Since its launch in March of 2017, the Nintendo Switch has sold over 50 million units worldwide. This is more units than their iconic Super Nintendo console from the 1990s. When you look at the design, it’s not hard to see why. It combines the processing power of an ordinary console with the convenience of a portable game system. This is a great feature, since you can essentially take your home console with you anywhere. There are only two downsides to the mobile function. First, you only get 720p graphics instead of 1080p. Second, you’re limited by your battery life.
We can’t help you out with the screen resolution. That’s just the nature of the beast. But we can help you out with your battery life. With an attached power bank, you get the benefit of increased battery life, without needing to mess around with cables. We’ve reviewed portable power supplies, wall mounts, and even replacement docks. So today, we’ll check out some power banks.
There’s one thing we should point out before we begin. When we wrote about Nintendo Switch fast chargers, we talked about wattage requirements. To be brief, a docked Nintendo Switch requires 39 watts for operation. On the other hand, an un-docked Switch requires only 18 watts of power. Since we’re talking about a mobile power bank, 18 watts will be more than sufficient.
The first power bank we’ll review will be the Marval Power Attached Power Bank. This is a minimalist power bank that clamps onto the back of your Switch, and can also charge other devices. Next, we’ll review the Nyko Power Pak. This is a beefier power bank that includes a built-in kickstand. Finally, we’ll examine the YOBWIN Battery Charger Case. This power bank completely surrounds your Switch, including the Joy-Con grips. Let’s take a closer look at each of them!
Marval Power Attached Power Bank
The Marval Power Attached Power Bank is a modular unit. The first part is a simple clip, which clips securely onto the back of your Nintendo Switch. It’s fairly narrow, and won’t block your Switch’s kickstand. As a result, you can leave it attached even when you’re not using the power bank. The power bank can mount or unmount on the clip, which makes it highly portable. Keep in mind, though, that when the power bank is mounted, you won’t be able to use your kickstand.
The power bank and clip have a combined weight of just under 11 ounces. This isn’t terribly heavy, but you’ll still definitely notice when the power bank is attached. The clip is constructed from ABS plastic, which is durable but lightweight. The power bank itself is encased in a more durable polycarbonate plastic. This provides superior protection for the most sensitive part of the device.
The Marval Power Attached Power Bank has a short USB Type-C cable tethered to the bottom. This short cable makes it easy to connect, without any worries about cable management. On the right side, you’ll find a USB Type-C port for charging the power bank itself. There’s also a USB Type-A port, which can be used to charge other devices. Alongside those ports, you’ll see a row of four teal LED lights. These lights indicate the current level of the battery charge. Marval provides a 180-day manufacturer’s warranty, which should be enough for most defects. In addition, they provide a 30-day trial period. If you decide that their power bank isn’t your speed, just send it back for a full refund.
Battery Power and Performance
The Marval Power Attached Power Bank provides a full 18 watts of power. This is plenty of power for charging your Switch while you play. When your Switch is turned off, it will fully charge your device in about four hours. Keep in mind that the recharge time will be longer when you’re currently using your device. In total, the Marval power bank’s 10,000mAh battery can recharge your Switch about 1.7 times. This is enough for about 8 to 12 hours of play time, depending on your game and settings.
The Marval power bank is easy to recharge. Using the USB Type-C input on the side, you can recharge with the Switch’s power adapter. In this case, it will take about six hours to get a full charge. Alternatively, you can use a separate USB Type-C cable and AC adapter. A Type-C cable is included in the kit, but you’ll need to provide your own AC adapter. Using the USB Type-A port, you can charge your smartphone, tablet, or other device. The battery is sufficient to charge an iPhone X about 2 ½ times, with Quick Charge technology. Keep in mind, though, that you can’t do this at the same time as you’re powering your Switch. But the versatility is still a nice feature.
In addition, the Marval power bank features protection from overvoltage, overcurrent, and short-circuits. You also get temperature protection to keep your power bank safe.
Nyko Power Pak
The Nyko Power Pak has a somewhat different design from the last one. It clips onto the back of your Switch, but it’s a single-piece unit. It’s wide and slim, covering the entire back of your Switch. The case is a matte black plastic, which won’t show fingerprints and is easy to keep clean. At 7.2 ounces, it’s fairly lightweight. Between the light weight and the flat form factor, it’s very comfortable to use.
The design of the Nyko Power Pak is quite innovative. Instead of charging via a cable, it sports a built-in USB Type-C port in the lower bracket. It plugs right into the bottom of your Switch for a secure fit. The top clamp is removable, with a safety release button on the back of the case. Simply plug your Switch into the bottom bracket, snap down the top, and it’s secure. When you want to dock your Switch, simply flick the safety release open and remove your game system. The top bracket is already well vented. It doesn’t block the Switch’s cooling vents, so you don’t have to worry about your system overheating during use. It also doesn’t block your Switch’s controls or the game card slot.
