When I saw that the new and improved version 2 Nintendo Switch models boasted longer battery life, I wasn’t really fazed. My 2017 Nintendo Switch has been lasting long enough for me all these years, because I typically don’t do massively long portable gaming sessions on the hybrid handheld. When I’ve got the Nintendo Switch in portable mode, it’s either for a 30-minute commute, an hour-long session lounging in my living room, or a few minutes playing Splatoon 2 in a car before I get ridiculously motion sick and regret my decision. Having a long-lasting battery isn’t a huge necessity for me when it comes to the Nintendo Switch, but having a convenient way to recharge it whenever I forget to re-dock the console would definitely be a blessing. The HyperX ChargePlay Clutch provides exactly that, on top of a sturdy kickstand and sleek system grip that make this battery-focused accessory an all-in-one beast for anyone who spends most of their Nintendo Switch time on the go.
Previously, if I left my Switch in my bag overnight or had to charge it up after being on a lengthy cross-country trip, I would have to fish out an external battery and plug the cable into my Switch, then spend my gaming time awkwardly tethered to the battery pack for the rest of my trip. With the HyperX ChargePlay Clutch, juicing my Switch back up on the go couldn’t be simpler. Just slide the console into the fully assembled cradle, lock it into place with the top hatch, and you’re good to go.
A power button on the back of the console activates the charger, with an LED charge-level indicator next to it informing you how much battery is left in the case. The 6,000 mAh battery managed to bring my Switch back to a full charge after the console dipped to around 20% two times before the cradle itself needed to be recharged with the included USB-C to USB-A cable. When I had the console charging as I played, I was able to consistently keep my Nintendo Switch floating near a full charge for just about five hours before the cradle died. Since most of my portable sessions happen in short chunks of time, though, the HyperX ChargePlay Clutch proved to last me more than long enough before it was time for a recharge.
While you can use the HyperX ChargePlay Clutch without the modular Joy-Con grips, I wouldn’t recommend it. The cradle adds significant heft to the Switch, and without those Joy-Con grips the weight distribution not only proved to be a distraction; it also meant I had to hold the console very carefully in order to avoid having it sink out of my hands. With the grips installed via a convenient and sturdy magnetic link, the accessory becomes a touch heavier, but the weight is distributed much more evenly, so you’ll hardly notice it. Plus, the grooves of the Joy-Con grips provide a nice, natural handle that makes holding the console a bit more comfortable in portable mode.
Weight isn’t the only concern with the HyperX ChargePlay Clutch, though; the accessory is pretty big, significantly increasing the profile of your Nintendo Switch. Most Nintendo Switch carrying cases likely won’t be able to hold your console and the accessory, although looser bag-style cases and larger ones such as the Satisfye SwitchGrip case can comfortably carry your Switch and HyperX ChargePlay Clutch.
The HyperX ChargePlay Clutch is designed to be just as useful in tabletop mode, though transitioning into this form is a little clunky. Due to the way the Joy-Con grips attach to the main cradle, you can’t just slide them off like you would with your bare-naked Switch. Instead, you need to slip the Joy-Con grips off from the sides, and then you can proceed to snap off your Joy-Cons and get into tabletop mode. It’s a minor process, but once you’re there, you’ve got a sturdy tabletop mode set up that is much more reliable than the tiny kickstand built into the Nintendo Switch.
Overall, the HyperX ChargePlay Clutch is an amazing accessory for Switch owners who prioritize portability. The battery makes it easier than ever to keep your Switch undocked indefinitely, and the tabletop kickstand is a wonderful bonus for gamers who like to set their Switch up on all sorts of surfaces. The added weight and massive size of the accessory make it a little inconvenient to carry around depending on how much space is in your bag, but with the right purse, pack, or Nintendo Switch case, you’re all set for extra-long portable bliss.
Disclaimer: Samples were provided by the manufacturer for review purposes.