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  1. Volsfan91

    OP Volsfan91 GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 3, 2006
    United States


    On June 11th, 2006, Nintendo launched a brighter, lighter form of their already classic handheld. Although the new Nintendo DS Lite went on sale just a few months ago, it has already spawned numerous different colors and has sold wildly. After playing and using one firsthand, I can easily tell you just why this is. In this review, I'm going to tell you why any self-respecting Nintendo DS owner should take the plunge and update to the latest incarnation of the wildly popular DS handheld.

    Note: I am only grading the Lite in comparison to the original. I'm not looking to point out flaws about what I think about the features of a Nintendo DS, I'll just talk about the updates, changes, improvements, and design.


    When you get your DS Lite, you'll get the following:
    *1 DS Lite handheld
    *Two styli
    *New power adapater
    *Manuals, etc
    *However, there are definitely some things to take note of.

    First of all, the stylus has been thickened and extended, which is an incredibly welcome change. I cannot tell you how good it feels to hold this stylus in comparison to the old one. It is the first part of the DS Lite that will have you wondering how you ever used the old version.

    Second, you'll get one of the new power adapters. Because the Lite has a new, higher capacity battery to offset the insane brightness of the new backlight, (a new 1000 mAh battery, compared the original's 850 mAh lithium ion outing) a new charger with a different adapter tip shape is in the package. Yes, this means that your old DS charger will not work.

    Rating: 10/10


    Obviously, the biggest (only) difference in the DS lie in the hardware. Really, I see the Lite as more of a “correction” upon the original, rather than an upgrade. And a fine correction that it is- every one of the things that I didn't like about the original DS was fixed, in addition to some new features that I have really loved.

    The system is sleek. Obviously inspired by the iPod. Smooth white color fits in well with my Macintosh computer. I'll be looking forward to a black one to complement my PSP.

    You cannot talk about the DS Lite without mentioning the updated, brilliant backlight. Featuring four levels of brightness, the lowest of which is equivalent to that of the original DS, the backlight is the biggest feature of the DS Lite. I have used it as a light when the power has gone out, as well as a flashlight for under the bed searches. Much like the stylus, the new backlight will have you wondering how you ever did without.

    Next up is the repositioning of the microphone. The mic has been moved to a much more natural position that sits on the hinge between the two LCD's. This is much more comfortable than leaning towards the original's mic hole on the lower left bottom half, and thus missing what's going on on the screen. I had never thought about moving the microphone, but the design aces at Nintendo were a step ahead of my complaints. Also repositioned are the power switch and stylus slot, both of each have moved to the right side of the DS Lite.


    You also cannot go without mentioning the reduction of the overall size of the handheld. Overall, 20% of the bulk has been knocked off, making the Lite look puny in comparison. However, because of high production quality, Nintendo has maintained a good, classic look with the Lite, not at all making it look cheap.

    The Gameboy Advance cart portrudes a bit, as seen in this picture. Not anything to complain about for me, and flash carts are being made to fit the form factor. (Supercard Lite comes to mind)


    The only gripe that I may have about the reduction in size relates to people with larger hands. Having small hands, it doesn't affect me, but I can understand why people are not happy about that. It's really a choice though, you know? Smaller handheld or hand cramps? You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    So, I've covered the hardware changelog. Except for one part:

    There have been some reported problems with the hinge cracks in the DS Lite. I, for one, have experienced this. It's a crippling problem, and I'll let you see it for yourself:

    However, I have decided not to deduct from the hardware rating for two reasons:
    *Nintendo has corrected this issue in the second production of the Lite
    *Nintendo has offered to fix any of these for free with a quick phone call- including mine

    Hardware Rating: 9/10


    It plays Gameboy Advance games, as well as DS game cards. What else can you ask for?

    Rating: 10/10


    Battery holds up pretty well, despite extremely bright backlight. I get at least 5 hours on brightness setting four. Hardware interworks are, to my knowledge, are the same as the DS, save for smaller components. Speakers aren't quite as loud, but still has the headphone jack. Suprisingly to me, the Lite still features the underused external headset, for online voice chat or playing a round of Warioware.

    Rating: 10/10


    The DS Lite is something that you should pick up at the first available chance. If you already own a PSP, you should definitely prioritize the DS Lite on your monthly budget. The included features are easily noticeable, and the handheld is really a great addition for anyone that enjoys even a casual play of Meteos. The new features are too much to overlook, and is worth the extra cost.

    Final Score: 9.5/10
    (Not mathematical)

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