PS5 Slim review: The console we should have gotten from the start

The PS5 Slim improves on an already fantastic console

PS5 Slim
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The PS5 Slim is thinner, lighter and more modular than its heftier predecessor. Though outwardly different, it retains the same fast performance and zippy load times we’ve come to expect. This is an overall great system for playing PS5 and PS4 games.


  • +

    Thinner, lighter build

  • +

    Modular design

  • +

    Excellent performance

  • +

    Robust game library


  • -

    Vertical stand costs an extra $30

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

The PS5 is a terrific video game console due to its raw power and vast library of first- and third-party games. It’s also one of the biggest and bulkiest systems ever released — as anyone who owns one can attest. Thankfully, the PS5 Slim (as it’s unofficially called) is here to replace its humongous predecessor.

As you may have guessed, the PS5 Slim is smaller and lighter. It’s still a big system but much easier to store. The redesigned console is also more modular, making it simpler to swap out its SSD drive and snap off its faceplates. You can even attach and detach the optical disc drive. Standing the system vertically isn’t as dangerous as before, though you’ll need to buy a separate $30 stand for better stability. The PS5 Slim also has more storage.

Besides the new design, the PS5 Slim features the same stellar performance, clean user interface and incredible game library as the original PS5. You don't need to upgrade if you own a PS5 since the new system is functionally the same. However, if you’ve been on the fence about Sony’s console, the slim model provides the best way to play the best PS5 games.

In this review, I’ll go over the major changes the PS5 Slim offers. For other aspects that remain the same, such as the interface, games and DualSense controller, be sure to read our original PS5 review.

PS5 review: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 PS5 Slim (Standard)PS5 Slim (Digital Edition)
ProcessorCustom AMD Zen 2, 8-core / 16 threads, 3.5GHzCustom AMD Zen 2, 8-core / 16 threads, 3.5GHz
GPUAMD RDNA 2, 10.3 teraflops, 2.23 GHzAMD RDNA 2, 10.3 teraflops, 2.23 GHz
Disc drive4K Blu-ray, up to 100GB/discOptional add-on
Video out4K, 120Hz4K, 120Hz
Ports2 x USB Type C (front), 2 x USB-A, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x HDMI (rear)2 x USB Type C (front), 2 x USB-A, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x HDMI (rear)
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6

PS5 Slim review: Price

  • Standard edition costs $499
  • Digital Edition is $449

The PS5 Slim with a 4K Blu-ray disc drive costs $499. The console also comes bundled with either Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or Marvel's Spider-Man 2 for the same price. For $449, you can get the PS5 Slim Digital Edition. This system has no associated bundles at time of writing.

If you want to place the system horizontally, you can snap on the two transparent plastic feet included in the box. Unfortunately, the new vertical stand (which is also compatible with the older PS5) is sold separately for $30.

Speaking of add-ons, an optical disc drive for the Digital Edition is available for $80 — which effectively makes this version of the console $30 more expensive than the one bundled with a disc drive.

PS5 Slim review: Design

PS5 Slim

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
  • Thinner and lighter
  • Modular design

The PS5 is my console of choice but I’ve always hated its design. Not only is it too big, but its odd hourglass-like shape makes me want to keep it hidden from sight. I wouldn’t say the PS5 Slim has a more eye-pleasing design since it retains the same basic shape. However, its thinner profile isn’t as visually offensive — and it also makes it easier to tuck behind a TV.

Instead of two separate faceplates like before, the new system has four — two on its bottom and two up top. This separation creates a gap that breaks up its surface. The faceplates and black body are also super glossy, which I quite liked.

PS5 Slim

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The new PS5 might be slim but it doesn’t skimp on ports. There’s a pair of USB-C ports on the system’s front, along with a white eject button beside the disc drive. The latter is noteworthy since the PS5 features black power and eject buttons right next to each other — which could be confusing. The back features two USB-A ports and an Ethernet port. I would have preferred if there was at least one USB-A port on the front for my wired peripherals, but this isn’t a major complaint.

PS5 Slim

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The PS5 Slim system I reviewed is bulkier on its “bottom” due to the disc drive. If you want to keep the system lying horizontally, you can snap on the included transparent feet to stabilize it. The little legs might look silly but they do a nice job of keeping the PS5 Slim level. This is my preferred way to orient the PS5 Slim (and consoles in general).

PS5 Slim

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

My review unit didn’t come with a separate vertical stand, so I can’t say much about how it functions. That said, it’s now safer to stand the PS5 vertically since its “bottom” is flatter than on the previous model. Still, it would have been nice if the vertical stand came bundled with the system.

PS5 Slim review: Modularity

PS5 Slim

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
  • Easy to remove face plates and SSD

As with the old PS5, you can swap out this system’s SSD. On top of that, you can also remove the disc drive from the standard PS5 Slim. If you own the Digital Edition, there’s a separate attachable $80 disc drive.

Snapping off the faceplate covering the SSD is easier with the PS5 Slim compared to its older counterpart. That’s because you only have to remove one small faceplate instead of a larger one. You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the screws keeping the SSD in place, but overall the process is rather seamless.

PS5 Slim

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Removing the optical disc drive is also effortless since it just snaps off with a little bit of force. That’s great, but I don’t know why anyone would want to remove the optical disc drive. The PS5 Slim is marginally lighter without a disc drive. And since the faceplate is shaped to house an optical drive, you’re left with a gaping hole where the drive slot once resided.

PS5 Slim review: Performance

Marvel's Spider-Man 2

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Excellent performance
  • Fast load times

Except for a larger 1TB SSD, the PS5 Slim remains largely unchanged from the older model. This console also features 16GB of GDDR6 memory and an AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU. And since the internals are the same, that means you’re stuck with Wi-Fi 6 instead of the newer Wi-Fi 6E or Wi-Fi 7 standards.

Games like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Street Fighter 6 run great on the PS5 Slim. In my time testing the unit I enjoyed the same blazing-fast performance and load times as on the older console. These titles (like others on PS5) offer performance modes that favor higher frame rates over resolution. This is my preferred way of playing since everything moves and feels buttery smooth.

Street Fighter 6

(Image credit: Capcom)

All in all, if you were pleased with the PS5’s performance, the PS5 Slim won’t disappoint you. This is still one of the most powerful consoles out there.

PS5 Slim review: Verdict

The PS5 Slim is the Sony console we should have gotten at the beginning of this generation. I’m still not enamored with the overall design, but its smaller footprint is appreciated. Other than the new design, this is still the same phenomenal system it’s always been — featuring speedy performance, ray-tracing and a ton of incredible games. The extra storage space is appreciated, and I like the updated system’s modularity … even if it costs extra for the Digital Edition.

Quibbles aside, the PS5 Slim is a worthy update of Sony’s popular console. Again, current PS5 owners don’t need to rush out to buy this system. However, if you’re new to PlayStation or are still rocking a PS4, you can’t go wrong with the PS5 Slim.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.