Redesigned Xbox 360 E teardown reveals its a cost saver for Microsoft

first_imgThe surprise announcement by Microsoft at its E3 event earlier this week was that the Xbox 360 had been redesigned to look more like the forthcoming Xbox One. That new design was made available immediately in both 4GB and 250GB configurations, and iFixit has wasted no time purchasing the 250GB version to take apart.The new model is known as the Xbox 360 E, where as the previous one is called the Xbox 360 S. And apart from a model name change and cosmetic case update, there is very little different between the two consoles. What Microsoft has changed is clearly to save on the cost of manufacturing the machine.The cost saving measures include redesigning the back port area on the console to be a neater layout. But that layout has also come at the cost of a few ports. The A/V and S/PDIF ports are gone, and Microsoft has cut the number of USB ports on the 360 E to just 4, with one disappearing from the back panel.The casing is quite a nice design, but there is a bit of concern about the Xbox 360 logo on the front panel. The unit iFixit purchased had part of the silver on the first “X” in the logo chipped off. That could be an isolated incident, or it may be that the process of applying the silver finish isn’t great and it will be a common complaint.On to the hard drive and iFixit found it easy to remove the little black box from the side of the machine. When they cut it open, inside was a 2.5-inch 5400rpm Samsung 250GB SATA drive. It’s a standard drive, but that doesn’t mean you can replace it with another of your choice. Microsoft forces you to purchase an official replacement drive if you want to upgrade/replace it.The Xbox 360 E is being described as just as quiet as the previous model, and there’s a good reason for that as it uses the exact same fan for cooling as the S does. Microsoft also kept the same heatsink configuration because they solved the RRoD problem in the S, so why mess with that, right?The only other change is to do with the buttons (power, disc eject, and wireless sync) on the front of the console. They now have their own board, and the backlight for the power button has been removed.Overall, with the ease of opening the case, the fact no components were glued in place, and there were very few cables to deal with, iFixit gave the Xbox 360 E a very commendable 8/10 for repairability. For Microsoft, it clearly forms a way to keep offering their existing console while saving on the cost of manufacturing it. For consumers, it’s basically the same machine in a different case with fewer ports.last_img read more