I’m writing this HyperX ChargePlay Clutch review after suffering through a five-hour train journey where my Nintendo Switch was my main companion. The trip was supposed to only last three hours, but bad weather led to delays. Thankfully, the HyperX ChargPlay Clutch came to the rescue — it came in “clutch,” you might say — bolstering my Switch’s battery and keeping my hands feeling comfortable over the extended play session. There’s a lot to like about the ChargePlay Clutch, though also room for improvement, so read on for my full thoughts.
HyperX ChargePlay Clutch Review | A combination of parts
Combining a battery charger, grip, and kickstand, the HyperX ChargePlay Clutch is a compelling all-in-one. It’s clearly aimed at being the ultimate enhancement for those who often use their Nintendo Switch in the portable mode, where plugging in at a power outlet isn’t always an option.
The battery portion of the ChargePlay Clutch comes in at 6,000 mAh, with the Nintendo Switch itself having a 4,310 mAh battery. This means that the Clutch can fully recharge the Switch, and then some. HyperX calculates this to allow for an extra five hours of game time, which seems accurate based on my usage. LED lights on the rear of the Clutch indicate the remaining battery, as well as charging state.
The ChargePlay Clutch’s “grips” are interesting, too, as they can be detached and used separately from the battery bank portion. Strong magnets keep them in place, with the Switch and its Joy-Cons feeling secure. The grips provide some additional size to the Joy-Cons, allowing the user to put their hands in a more comfortable position. If you have found your hands getting tired while playing your Switch, with your fingers often getting stiff and cramping up, then you’ll appreciate these textured grips.
Finally, there’s the kickstand. If you’ve ever tried to use the Nintendo Switch’s stock stand on a train or plane, or even on a normal stable surface, you’ll know that it’s pretty terrible. The ChargePlay Clutch provides a stand that supports both sides of the Switch, adding for a lot more stability.
HyperX ChargePlay Clutch Review | The potential downsides
The three main selling points that I’ve listed above are the reasons why I think the ChargePlay Clutch is a great buy for hardcore portable Switch players. However, it’s not perfect and there are some potential dealbreakers.
Firstly, there’s the weight. This is a hefty accessory to have to hold in your hands for long periods of time. At 400 g, which then combines with the Switch’s 300 g, the 700 g total can lead to fatigue if you aren’t resting your hands on your knees or a table. It’s not HyperX’s fault that battery banks naturally add weight, but it’s something I must note in this review.
Secondly, the ChargePlay Clutch is chunky. The grips add a slight width increase and the battery and stand add thickness. HyperX’s product photos are accurate, but I was still surprised at how absolute a unit the Clutch is.
HyperX ChargePlay Clutch Review | The ultimate tool for portable players
At $59.99, the HyperX ChargePlay Clutch is an affordable bit of kit for those who use the Nintendo Switch primarily in its portable mode, who also travel often and don’t want to carry battery banks and charging cables. If that sounds like you, then you should definitely consider this product.
It’s on the large side, sure, but for those with bigger hands who experience discomfort when using the standard Joy-Cons over long stretches, that may well be a positive attribute.
At the time of writing, there isn’t yet a ChargePlay Clutch for the Nintendo Switch Lite, which seems like it would be a perfect fit for the portable-only console, so hopefully HyperX can fill that gap sometime down the road.
For now, I’ll be using the ChargePlay Clutch with my three-year-old Switch to keep its tired battery charged up for those boring train and plane trips. Thanks for keeping that wonderful escapism alive, HyperX!
HyperX ChargePlay Clutch review unit was provided by HyperX.
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