By Jeremy M. Zoss in GearFest
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm
We all want the most battery life out of our gadgets. Historically, Nintendo's DS line has been pretty good on energy use, although the 3DS is a bit more of a power-suck. Enter the 3DS PowerSkin the first video game-related add-on from PowerSkin (the company specializes in cell phone battery packs). According to PowerSkin, this add-on will double the battery life of your 3DS.
So does it work?
In a word, yes. While I'll admit that I haven't precisely timed the battery usage with and without the PowerSkin, there's no question that this sucker greatly expands the battery life of the 3DS. I use my 3DS just about every day during my morning bus commute (yep, I'm that guy who plays 3DS on the bus), and with the PowerSkin I've found that I need to charge the device about once every two weeks. Not bad at all.
Here's how it works: the batter pack snaps onto the bottom of the 3DS and plugs into the charging port. Your 3DS charger in turn hooks up to the PowerSkin to charge it. A series of four LED lights on the bottom tells you how much juice you have left, and you're basically good to go. There's also a clear plastic shield that snaps over top of the 3DS' lid to protect it and keep both halves looking and feeling balanced.
The top lid is the source of one of my two problems with the PowerSkin: it came with a sticker on it that was impossible to get off cleanly. Short of cleaning it carefully with some GooGone, I don't see any way to remove the big obnoxious sticker without leaving some residue on the lid. Of course, that's not a major problem. The bigger issue is that this sucker is heavy. With the PowerSkin attached, the 3DS' weight is close to double. Again, not a major problem, but you'll definitely notice the extra weight.
Those two nitpicks are the only problems I experienced with the PowerSkin, and I can't imagine going back to the 3DS' standard battery life. at around $80 it's a little pricey, but if you're a frequent 3DS user or planning to take it on a long trip, the 3DS PowerSkin comes highly recommended.
This review is based on a PowerSkin unit provided by the manufacturer.