One of the Nintendo Switch’s biggest advantages is the fact that it’s a completely portable console that lets you play Zelda on the go. But on the flip side, one of the Switch’s biggest disadvantages is the relatively short battery life that the console offers, especially when playing a more graphically intensive game.
The SwitchCharge is a battery case from a new company called InDemand Design specifically designed for the Switch that hopes to solve that issue (along with a couple of other minor annoyances) by adding a 12,000mAh battery to the back of the console to offer what the company claims is up to 12 hours of battery life.
It’s a big promise, although considering the Switch’s demanding power requirements for charging the console while playing a game (which are so high that most portable battery packs can’t manage the task), I’m admittedly a bit skeptical. That said, if the SwitchCharge can pull it off, then it could be one of the best solutions on the market for charging a Switch on the go.
The SwitchCharge also has a few other nice benefits. The case itself snaps onto the main Switch unit, leaving the Joy-Con controllers accessible, and doesn’t seem too bulky. The back of the SwitchCharge also offers a more adjustable (and seemingly more stable) kickstand than the flimsy one built into the Switch, and includes slots to store two extra Switch game cartridges. An odd quirk, though, is that InDemand Design has chosen to weirdly break up the charging for the SwitchCharge. The case offers both a USB-C port to directly charge the Switch, which is side-mounted, so it can charge while propped up — a definite win that solves one of the more annoying parts of Nintendo’s design. But the SwitchCharge also has a separate Micro USB port for charging the case on its own, which sort of makes sense, given the Switch’s high power demands, although it would have been nice for it to also use USB-C.
The biggest downside to the SwitchCharge is perhaps the price. It starts for $75 at early-bird prices on Indiegogo, and plans to sell at retail for around $130, which is massively expensive for a 12,000mAh battery pack. But if the SwitchCharge can actually deliver the power output it promises, it might be worth the price.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that the SwitchCharge is the first hardware product from a new company that’s making some pretty big claims, so it’s worth double checking for yourself before you put up the money. That said, the company does claim to have already finished R&D and prototyping, which is a good sign.
The SwitchCharge is available to back on Indiegogo now, and is expected to ship in August.