, but 0.3 GB can be reclaimed by deleting 4 game demos)
5. 5 USB ports (2 in front & 3 in back)
6. slimmer design with side vents (to prevent overheating)
7. dedicated Kinect port (just a convenience feature)
8. only 1 year of warranty (the only negative; older Elite models had 3 yrs.)
9. USB flash drive support (this was a xbox software update released in April 2010)
10. ESPN video streaming (will be included if you are a Gold member, $50/ yr)

Slim 4 GB memory vs. 250 GB hard drive:
I bought the 4 GB system over the model with 250 GB hard drive because the xbox now supports game saves/ installs/ downloads and pic/ audio/ video downloads to USB flash drives. It supports 1-2 USB flash drives with 1-16 GB memory (using a 16 GB drive, 1.6 GB is used for formatting). 2 advantages of USB drives: loading games and media is 3x faster with USB drives than disc reading and more reliable (flash memory rarely fails, while discs can get scratched). 2 disadvantages of USB drives: you can not install old xbox games on USB drives and certain games, like Halo Reach and Halo ODST, will not support online coop without a hard drive (having a USB drive will not help). If you have a big appetite for video downloads and game demos that 32 GB can not accommodate, then you can always upgrade later with a 360 GB hard drive. The original model's hard drive is not compatible with the slim model without modification - you would need to remove the original hard drive and insert it into a slim hard-drive case (non-Microsoft, sold separately). You can find a non-Microsoft 120 GB drive for 1/2 the price of the Microsoft drives, but you would need to manually install the "partition 2" xbox emulator (search google) to play old xbox games.

XBOX vs. PS3:
I am originally a PS3 and Wii gamer, but finally bought the xbox when the slim 4 GB model was released. To be competitive with the PS3, the xbox had to have the built-in wifi, optical audio port, and USB flash drive support. I was deciding whether to buy another PS3 since many games require 2 consoles for coop and multiplayer gaming, regardless of what system you choose. With this xbox priced at $200, I decided to choose the xbox since it has better coop games and more online gaming. However, Netflix on xbox requires gold membership and starting a movie is a lot slower than the PS3 even though the xbox has faster wifi. Xbox music and music videos library needs to expand to the size of their TV and movies selection to be comparable with iTunes. The PS3 has better graphics though not significantly better (expected since PS3 has a better processor), but the xbox has better coop and multiplayer games. The PS3 controller is better designed, better constructed, and has a rechargeable battery; the D-pad on the included xbox controller creaked without even playing a single game. Also the PS3 has a Blu-Ray player, which accounts for the small cost difference. The button to open the disc tray on the xbox is too sensitive and not recessed, so slightly brushing it with your clothes will activate it.

Speed Comparison Update:
The Witcher 2 game, which is highly recommended, inspired me to write this update. For the Slim 4 GB model, most game discs can not be installed to the internal memory due to insufficient space. The internal memory is 3x faster than hard drives, which is 3x faster than USB drives, which is 3x faster than disc reading. The approximate speeds are: 270 MB/s internal memory > 90 MB/s hard drive > 30 MB/s USB drives > 10 MB/s disc reading. NOTE: USB drives vary a lot in speed; check the speed and cost before buying - you get what you pay for. So loading a game installed on a USB drive is faster than loading it from the disc, but can be potentially 9x faster if installed to internal memory. The Slim model should be updated with at least 16 GB memory since a game DVD holds up to 8.5 GB of data, 1.5 GB is needed for system files, and 6 GB should be reserved for game saves and updates. With flash memory so cheap these days, Microsoft has no excuse to not increase the internal memory to at least 16 GB. I originally gave the Slim model 5 stars, but docked it 1 star for this issue since it's been more than 2 years since this model was released.

Online Gaming & Media Sharing Update:
I originally didn't mind paying for xbox gold membership since it included Last FM music and ESPN video streaming, but now there are better music streaming service (Sony's definitely better) and the videos within each sports category are disorganized and poorly label so it's hard to find specific clips. So when I discontinued my xbox gold memberships, I found out that you can not play online coop games, even privately hosted ones, without at least one person having gold membership. Microsoft should at least allow privately hosted, online coop games to account for the lack of LAN support by most games. Also, the xbox's support of DLNA media streaming from your computer is poor; you can not save your media, only stream it. DLNA media streaming and sharing is flawless with the PS3. Microsoft's greed is evident in these 2 issues so I docked the xbox another star to give it only 3 stars.
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Showing 1-10 of 57 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 9, 2010 3:04:31 PM PDT
Mikey says:
Forza 3 and GTA install on the flash sticks easily. Your Halo must be messed up or something.

Posted on Aug 9, 2010 4:04:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 9, 2010 4:05:42 PM PDT
I plan to purchase a 4G Xbox Slim myself, but would like to ask if it is backwards compatible with early Xbox games? I want to play ESPN 2K5 hopefully on this system.

Posted on Aug 9, 2010 4:25:42 PM PDT
Mau says:
So the slot that the 250GB hard drive would sit in is empty but later when they sell the new hard drives we can put them into the 4GB console, correct?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2010 4:32:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 9, 2010 4:35:31 PM PDT
Mikey says:
Yes you can put the 250GB or more/less in the 4GB console. Which in my opinion will be the best console. 250GB / 4GB internal PLUS matte finish. It's the best of both worlds unlike the gloss with less internal memory.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2010 8:48:47 PM PDT
George R. says:
Wow! nice review! Id like to ask though: can you use an external USB harddrive? (the portable ones that draw power from the usb port itself)

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 6:33:21 PM PDT
D. F. Taylor says:
Actually the sytems takes up a little less memory than that (as there are 3 XBLA demos and Hexic HD on the memory). i deleted the demos (but kept Hexic) and was up to 3.2 GB usable memory

Supposedly, people have been using external USB hard drives since the USB update. However, i hear that you can only use one 16GB partition (probably 14.4 GB usable) on a hard drive. So if you have a 120 GB portable USB hard drive you could only use 16 GB of it for the Xbox. Apparently MSFT is ok with people using a maximum of 32 GB via USB devices (two 16 GB devices, at least at a time).

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 11:35:10 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2010 6:44:04 PM PDT
Dorkus says:
I bought the 250 grey hard drive for my elite would I be able to use it with this new console?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2010 9:10:09 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 14, 2010 2:42:23 PM PDT]

Posted on Aug 16, 2010 10:21:33 AM PDT
Avant says:
I wanted to point out something about #3 as it can be a little misleading.

Optical Audio IS NOT true surround sound. True surround sound is accomplished through multi channel audio. The only way to accomplish this on the xbox is through HDMI (which support multi channel audio out). Dobly ProLogic is a surround sound emulator, it's guessing what sounds should come out the rear speakers and sends audio there.

Secondly, newer audio receivers allow for HDMI inputs, so optical cables are not needed. Simply hook up the xbox to your receiver via an HDMI cable, then from the receiver to your TV with another HDMI cable.
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