One of the few sour notes in our initial review of the Nintendo Switch last year was for the “surprisingly flimsy” kickstand. Not only does the thin, plastic, flip-down strip on the system’s rear feel poised to snap off at the slightest pressure, but using the kickstand prevents you from simultaneously charging the system from the bottom-mounted USB port.
Nintendo seems to be acknowledging this problem after the fact, announcing a $20 Adjustable Charging Stand that will “enable longer play sessions” in tabletop mode starting July 13. Users will be able to charge the system via a USB-C plug on the side while tilting the stand “to create the best viewing angle for different environments,” according to Nintendo’s online shop listing.
Nintendo’s solution for better tabletop play comes well after a number of similar third-party stands for the Switch have hit the market, many of which retail for less than $20. The “official” stand, though, benefits from an extremely compact design and the assurance that it will conform to the Switch’s USB-C charging requirements (the stand doesn’t seem to come packaged with an extra wall charger, though).
As nice as this new charging stand looks, we can’t help but wonder why Nintendo didn’t just go one step further and turn this into a full-fledged miniature dock for the Switch. The addition of a simple HDMI output would turn a simple stand into a much more compact and cost-efficient way of hooking the Switch up to a TV, compared to the bulky (and insultingly expensive) $90 dock Nintendo currently sells à la carte (in addition to the one that comes in the main Switch package).
Nyko’s $50 portable dock brings the improved form factor but comes with some deal-breakers that an official mini-dock could probably fix. So how about it, Nintendo?