XBOX360When the shiny XBox 360S (aka. the ‘360 slim’) arrived in the summer of 2010, I didn’t grab one immediately because at the time my (refurbished) Pro model was holding up just fine. Despite the ‘slim’s’ new configuration and features, it operated the same way, and I wanted to wait out the news if the new model wasn’t as prone to failure like its predecessor.

Fast forward to mid-2012: my trusty Elite is beginning to show signs of degrading. Every so often, the system would simply seize up mid-game. The game scene would freeze still like the end of a 70’s TV show, or the screen would go completely black like a ‘To Be Continued’ cliffhanger. Either way, I’d have to do a hard reboot to set it right again. By this time the unit has fallen out of warranty, and I didn’t feel like spending $100US just to receive another refurbished unit. It’s time for a trade-in!

Consumers expressed opinion that glossy plastic tended to attract dust and retain fingerprints. But is it really so difficult to wipe down the case after you set it up? How often does one not give the home a dusting?
It doesn’t matter anymore because by this time Microsoft has transitioned production of the 360S casing to non-glossy black, which still looks nice. It matches the rest of my hardware next to the TV.

However my opinion is that a matte finish is prone to visible scuffs which can’t be removed, and is thus worse than dust or fingerprint oils that only sit on top of glossy surface.
That’s because the matte finish is actually an uneven surface of miniscule ‘hills’ and ‘valleys’ that scatter light. If the hills are flattened down by abrasions such as a fingernail or stray DVD, light reflects from the impacted area in a more parallel (and conspicuous) manner compared to the rest of the surface. Now that’s annoying!

Despite that viewpoint, I’m very happy I finally made the trade-in. The new unit is whisper-quiet even when a game is spinning in the DVD drive. And I now have just a single HDMI cord to hook up to the TV. Simple!
The funny thing about the trade-in was, I had repackaged my old console in all the original packaging, twist-ties and all. As the clerk disassembled everything for inspection, she commented “Did you actually use this?”