Nintendo Switch Lite review: A great Switch, without the Switch part

CNET | 9/20/2019 | Scott Stein
Caris (Posted by) Level 3
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The Switch Lite, in all three colors. It's handheld-only, but it feels great.

The Nintendo Switch Lite arrived in our office earlier this week and I eagerly took it out of the box. It's a lighter, more colorful and weirdly better-feeling version of the first Switch. Everything about it feels streamlined, easy. It's like a gaming Kindle.

Season - Gamers - Go - Nintendo - Iteration

It's a good season for gamers who want to play on the go. Nintendo's newest iteration of the Switch is the best $200 gaming portable I've ever used, and it already has a giant library of games.

Should you buy one, though? It all depends on whether you're fine just using the Switch as a handheld like the Nintendo 3DS and all the gaming handhelds Nintendo made before this, or whether you want it to connect to a TV, too. Because, with the Switch Lite, you can't switch between TV and handheld anymore.

Let me explain.

The Switch Lite is a far better travel gaming handheld.

New - Jersey - Transit - Train - Seat

I'm sitting in my regular New Jersey Transit train seat, playing Zelda: Link's Awakening (which feels made for the smaller Switch Lite). A yellow Switch Lite sits in my hands. It's a familiar feeling. I've played the Nintendo 3DS for years on this commute. The Switch Lite feels exactly like those handhelds: lightweight and wonderfully made. Plastic, yes, but comfy. It's Nintendo. I love that the noisy vent of the original Switch is gone. It's quieter, now (but still vents some heat out of the top). It's easier to tuck in a bag.

At home, it's a different story. It's a personal device now. The Switch Lite can't connect to my TV, and unless I paired other controllers and we all somehow huddled over this 5.5-inch screen, multiplayer on one device is out of the question. I feel a little sad. I miss...
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