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I spent the last week with Nintendo’s new, $200 version of its wildly popular Nintendo Switch — and I’m convinced it’s going to be a killer gift option this holiday

The Switch Lite is a better handheld console than the original Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Switch / Nintendo Switch Lite


The central conceit of the original Nintendo Switch was simple to understand: at home, you could play it in a dock and play games on your TV; if you were out, you could simply pick it up out of the dock and take it with you as a handheld.

No wires or other stuff to get in the way; games seamlessly transitioned from TV to handheld. It's pretty impressive stuff!

But anyone who's used a Nintendo Switch as a portable console is well aware of its potential issues: Using the detachable controllers ("Joy-Con") to hold the console feels fraught, as if you'll inevitably break the device. And as you use it more, the Joy-Cons feel less secure. 

And in a more straightforward sense, the original Switch is just a large device.

With the Switch Lite, all of those issues disappear. It's a smaller handheld, and the Joy-Cons are attached. It feels lighter because it is lighter. It feels easier to take on the go because it's explicitly built for portable use.

Simply put: The Switch Lite is better at being a handheld console than the original Switch, and with good reason.