There’s plenty of self studies out now about the Switch’s battery life in portable mode, or well, the lack thereof.
Lots of mockery will be made on social media, podcasts, and YouTube. We’re going to hear such statements like, “I can’t even take an airplane trip with 3 hours of battery life.” I would respond that’s using one outside the norm situation to make a point, but hey the Switch is a portable console and should be appealing to those jet-setters out there. So is there a solution for these around the clock travelers (and possibly those that just play games on the go more than on the console?
The answer is obvious, a portable battery / power supply. Most devices won’t last more than 4-5 hours of actual gameplay be it phones, tablets, 3DS or Vita’s and many dedicated to gaming on the go have long known about external power sources. It just so happens our very own Seth discovered one in particular that seemed like a pretty good deal. The Ravpower 26800 Power Bank. It can charge up to three devices simultaneously and each port provides a 5.5 amp output. This power bank is normally between $80-100 according to some research on various listings, but has been on sale on Amazon for the last 2 weeks. I was able to grab one at the right price of $35 last week, it has since risen to $50 on the Amazon listing. The $35 price was intriguing enough to grab one to discuss on the podcast and for the blog, so here’s what I was able to uncover.
The overall experience I have to admit was pretty positive to say the least. In my testing I tried to cover two different scenarios.
- How long would the Switch last on the power supply, both beginning at 100% of battery.
- How much, if any, could the power bank charge a drained Switch while playing a game (in my case, Zelda).
The results of my first test, which are documented in the video above, we’re quite positive. I had the Nintendo Switch in portable mode with auto-brightness and wireless turned on, the default Switch setting right out of the box. Both the Switch and the power-bank began the test at full charge and I used the included USB-C cable provided from Nintendo with the purchase of my grip controller & pro controller. My findings;
I was able to play the Nintendo Switch for 5 hours and 48 minutes non-stop before I ended my testing. When I finished the test, the power supply was only halfway drained and the Nintendo Switch was still at 100% battery life. I think its safe to say this power supply can provide you at the very least 8 hours of Zelda Breath of the Wild on the go, if not possibly up to 10 hours.
And this doesn’t include the 3 hours of battery life that the Switch can provide on board, meaning the purchase of this Ravpower could very well allow you to take your switch on the go for as much as 12-14 hours without finding a charger.
As for charging the Switch while you play…
For this test I allowed the Nintendo Switch to drain its power level down to 48%. I then plugged in my Ravpower bank and then I proceeded to play The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild for one-hour and 8 minutes. When I finished the Switch was at 58% battery life. Rough hypothesis, you could charge your Switch battery 10% per hour while playing on the power bank. Obviously, charging the Switch while in sleep mode would greatly enhance that outcome quite a bit.
Overall, I can honestly admit that I’m very positive on the test and no long fear of my Switch running out of power. I work in a job that keeps me on the go somewhat frequently in and around the city, so I’m quite accustomed to being without a wall-outlet. Many may not want to travel with such a thing as a battery pack. To this, I can only offer that it does fit nicely into a backpack or a purse at only 1.1lbs and it doesn’t require any major technical know-how, just plug it in to whatever you need to charge. If you bought a Nintendo Switch with a long road trip on the horizon, I can only recommend the purchase of this accessory. It’ll definitely keep you gaming as long as you can possibly do so.