On the back of the power bank, you’ll find a built-in kickstand. This is a necessary feature, since the Nyko Power Pak blocks your Switch’s original kickstand. On the other side of the back, there’s a row of four white LED battery status indicators. You also get a 3-foot USB Type-C cable in the kit for charging the power bank. The charging port is located in the side, so you can recharge the Nyko Power Pak without removing it.
Battery Power and Performance
The Nyko Power Pak’s internal battery has a total capacity of 5,000mAh. This is exactly half of what the Marval power bank offered. However, it contributes to the slim design at light weight. If it had more capacity, it would be proportionally heavier. Besides which, you get more than enough capacity for everyday purposes. You can fully charge your Switch once, for an additional six to eight hours of playtime. The unit itself recharges in about three hours using the USB Type-C port.
YOBWIN Battery Charger Case
The YOBWIN Battery Charger Case isn’t just a power bank; it’s a complete case with a built-in battery. Not only does it clamp onto the back of your Switch, it also covers the Joy-Con controllers. As a result, your entire console gets some added protection, in addition to enhanced battery life. The case is constructed from a matte black ABS plastic, so it’s easy to keep clean. That said, this beefy design comes at the cost of some increased weight. In total, the YOBWIN case weighs 1.2 pounds, so you’ll definitely feel it. Like the Nyko Power Pak, the top of the case won’t block your air vents or buttons. So you won’t have any issues with safety or performance.
One fun feature of the YOBWIN Battery Charger Case is that the Joy-Con portions of the case are separate. This means you can remove your Joy-Con controllers and use them separately without removing the whole case. There’s a kickstand on the back to compliment this feature. The kickstand is actually an upgrade to the Switch’s stock kickstand, since it’s adjustable. You can position it at three different angles, in order to get the best ergonomics for your needs. In addition, the Joy-Con modules each boasts a molded game card slot. So you can take three games on the road without the need to carry them separately.
On the back of the case, you’ll find an on/off switch, a USB Type-C input, and a USB Type-A output. You’ll also find a row of four LED lights, which indicate the case’s current battery status. All of this is protected by YOBWIN’s 24-month manufacturer’s warranty. This is one of the longest warranties in the business, and provides plenty of added value.
Battery Power and Performance
The YOBWIN Battery Charger Case sports a powerful, 10,000mAh internal battery. This is sufficient for charging your Switch 1.7 times, or about 8 to 12 hours of playtime. Needless to say, this is more capacity than you’ll need for most purposes. Moreover, you can use the power bank to charge your smartphone or other device. The USB port on the back features Quick Charge technology, allowing for a fast, 18-watt charge. With 10,000mAh, you can charge an iPhone X about 2 ½ times. You can even get a few hours’ worth of charge on a MacBook.
The YOBWIN power bank can be charged either Micro USB or USB Type-C. With Type-C charging, it will fully charge in about six hours. With Micro USB charging, it will take about nine hours to charge. Obviously, USB Type-C is generally preferable, but it’s good to have options. The power bank also provides short-circuit protection for both your Switch and your power bank. It provides overcurrent and overvoltage protection to keep your Switch from getting damaged. And the battery itself is protected from overheating with thermal protection. All in all, you’re looking at a very safe device with plenty of features.
As you can see, each of these power banks comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. Which one is the best choice is going to depend on exactly what you need. First, we looked at the Marval Power Attached Power Bank. With 10,000mAh of battery life, this is one powerful power bank. It provides plenty of playtime, along with a sleek, easy-to-use design. The mounting system is simple, and doesn’t occupy a lot of real estate. Unfortunately, it does block your Switch’s kickstand when the battery pack is attached. On the other hand, the ability to remove the battery pack makes it more versatile than other attached power banks.
By contrast, the Nyko Power Pak offers only half the battery capacity, at 5,000mAh. Still, this provides a reasonable boost of six to eight hours of battery life. Not only that, but the design is exceptionally slim. It’s lightweight, and doesn’t interfere with your gaming in the slightest. It’s also very well engineered. The USB Type-C charging port is easily accessible, so you can charge it without removing it from your Switch. If you want a simple, lightweight option, the Nyko Power Pak is a solid choice.
Finally, we reviewed the YOBWIN Battery Charger Case. This power bank is in a class of its own. Indeed, it’s aptly named, since it functions as a complete case. You get the same 10,000mAh capacity as the Marval power bank, with a fully functional built-in kickstand. You also get a pair of extra storage slots for game cards. On the other hand, the 1.2-pound weight might be a bit much for some people. But if you don’t mind a little extra weight to get a ton of features, the YOBWIN is best for you.