I have always been a bit of an unorganized person, and it’s no more evident than in our apartment. If it weren’t for the efforts of my wife, our apartment would probably look like a nuclear bomb went off. I appreciate the value of clean dishes and clean laundry but if both were clean and in piles on the counter and the floor I would be just fine with that.
So it was with much excitement that I took the opportunity to review the LevelUp Zig-Zag gaming storage tower. LevelUp makes several different models of storage towers for the various consoles, with the Zig-Zag one of two designed for use with the Xbox 360. The name is based on the form factor, as from the front, the unit has very much a zig-zag shape to it from bottom to top.
Upon unboxing, the unit requires simple assembly; around 10 pieces that are designed to snap together with little effort with only the guitar holder requiring any tools to attach. All told, from opening of box to setting the completed unit next to my TV stand took less than 10 minutes. There are a couple of green bands that act as gaskets between the shelving sections and the top and bottom of the unit. While they do fit in between mating surfaces, they’re clearly more design than function. The green is that of the Xbox 360 accent color, and it does nicely offset the black of the Zig-Zags plastic components.
The Zig-Zag is designed to support 4 standard controllers, a guitar controller, and either 26 games or an Xbox and 13 games. The unit is clearly designed for the Xbox to go on the bottom shelf (there are ventilation holes on the bottom shelf), and it actually indicates that the Xbox should not be placed on the second shelf as it could cause the unit to tip.
Tipping is the only thing I see as a potential issue wit the Zig-Zag. The base of my review unit was slightly malformed in manufacturing so it has a very slight wobble to the right if I lean on it while putting games away. I’m certain this is not a common defect as I did not see the defect in display units in local Best Buys.
There are a lot of things to like about the Zig-Zag, chief among these being the way games are stored. In so many storage units, you’re merely given a place to stack games. While it is probably the most efficient use of space, it also means it’s really easy to wind up with a bunch of games on the floor when you want to play the game at the bottom stack. With the Zig-Zag, each game slides into a small slot in the walls of the unit which allows you to remove one game without removing any others. The only drawback is that because the games are stored sideways in the unit, you can’t see the names of any of the games without walking over to the unit.
The guitar controller attachment seems almost like a throw-in but it actually works pretty well. The guitar slides into a mount that holds it near the nut of the guitar, just below the head stock. Finding a way to store guitar controllers has been a problem since the games have been released and LevelUp used a simple piece of plastic to solve the problem. It takes turning the guitar to get it out of the holder, but it also prevents the guitar from from falling when not in use.
In conclusion, there’s a lot to like about the LevelUp Zig-Zag, and with an actual retail of around $50, its well positioned for the money. The issue I experienced with the minor malformation of the base causing a wobble doesn’t seem to be pandemic. Further, I ran my xbox for several days straight while completing Mass Effect, and didn’t seem to have any overheats or other unexpected behavior placing my 360 on it’s side on the shelf. Plus, the Zig-Zag takes up very little floor space and frees up space both in DVD storage and the TV stand.
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