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Commentary Gaming

I'm not loving the Nintendo Switch's kickstand

You probably won't have to worry about breaking it, though!

Now Playing: Watch this: Kickstand fail: Watch the Nintendo Switch fall flat
1:02


I love kickstands. Adore how they can prop up tablets and phones, so I can watch hands-free.

And the Nintendo Switch kickstand seemed like something particularly special: a way to play a big-screen handheld game system without having to hold that big 6.2-inch screen. Flip out the kickstand, set it on a tabletop (or even a cramped airplane tray table) and use the slide-out wireless controllers as if you have a miniature TV.

Thing is, the Switch's kickstand isn't great. It's easy to tip. I've only been playing around with a Switch for a couple of days, and I've easily knocked it over a dozen times already.

That's why we made the video above. Consider it a "dramatic reenactment" -- these things didn't happen all at once, but they definitely all happened.

Editor's note: I've heard from a lot of readers that the video I used to try to illustrate the problems with the Switch kickstand...let's just say it fell flat. My intention was to try to reenact real problems I had, but I see now that the video comes across as forced or cheeky -- like a bad '90s infomercial! While I love the comparison, that wasn't my intention. In the future, I'll be illustrating this type of opinion with tests instead of recreations.

Can't or won't watch? Here's the basic jist:

  • The kickstand is small and isn't centered in the back of the tablet, so it's not particularly balanced or steady on its feet. It doesn't take much to knock it over.
  • The foot only opens to a single angle -- no adjustable hinge like you'd find on a Microsoft Surface tablet.
  • The kickstand can pop off entirely if the Switch falls over, or if you press too hard.

To be fair, the Switch doesn't wobble if you set it down on a level surface, and you can snap the kickstand back on if it gets detached. ("Don't do that too often or it will weaken the stand," warns a Nintendo user guide, however.)

The kickstand works, at a very basic level. But am I wrong to wish it were a little more robust? At least it won't lead into any accidental injuries like the console's safety straps.

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