Xbox One Slim First Look

 

xbox-one-slim-0-hypebeast

X1S with controller, shown mounted on vertical stand

Hey everyone, I finally got my hands on the new Xbox One Slim and wanted to give you my first thoughts. Initially, one can tell right away it’s gorgeous, at least in my opinion. I love the modern white finish with black accents on both the console and controller. Also, it’s 40% smaller than the original so it’s that much easier if you want to unplug, throw in a backpack and take to a friend’s (which I’ve been known to do on several occasions), or even just fit into a smaller nook in your entertainment center.

X-Box One S

Top and Btm comparison X1S and X1

A vertical stand is also available (shown top). It just looks and feels lighter and airier. Additionally, the power block is now completely internal so you only need to mess with a simple power cable which is a nice surprise.

X-Box Slim

Internal Power Block in X1S

When I took it out of the box and plugged it in, there was so much space around it with so few bulky cords and cables I felt like I was missing something. The power and eject buttons are both physical now, gone are the static electricity iterations that I personally never had a problem with, but read some people had issues.

 

X1S back-pcworld

X1S Back Panel

 

The back panel has (from rt to lf looking at it) a service port, networking port, optical audio out, IR out, 2 USB ports, an HDMI in and out and the power in. I will interject here that MS must have cooled to making the Kinect a priority because there is no port for it. If you want to continue using one, a USB adapter is available. As far as IR, you can now program your Slim to control your tv and other devices and cut down on multiple remotes!

x1s controller polygon

X1S wireless controller

The wireless controller has some subtle but nice upgrades. I don’t think I’m the only one here, but I felt the construction of the 360 controller was far superior to X1, it felt solid in your hand and had a heft to it that was substantial without being clunky. The X1 first gen controllers felt cheap to me, sometimes almost like they would come apart in your hand during a fierce battle where button mashing and direction slamming was a must, the Slim definitely feels more solid. Size is identical. The matte white coating on the controller, which is hard to see in pics, is actually a bit textured and gives added grip. The analog thumb sticks also have a more pronounced textured rubber edge for a more tactile experience. It includes not only the standard OEM headset in jack, but a 3.5mm in for 3rd party sets or regular headphones, which is nice. The range of the controller is also almost double that of its big brother. Battery life seems comparable so far.

Internally, the processor is only slightly faster from the original, and that is most likely for accommodating HDR gaming. It won’t process full 4K UHD games (which as of now, there are none anyway) but it will upscale them to 4K. I can attest, the picture is better and color and black depths are noticeable on my 65” Vizio 4K tv!

Ok, now for the BIG reason I upgraded to the Slim, cue trumpet fanfare, and it is simply this; its capability of streaming 4K content (Netflix, et al) and playing full 4K UHD (@60Hz) Blu Ray discs! Woo hoo! I actually don’t even have any 4K discs at the moment as I just got the X1S, although I will be remedying that soon and may jump on to tell you about it. But for me, the cost of upgrading to the Slim was worth it for the 4K disc player alone. You’ll currently spend almost as much on a stand-alone 4k disc player, so why not get a latest gen gaming console to boot, no brainer for me.

As far as memory, I got the 500GB and before you laugh, I will tell you why. The X1 and Slim BOTH support external hard drives. Just plug one in to an available USB port, it will prompt you to format specifically for the console, you can set it to save and pull data from said hard drive and voila! extra storage. I have a couple 500GB drives and a 2TB so paying $299 as opposed to $399 for their 2TB version was, of course, a given. There is a 1TB option for $349 as well.

All in all I’m very happy with the new look and design as well as functionality and can’t wait to log some time on it, especially some new movies. Did you get the Slim? Are you waiting for Sony’s new version of the PS4? Leave us a comment below.

(featured pic: hypebeast.com, body pics: hypebeast.com, theverge.com, pcworld.com, polygon.com)

By Layne Ihde