Yes, we can hardly believe it ourselves, but Sony came a-knockin' at our door today, and we were more than willing to answer. The PlayStation 3 Slim is now official in-house, and it's a matte-laden beaut. Enough chitchat -- live vicariously through our unboxing and hands-on pics below!
Update: Some details for clarification. The buttons in the front are now physical and actually "click" in to function. The PS logo above the disc drive does not rotate for vertical use, and yes, the hard drive is swappable -- as you can see from the pictures, there's a screw on the bottom, hidden by a panel, that lets you take off part of the front for access. We've also lined it up against our standard, fatty PS3, and we gotta say, it's noticeably lighter.
Update 2: Here's a more thorough comparison between the slim, the original, and the Xbox 360. Some people were asking about the texture of the matte finish, and compared to Microsoft's console, it's just a teensy bit rougher (and on that note, about the same weight, too). It's still just as glossy as the original on the sides, however. We still gotta compare the noise of the slim, stay tuned!
Update 3: While our tests were far from thorough, the initial results from our quick-and-dirty decibel ratings show some promise. With a baseline of 49 decibels, the Slim averaged 53 to 56 db when in use / playing a game / installing data (in this case, Metal Gear Solid 4), compared to the 55 to 58 db of the original. Blu-ray movie playback is where it becomes noticeable, as the slim peaked for us at 60 db when the original was doing 70 db running the same disc.