First the first time in a while I made a large impulse purchase that frankly I had doubts about whether or not I should have done it. Perhaps the jury is still out on that one but I can say, without any reservation, that the Nintendo Switch is an excellent system. Not only do I recommend it to any long-term fans of Nintendo gaming franchises but I’ll go out on a limb to suggest that perhaps the way this system works is the direction that all other console makers should go, if they’re going to insist on developing and maintaining their own hardware. I’m planning to provide some additional posts about the three games that I currently have and why I think they all represent a great mix of nostalgia and modern technology.
The Wii U Gamepad is good and certainly very useful if one wants to play a game “off TV”. But the darn battery just isn’t very good and that’s rather annoying, especially since the thing seems to be required to stay on, even when streaming video using Netflix or other services.
To deal with this issue I purchased a Nyko Uboost extended battery for the Wii U Gamepad, which has significantly improved the total charge of the Gamepad. It’s not a replacement battery – it fits over the existing battery and provides additional power.
Surprisingly, it’s compatible with the original Gamepad charging dock and is very inexpensive at just under $15.
As a backup for longer gaming sessions I also purchased a Gamepad charging cable. It can’t charge the Uboost itself (the Uboost only charges on the dock connections) but the Uboost doesn’t prevent me from being able to easily access the more traditional charging port on the Gamepad. The charging cable also appears to be compatible with a USB extension cable I already had, which works well for a player position farther away from the Wii U or a power outlet. I chose to purchase the additional charging cable so I wouldn’t have to move the existing cable is connected to the Gamepad charging dock.
I’ve been eyeing a hard drive dock for the past few years, mostly for the convenience it would offer. My toolkit already includes an IDE and SATA to USB adapter along with a couple of USB drive enclosures. The advantage of the dock is that I could have an adapter in a dedicated location that doesn’t require removing any screws or re-arranging cables in order to connect a bare drive.
I recently ordered one from Monoprice for just under $22. It arrived today and I connected it to my Mac. I haven’t used it much, but I did drop a 500 GB, 3.5″ SATA drive in and I can state that it does work. How well it works or holds up will be appended to this post in the future, if there’s anything noteworthy to add. I’m using it via the USB connection – my current iMac doesn’t have eSATA capability. I like that it has an on/off switch – a feature that isn’t always included in USB hard drive adapters.