Xbox Series X Input / Output Ports: Official Retail Version

The official release of the Xbox Series X features the following ports. Polarized power connector, 3 USB type A, gigabit ethernet, HDMI 2.1, storage expansion, and Kensington lock. Unlike some of the leaked photos from prior to official launch their is no SPDIF optical connection used by some high end audio devices.

The front of the Xbox Series X features a single USB type A port. The other ports are all found on the rear of the console.

Xbox Series X Rear Ports

Polarized Power Connector Port

The Xbox series X uses a standard polarized power connection that is commonly used on other devices including printers and scanners. I am glad to see the power supply internal to the console this time. It is nice to not need a power brick like you did with the previous generation of Xbox consoles. Sony has not required using a power brick with the PlayStation since the PS2. This simple change just makes for a cleaner install with less bulky power bricks. This is nice to see in 2022.

HDMI 2.1 Port

The Xbox Series X features a single HDMI 2.1 port as the sole video / audio output connection. It is capable of supporting up to 3840 x 2160 (4K) resolutions at up to 120 Hz refresh rates. This makes for an incredibly smooth and detailed image. There is no DisplayPort connection available on the Xbox Series X console.

Gigabit Ethernet Port

There is a single gigabit ethernet port on the Xbox Series X console. I am personally glad to see that they kept the ethernet port despite the recent trend of eliminating the port entirely. A wired connection is always the best choice for gaming and thankfully Microsoft has provided this option out of the box without the use of adapter dongles required on some other consoles.

This is proof that Microsoft is not exclusively focused on the casual family gamer market but rather on the entire market. The ethernet port is especially handy for anyone who has internet speeds of 300+ Mbps or desires that ultra low latency in games.

Unfortunately for anyone using the console without a wired connection (lets face it many people will have their wireless router at the other end of the house) the WiFi built in to the console is a bit of a letdown. Unlike the Sony PS5 there is no WiFi 6 support on the Xbox Series X. This is a slight disadvantage given the improvements that WiFi 6 offers in terms of both speed and stability. Instead WiFi on the Xbox Series X is limited to WiFi 5 (802.11AC) which was finalized in 2013.

Ethernet Cable Xbox Series X | S

Storage Expansion Port

The Xbox Series X includes a high speed storage expansion slot for connecting a proprietary storage expansion card. The storage expansion slot currently allows you to double the storage of the console from 1 TB up to 2 TB. This is important given the size of some of the games can be up to 100 GB in size. Tack on updates and other downloads and you can easily see the need for more storage.

The advantage with this setup is the storage expansion card is the same speed as the internal storage which is lightning quick and really improves load times within games. The disadvantage is the cost, nearly half the price of the console to be precise. The cost of the storage expansion module is double that of even a top quality Samsung 1 TB SSD. External storage options are not capable of storing current generation games due to speed limitations. You will however be able to store legacy games on external storage if desired.

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3 USB Type A Ports

There are 3 USB type A ports on the Xbox Series X console, 2 in the back, and 1 in the front. I would have personally liked to see a USB type C port included on the front of the console as well.

While it is certainly not a deal breaker it would have been a nice inclusion to help future proof the console. It would have also been nice to see a second front USB port. There is no reason that Microsoft couldn’t have provided more than 3 USB ports on the console.