Top positive review
10/10 - Absolutely Fantastic - and by far Microsoft’s best value console for the price to date!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 November 2020
I’ve been playing Xbox most of my life, I’ve owned the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, and now the Xbox Series X... this is looking by far Microsoft’s strongest console to date, I’ve had a brilliant experience using it so far...
For the price of £449.99, this console is truly fantastic, so good that I’m not even sure how Microsoft make money on it at this price! You get the console itself, a controller, a power cable and HDMI 2.1 cord... incredibly good value... Just to name one thing, this console is very very fast - coming from the 2013 Xbox One, shockingly fast! Loading times are an absolute breeze... best example I can think of is when fast travelling in Red Dead Redemption 2, it takes 5 seconds or less, the console cold boots in about 15-18 seconds and can start from sleep in just 4 seconds!
Setup is quick and easy with a smartphone and the Xbox App downloaded and it’s easy to transfer and download games if you want to take them with you from your old console, you can either transfer them over WiFi if your old console is still plugged in, or put them onto a physical hard drive which can be plugged into the console to transfer the games off if you prefer...
The build quality is sublime, it’s extremely sturdy, compact, and the quality of the materials used are second to none, aesthetically it looks great, the green paint inside the top of the console really makes it look like it’s glowing - at the base of the console the screws that hold the stand onto the main body actually go all the way through the console itself... meaning it’s very stable when sitting upright, there is no rocking or bad movements... it just has a great look about it, and will stand proud on your desk/in your media centre whilst blending in and remaining subtle at the same time, and is a very convenient shape!
In terms of cooling, again very good... there were originally some rumours about heat problems with this console, but after playing red dead redemption 2 for an hour at 4k quality, I can confidently say these are false, the top of the console was just over luke-warm to the touch, really just felt like the air from a hair dryer on the lowest setting, nothing that could ‘burn your hand’ as some early reviewers suggested... the console sucks air in from the bottom and expels it out of the top vent, so make sure you leave appropriate space above, and on either side of the console to allow for efficient cooling!
Thought I’d talk about noise, the console is almost silent, even under heavy load it makes very little to no noise, you actually have to move close to the console and tilt your head so you can hear the low pitched humming sound coming from the main cooling fan, very impressive to says the quality of the games it can run, pretty much inaudible...
The final thing I wanted to cover was the output quality of the console, this largely depends on the screen that you have but you can choose between 1080p, 1440p, and 4k, followed by refresh rates of 60hz and 120hz, you can also utilise Freesync to eliminate tearing, and calibrate HDR from the console - I’d recommend having a 1440p quality screen or higher to fully utilise the quality that this console has to offer, a monitor and TV are both fine to use and it’s all down to personal preference, as can be seen in the photos I use the LG 27GL850 which is a 1440p, 144hz, 1ms response time monitor!
Overall, I’m just kind of just blown away at the quality to price ratio here, would I recommend the console? 100%... Especially if you are still using an original Xbox One, the performance gap between that and this is phenomenal. Sure there aren’t a lot of new games out at the minute - which is the only real downside, however there are plenty of games that are optimised for use with the console that exist already, and I’d assume that we will see more AAA titles being released as the world gets moving again... I’d definitely recommend getting this console down to the sheer performance and quality alone, you will not be disappointed!
EDIT: (After 40 Days of Usage) This review is still fully accurate of my opinion on this console, it performs like a beast, it’s pretty much silent under load, I’ve been having a blast playing COD at 120fps on it and I’ve clocked about 300 hours so far with no issues, what a great piece of kit!