Packaging: The [Register or Login to view links] came shipped with several other items, all were packed well with a liberal use of bubble wrap (yay!). The [Register or Login to view links], like the XFPS I reviewed earlier came in a rather nondescript box. It really doesn't matter to me what the packaging looks like, but to those of you that care, refer to the picture.
Includes: When they called it an “Ultra Pack” they weren't kidding. It includes the case, opening tool, LEDs with power cable (no soldering required), a mini-torx screwdriver, a mini-phillips screwdriver, a fan cover, new front, top and eject button for the DVD drive, and more bubble wrap. The opening tool is invaluable if you have ever struggled with the 360 case for hours using eyeglass screwdrivers and thumbtacks like I have. Oddly, it did not include installation instructions, however, they are available from the officialGhost Case Web site [Register or Login to view links].
The unit itself is a very slick (slippery) plastic which is nice- but may be bad if you like to stack stuff up. The plastic itself feels reasonably of high quality, but after taking it apart 4-5 times after the install I found many of the tabs had been broken.. thus, the original 360 case appears to be slightly more durable.
Installation: There are plenty of guides on the Internet (as well as this X-Box 360 Disassembly Tutorial) for removing the 360 case, so I will just give my thoughts. Micro$oft obviously designed the stock case with the intention to make it as difficult to open as possible. This bothers me even more because the original X-Box was so easy and intuitive to work on.
Even with the tools from the Ghost Case, it still took me over 20 minutes and my fingers hurt afterwards. It was easier than the first time due to the fact that the tabs were loosened considerably from the last time. After getting the stock case apart, installing the Ghost Case was pretty easy! The LEDs just plug in and have adhesive on one side allowing you to stick them anywhere. I opted not to mess with installing the translucent top for the DVD drive because I have a TS MS25 drive, which people in the scene know is more valuable than the rest of the 360 combined. I also left the old front on the DVD drive because I kind of like it.
In retrospect, however, I should have replaced it because it looks funny. I did get rid of the button covering the power switch, though I'm unsure if I am supposed to. Putting the new case on was about as hard as putting the old one on, which means still a bit of a chore. This is basically because the [Register or Login to view links] is constructed exactly the same as the original case.
Conclusion: If you consider the OEM 360 case to be your immortal enemy, the Ghost Case will assume that role as well. The 360 case was designed to be difficult to open and close on purpose, and the Ghost Case continues on in that respect. As mentioned above, the slippery plastic makes it not as good for stacking as the original, but with its new look you probably won't want to stack the 360 now anyway!
Overall, the [Register or Login to view links] is a great buy! It may not make your life easier, but it certainly makes it cooler. If people who shell out exuberant amounts of money on an elite think they are cool because they have a black matte case, you will be way cooler with a translucent blue case that even lights up inside! And you will save over a hundred dollars too! People who think buying a new faceplate is 'customization' need to think again. The case is also a great deal because it includes so many different accessories like the unlock tool, the screwdrivers, custom faceplate, and LEDs.
· Looks simply amazing!
· Lights up with included LEDs.
· Includes unlock tool and screwdrivers.
· Keeps the "defective-by-design" construction of the original 360 case.
· Annoying tabs still tend to break, slightly less durable than the original case.
· No included instructions, but they are available online (linked above).
· Slippery Plastic could make stacking difficult (not that you would want to anyways).