The "new" PSP doesn't look that slim, but it certainly feels a whole lot lighter. We haven't busted the scales out yet, but we estimate that the Slim & Lite is at least half the weight of the original PSP.
This is but one of the changes that equates to a much sturdier-feeling handheld. The new PSP doesn't feel as thrown together as the original - its components don't shake in horror every time you insert a UMD and this time it doesn't feel like it'd explode into a hundred pieces if you were to drop it on the floor (although we're not conducting that experiment with our shiny new piece of kit).
The second biggest physical change is the shape and feel of the PSP's portly rear. The original matte texture has been replaced with the infamous shiny chrome of the front, providing a smoother, kinder feel on the hands and a second side for you to polish after every game. The twin "humps" on the back have also been removed, which is probably the source of the extra millimetres the original PSP has over the Slim.
There's definitely going to be a split of preferences between the two models, because for as much as the original PSP comes across as very un-drop-friendly, it doesn't feel like you could snap it in half like the Slim & Lite either.
The third most significant change to the handheld's feel and appearance is the new, manually-opened UMD tray - which we suppose is now more like a flap than a tray. A notch on the top of the console allows you to pull the UMD slot open, while metal latches keep it feeling strong rather than a loose piece of plastic.
It looks better, it doesn't sound like you've kicked a shopping trolley when it opens, and it'll probably survive a drop or two to the floor. We approve.
The inside's what counts
Easily the best reason to buy a Slim & Lite is for the tinkering Sony's done on the inside of the machine. First of all battery life - the big Achilles' heel of the original PSP - has been improved significantly. We calculate that you'll get more than five hours out of the new model, which is roughly double that of the last PSP.
We ran around the office showing off our new toy, PS3's Lair streaming onto the handheld from the other side of the room, and after an hour of photography, willy-waving and flame-throwing archery towers the PSP battery still hadn't reached the 70% mark - which bodes well for proper game sessions.
Bizarrely, if you plug in your original PSP's battery you'll get even more juice for gaming - but it'll bulge out the back ruining the Slim & Lite's slimness.
The other big selling point of the redesigned model we weren't able to try - and probably neither will you if recent reports bare truth. With the proper cable the Slim & Lite can be hooked up to a television in both composite and lovely component form, allowing you to play PSP games on your telly.
Unfortunately it looks like Sony won't have any of the leads ready for UK launch, leaving us to sit and wait or go for an import.
In theory, ports and complicated 3D games would benefit greatly from this new telly link - why buy the PS2 version if you can play the handheld equivalent on the big screen - and on the go?
Sony has promised to get one of the mysterious cables sent out to us soon, so we'll be able to update our impressions with the telly stuff in due time.
So is it worth the money if you've already got a PSP? It's certainly not the same jump as the original Nintendo DS to the DS Lite, but if you're going to pick one up for the extra battery life - easily the biggest reason the opt for the new PSP - then you'll probably be surprised by the feel of the new model as well.