A bigger screen for your Switch but at a massive cost.
I’ve spent the past month playing around with the massive Up-Switch Orion, a third-party add-on for the Nintendo Switch that outputs the system on an 11.6” portable screen that promises low latency, crisp HD visuals, and more. I was excited for this potential supersizing of the console portably but I was left dismayed and I likely will put this behemoth back in the box after this review goes live.
First off, the screen, while big, looks grainy and washed out. It pales in comparison to the Switch OLED and doesn’t look much better than the regular Switch. I will not proclaim to be a technical monitor expert, but to me the biggest difference is that the Switch is specifically designed to work on the screens built into the system, whereas just by the nature of using an HDMI cable to connect to the Up-Switch Orion, you lose fidelity because typically when you play your Switch docked, it’s not on a screen size that I would have sneered at having in my room when I was 12. It reminded me of those magical add-on screens for the GameCube, but at a quality that made me think Smash Bros. looked more like Melee than Ultimate.
But while the screen quality is disappointing, the idea of going around with a bigger screen for your Switch is cool. It comes with a carry case and while the 11.6” screen isn’t crazy portable by itself, it’s workable in the same way a laptop is. The screen also is relatively light, but that’s because it doesn’t come with a battery. Using a USB-C plug, you can play it while connected to power but if you want to use it portably, you need to have a USB-C power bank. Depending on the size of your power bank, that’s going to either add a bit of weight or a ton. I used a moderately sized power bank and it made the screen unwieldy because of the weight. The idea of having the power bank be something you can customize is nice, but it’s a hidden cost to actually use this screen portably and it also makes the weight higher and variable.
As an idea, the Up-Switch Orion is neat. If the screen was better and power wasn’t an issue, I could see myself using this a lot. The fact it works with virtually anything with a HDMI out is cool. The way it has a spot for the Joy-Con to go on (complete with passable handles) is great. But unfortunately this whole thing isn’t something I can recommend. I can recognize that screen quality and power are a hard thing to work out when you’re trying to not make an accessory impossibly expensive, but I’d rather spend more money than get a product I don’t feel is worth using.