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The first thing to note about the PS3 Slim is undoubtedly the design. It's split opinions in the office so far, and although this reviewer thinks the design is an abomination, others think it's actually nicer than the original.
The differences are: the design is very similar, but one third smaller. So it actually looks like something of a smaller brother to the original PS3.
Once you get over the new-look design, and despite the slimmer, more power-efficient innards, the PS3 is still essentially the same beast.
Once you've turned it on, the differences end. The interface is the same. The controller is the same – although you do get a DualShock 3 controller instead of standard SIXAXIS – and the user experience is the same.
We did some very basic real-world benching and found that the PS3 Slim does actually boot a couple of seconds slower than our original 60GB PS3, although in practise that makes zero difference. The time it takes to load games and play DVDs are exactly the same.
The jury is out on whether you should buy the new PS3 Slim. If you've already got a PS3 in either its 40GB, 60GB, 80GB or 120GB flavours, it's almost definitely not worth upgrading to this 250GB version.
Unless you're desperate for more storage, there's not much here to justify spending another £270 on the newer model.
However, as a games console and media device, the PS3 is an unbelievably powerful contraption. It's an unrivalled living room media machine, and a powerful games console.
We do have serious concerns about the price, though - £270 is a lot to spend these days, especially when you can get the 120GB Xbox 360 Elite for less than £200.
Even though we don't like the aesthetics of the design, the smaller size is great – at last, here's a PS3 console that isn't so big that it dominates any room you put it in.
Other than that, it's business as usual. We loved the PS3 before the PS3 Slim came out, and we still love it. The Blu-ray drive is great as ever, but what we really love is the ability to stream almost any media file format from your PC or memory stick.
We also like the fact that you can use almost any Bluetooth device with the PS3. You can use any Bluetooth headset to chat with your friends. And you can use Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to navigate the built-in web browser.
Yeah, we think the design is ugly. But hey, you might like it – some do, some don't. But even if you do like the look of it, it's impossible to appreciate the general cheapness of its build. The original PS3 felt bullet proof. The new one feels like it might break if a moth landed on it.
Considering the reduced manufacturing costs associated with the PS3 Slim, and the horrible, cheap plastic it's encased in, we'd have expected a price closer to £200 – so cost is another big drawback.
Over all, the PS3 Slim 250B is a phenomenal piece of kit. It's amazing that something so small can do so much. And so if you've just bought a new telly, that extra £70 you'd have to spend over the cost of an Xbox 360 Elite will be worth it just for the Blu-ray player and massive storage drive.
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