Not so long ago we came across that Up switch Orion, a crowdfunded accessory that promised to make up for the “non-overwhelming” and “small” Nintendo Switch screen (the words from Up-Switch, not ours). “By increasing your actual screen size by 188% and improving your audio experience with the built-in stereo speakers, your Nintendo Switch in combination with ORION offers the gaming experience that every gamer deserves!”
The pitch was clearly convincing because more than 165.000 $ was raised, which completely exceeded the funding goal of $ 50,000. Shortly after we posted our news story, one of those $ 299 devices was sent to us for free to try, but the final product is sadly a bit of a disappointment.
The first and most obvious problem we encountered was that the device – when the switch is connected – is Yes, really heavy. In fact, it’s so heavy that it’s inconvenient to actually hold it, which is a minor drawback when billed as a “portable” solution. And that’s before we factored in the extra weight a battery pack would add; As you can see, Up-Switch did not send us a package with the test device. Given that you need a power cell that can provide enough momentum to juice not just the screen but the Switch as well (no less in docked mode), one can only guess how heavy the combined system will be on the stage. We had no choice but to connect the Orion to a power supply, which negates the “portable” aspect of the product.
Next up is the fact that the screen itself is not a 1080p panel as advertised, but rather a 768p panel that our video guru Alex believes was intended in it Another Device (a laptop maybe?) And has been requested for use in the Orion. So put aside any notion of Full HD performance on the go – the resolution is just here easy better than that of the Switch’s built-in screen, but stretched across almost twice the screen size.
Then we have the fact that the IPS panel inside the Orion isn’t exactly that impressive. First of all, it’s coated with a matte finish that prevents glare and fingerprints, but makes the image appear a bit dull – and that’s a problem considering the display’s lack of punch at first. Sure, placing it next to the Switch OLED might be unfair, but it’s not even as vivid as the display on the original 2017 Switch. Oh, and those “dual stereo speakers” (don’t all stereo speakers come in pairs?) That the manufacturer brags about are targeted one way from them on the back of the device which means they sound pretty messy.
The only situation we’ve been able to see from a distance that this device is useful is in tabletop mode, as it means you’ll have a bigger screen when playing with friends (and the kickstand on this thing is decent). The problem with this is that if you are looking for a portable solution like this, you might as well buy one of many, many 1080p portable monitors those on the market that are almost all true HD and have great picture quality.
So the verdict? Don’t miss the up-switch Orion. For $ 300, there are many better options out there.