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Nintendo Switch Lite: All colors, all angles, and vs. Switch

Take a good look at Nintendo's upcoming handheld-only game system.

Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott Stein
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Scott Stein
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The Switch Lite arrives pretty soon; these are our impressions. But also, here's a good look at the system, and why it's better (and worse) than the original Switch.

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The Switch Lite (top) lacks removable controllers, like the original Switch (below). But it's smaller!

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The Switch Lite, in all three colors: yellow, blue, gray. It looks more like a 3DS/2DS variant.

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The Switch Lite is attractive and compact... or more compact than the first Switch.

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A look at their backs, compared.

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The controls and feel of the system are great. The smaller 5.5-inch screen doesn't impact games, from what we've seen so far, the 720p resolution is the same as the larger-screened Switch.

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The side controls are identical (almost): but they can't be removed. And, there's no vibrating rumble.

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Note the D-Pad on the left side, though. That's different (and better).

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The Switch Lite doesn't have a rear kickstand -- which means no standing it on a table.

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The Switch Lite still uses the same game cards and microSD cards as the original Switch.

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The D-Pad is better and feels crisper than the Switch's array of four buttons on the left side.

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The heat vent is smaller, too, which hopefully means less heat and better durability.

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Let's hope the controls are sturdy, because these can't be swapped.

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The USB-C port can only be used for charging (and a few USB controller accessories) -- but not video-out. No docking with the TV with this Switch Lite.

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You could pair other controllers via Bluetooth, but without a TV dock or a rear kickstand, it wouldn't be fun to try same-screen multiplayer.

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Blue's my favorite.

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The construction quality feels stepped up on the Lite; it feels sturdier.

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But you may miss the fun color options of Joy-Cons.

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Nintendo still hasn't made it easy to share games between Switch consoles, either: you either have to transfer all data to a new system, or designate a secondary Switch that could play games, but only when online.

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The Switch Lite seems like a perfect kid-friendly, handheld-only option.

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And that D-Pad should be on all the Switch systems.

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If the Switch Lite had a video-out, it would be my favorite Switch. But it doesn't.

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A standard headphone jack means no Bluetooth headphones, yet again.

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Holding both, side by side. 

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That's the difference in length between Switch and Switch Lite.

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More to come in our full review.

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