Each week for about the next six weeks we will be featuring a review here at PS3News.com from one of our Staffers, and today's review comes to us courtesy of studtrooper along with the nice folks at www.**************** for providing the product. As always ALL of our reviews are archived at Reviews.PS3News.com
This baby is a Special Edition (Designating a cool "X" shaped cutout with LEDs available in Blue, Green, and Red) Black Knight full replacement case for the X-Box 360. XCM makes some wonderful replacements for a wide range of systems (including PS2, X-Box 1, and Wii), so I was expecting this to be great right from the beginning.
HERE is a shot of the box contents! As you can see, we get a replacement for not only the two halves, but also the grills and the faceplate. Not pictured is also a black DVD drive bezel and eject button mechanism replacement if you prefer your entire system to be black. I personally like the chrome for my X-Box 360 Premium, so I didn't add those on. Also included as an extra is a helpful case opener (which thankfully replaces the one I made out of a CD spindle!)
Assembly was fairly straight forward. If you're like me, you absolutely HATE opening and closing the 360 a ton of times (to get at the O.D.D. so you can flash your drive). I've snapped, clipped, bent, and just plain mutilated my original case, so I am glad to say that this XCM case goes on and off pretty smoothly. While I thought it was odd that XCM made the case mold almost identical to the original case (screwless design and all), at least it clips off easier.
Once you get your stuff together, it will look something like THIS. In case you were wondering, the LEDs under the "X" cutout are powered by a leech cable feeding off the power for the DVD Drive. The leech cable isn't hard to attach and fits nicely. The LED can also be turned on and off with a switch hiding on the side of the "X" cut-out. It can be a bit hard to reach for people with big honkin' hands like me, but you get used to it.
HERE is a pic of what it looks like in low light with the LEDs turned on.. my apologies in advance, my camera is currently broke and my backup takes horrid non-flash pics. Even so though, the LEDs come through in a real nice, even saturation. It seriously will get you style points at any party you bring it to.
Other Thoughts: The case material has about the same plastic strength as the original, so please watch out when removing the grills. I accidentally snapped a clip taking it off during the review (admittedly my fault). While the case material could've been a bit stronger, I was highly impressed with the material's look and feel. Unlike the PS3, PSP, and Nintendo DS Lite, this plastic has a reflective surface but doesn't get fingerprint smudges when handling it. I don't know about you, but unavoidable smudges bother me so I was quite pleased to see something like this.
About the only negative thing I can say about this case is that the USB port in the back gave me issues. Apparently there wasn't enough space cut in my case to allow both the ethernet port AND the back USB port, so putting both cables in there can be a challenge. I resolved this by shaving the plastic of my USB connector down to allow a fit, but I wasn't too thrilled about it. Nothing horrible, but something to think about.
Final Thoughts: Here's what I think: Why spend $480 on an X-Box 360 Elite when the only thing you REALLY want is the cool black case (and HDMI, but meh)? For a mere $70, you can get this baby and it will look WAY better than that new revision, due to the awesome "X" LED cut. If you are in the market for something above average (for those on a budget, just go for the regular Black Knight or a Ghost Case), you found it right here!
Final Score: 9 out of 10.
Thanks goes out to our sponsor **************** for offering the product for review!