It didn’t take long for the folks at iFixit to get their hands on the new Nintendo Switch and carry out a teardown. It reveals a massive battery and the sort of cooling system usually reserved for laptops.
Nintendo Switch tech specs
- Customized Nvidia T1 Tegra chip
- 6.2-inch, 1280 × 720 resolution, multi-touch LCD screen
- 4 gigabyte RAM
- 32 gigabytes storage (upgradable to 2 terabytes using microSDHC or microSDXC card)
- Stereo speakers
- 4310mAh lithium ion battery
- 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.1
- USB Type-C charge port
- 3 x USB ports
- 3.5 mm audio jack
While there’s a lot of power packed into the Nintendo Switch, what’s striking from the teardown is how much effort has been put into cooling.
The cooling system design consists of a large fan, heat pipe, and a metal plate that acts as a heat sink to prevent hot spots forming on the case and burning the plastic (or gaming fingers).
Since the Nintendo Switch is in essence a portable console (and consoles are traditionally plugged into a power supply), it has quite heavy battery requirements, and this is satisfied by a huge 16 Wh lithium ion battery, which is far bigger than the 5.6 Wh battery found in in the Wii U GamePad.
The Nintendo Switch is also surprisingly repairable (given availability of parts), with the iFixit team awarding it a repairability score of 8 out of 10 (where 10 is easiest to repair). While some proprietary tri-wing fasteners are used, along with some adhesive, most of the components, including the analog sticks, game cartridge reader, battery, and headphone jack are modular and can be replaced. Also, the digitizer and display are not fused, reducing the cost of repair, but at the same time increasing complexity.
The switch is not without its teething troubles though, with some users complaining of bricked consoles and display problems. The Joy-Con wireless controllers also seem to be prone to interference, with Nintendo advising owners to keep the console away from nearby TVs, wireless devices, microwave ovens, and, rather oddly, aquariums.