We got an Xbox Series X to unbox and like you might have seen in unboxing videos from other sites, we’re only allowed to show (and talk about) the contents of the box itself right now.

Rather than do the same unboxing video that you’ve probably seen a number of times already, we thought we’d try a different approach. 

In this feature, we’re going to run through a few things that immediately caught our attention while we were taking the Series X out of the box that we think you’ll want to know about.

3 Things We Noticed While Unboxing the Xbox Series X

1. The Console Is Visually Appealing (Matte Finish, Sturdy Build)

Right when you take the Xbox Series X out of the box, you’re struck by the way it feels in your hands. It’s extremely sturdy in the best possible way. The matte finish is a wonderful touch, you won’t have to worry about getting fingerprints on it when you move it around.

While the Series X is shaped differently than its predecessors and seems smaller in some regards, it still has some serious weight to it. Nothing about the console feels cheap or plastic-y. As others have shown, you can display the unit upright or on its side depending on what works best for you.

It looks great no matter which way you display it, and you won’t have as hard of a time finding a place to put it as you will the PS5. It depends on your entertainment center. Ours has openings on each side that fit the Series X in its upright position so that’s where we put the console.

We’re happy with the way it looks. When displayed upright it feels reminiscent of a PC tower and you have to physically press the Xbox power button this time around which adds to the PC tower feel. It really feels like you're pushing the power button on a PC.

Before powering the console on, we recommend testing it out by pressing it a few times, you'll see what we mean. On the front by the disc drive, the Series X has one USB slot. On the back, you’ll find two more USB slots in addition to things like HDMI out and storage expansion.

Everything is easy to get to whether you’re displaying the console vertically or horizontally. 

Overall, we feel like the updated design isn’t too over-the-top nor is it overly minimalist. It’s beautifully balanced in almost every regard.  

2. Large Ventilation Holes

As you’ve seen, there are large ventilation holes at the top of the console when displaying it vertically. You’ll find smaller ventilation holes at the back by the cables (HDMI, power) and more on the bottom of the unit where the circular base is. 

The ventilation holes at the top of the Series X are both good and bad. First, the console has no trouble getting all of the ventilation it needs with these holes so long as you avoid putting the console in a cramped spot where airflow is restricted.

Reportedly, the Series X has 70% more airflow than its predecessor the Xbox One. This is fantastic, and it’s both straightforward and self-explanatory. What isn’t talked about as often is the potential downside to having large ventilation holes. 

If you have small children, you’re going to want to display the Series X on its side as opposed to vertically. To elaborate on why this is, one concern we had when it comes to these holes is the ways in which they could lead to potential console damage. 

Whether you have a child, or you have a younger sibling, the ventilation holes are just large enough and just open enough for things to be put inside of them. You may think it's extremely unlikely that this will ever happen, but there's always a chance that it could.

Never underestimate the destruction young kids are capable of. It’s like that saying, mess around and find out.

If a kid wants to pour juice into these ventilation holes, stick toys or straws into the holes, small pieces of candy, etc., they can. There are a lot of terrible things that can fit into these holes.

So, what happens when something gets jammed into one of the holes? Well... we honestly don’t know and we really don't want to experiment and risk damaging the console just to find out.

From what we’ve seen, a small item, some dust, some hair, stuff like that, doesn’t seem like it’d have any impact so for the most part, the holes are a non-issue. 

It’s only problematic if your kids (or a vengeful ex, sibling, parent) decide to purposefully put liquids, sticky pieces of food, Play-Doh, and other things of that nature into your console’s ventilation holes. 

Again, you can reduce this risk by displaying the console on its side or putting it into an area where small children can’t get to the console. 

3. Controller Offers Some Nice Improvements

The controller that comes packaged with the Xbox Series X is wonderful. It offers a few key improvements without deviating too much from the controllers that you’re used to.

Like the Series X, the controller is a flat matte black. It has textured grips on the back and texture on the triggers, RB, and LB buttons. You certainly won’t slip when playing an FPS with sweaty hands.

Not only does the controller feel nice to hold, it’s also built with convenient functionality in mind. 

For example, a dedicated share button has been added that’s easy to reach while you’re gaming. Holding the controller normally, we can move our left thumb over to the center and press the share button quickly and comfortably. It’s fantastic. 

You’ll also see a d-pad on the new controller that serves as an improvement from the d-pad on Xbox One controllers. The d-pad is a subtle change, but it feels really nice to use. It’s more click-y sounding and also feels sturdier than the d-pad setup on the Xbox One controller. 

Finally, something else we appreciate is the USB-C charging at the top of the controller. You can use rechargeable battery packs with the Series X controller, just note that the backplate is somewhat flatter and slimmer than the Xbox One controller’s backplate. 

If you have a thick, chunky rechargeable battery pack like we do, you may have difficulty putting the backplate back on.

You can play without it if you really want to, but it may be worth buying an updated rechargeable battery that’s properly sized for the Series X in terms of being a bit flatter to allow the backplate to be put back on without issue.

And, of course, Xbox One controllers including the Elite 2 and Adaptive Controller are all compatible with the Series X as previously confirmed by Microsoft.

That’s all we can really say about the Series X given the current embargo only allows for unboxing and information in regards to unboxing.

All of the things we’ve mentioned you can see in unboxing videos, but we felt like going into a bit more detail about some of the console's physical attributes in order to offer you additional insight. 

Knowing about the ventilation holes or the fact that the controller has a smaller backplate can potentially help you better prepare for your Series X when you receive it on or after its November 10 launch date. 

Have questions about the Series X that you’d like us to answer? Reach out to us on our social media channels including Facebook and Twitter!  

Related: Xbox Series X/S Backwards Compatibility Collab: Which Games Will We Try First?