ByMarlon McDonald, writer at
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

With details regarding Nintendo's brilliant-on-paper-yet-presently-unproven Switch being revealed, you wouldn't be at fault for getting lost in the inundation of new information.

The Nintendo Switch can, ahem, switch between three modes: TV Mode, imitating a home console like the PS4 or Xbox One, Handheld Mode, which takes it out of its dock for gaming on the go, and finally Tabletop Mode, making use of the Switch's inbuilt kickstand for anchored portable play.

That's great, but how does Nintendo Switch's resolution, battery life and available features differ when switching between its different playstyle modes?

Handheld or Docked: Pros & Cons Of Nintendo Switch

First up, let's have a little look at the hardware specifications of the Switch.

Nintendo Switch Specs

[Credit: Nintendo]
[Credit: Nintendo]
  • Display: (Undocked) 6.2-inch, 720p (1280 x 720), multitouch display | (Docked) 1080p
  • Storage: 32GB internal memory, expandable to 2TB* via microSDXC cards
  • Battery: A reported 4310 mAh Lithium-ion battery
  • GPU: Custom Nvidia Tegra system-on-chip
  • Wireless Networking: 802.11ac wireless connectivity

Nintendo Switch Handheld Mode

[Credit: Nintendo]
[Credit: Nintendo]


  • Switch will display games at 720p when in tabletop or handheld mode, which will make it the most powerful handheld console in the market.
  • Switch's touchscreen display uses haptic feedback to replicate the feeling of pressing actual buttons.
  • Switch's tabletop mode turns the system into something more resembling tablet gameplay.
  • Alternatively you should be able to use Joy-Con Grip and Switch's Pro Controller untethered and undocked.
  • The freedom to take your favorite games anywhere is something not to be scoffed at.


  • Battery lasts between 2.5 to 6 hours depending on the graphical intensity of the title being played.
  • Handheld and tabletop mode's network connectivity is via WiFi alone.

Docked TV Mode

[Credit: Nintendo]
[Credit: Nintendo]


  • Switch will display games in 1080p via an HDMI connection. Though word is Breath of the Wild will output at 900p (which is the same resolution as Xbox One).
  • The Switch's dock can be connected to ethernet via a USB to LAN adaptor.
  • Switch charges as soon as its placed in the dock, and quickly too thanks to USB-C.
  • Rumor has it Switch's clock speed runs 40% faster when docked, which means gaming performance sees a boost when in TV Mode.


  • Can be a little fiddly to dock, which might introduce wear and tear to both the dock and Switch in the future.
  • First party docks are pretty expensive, so you'll have to pick your Switch's home carefully.

If you haven't seen it already, here's the Switch in action:


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