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Nintendo DS Lite

Score 4.5 out of 5
$129.99 MSRP

I've been playing with my DS Lite for a few days now and I'm ready to write a review. Overall, I really like it. I'm a big fan of the clamshell design (not that the clamshell is new I'm just saying I like it). The pearly white finish is sort of strange. It's like it's been "ipodified". But the finish seems scratch resistant and that's a good thing.


I've been getting a lot of looks carrying the DS Lite around. No one knows what it is yet. It's much sexier than the original DS. Just the right size to fit in my front pocket or a cargo pocket. It's 133 mm (5.2 in) wide, 73.9 mm (2.9 in) long, and 21.5 mm (0.85 in) high. The height is the key dimension because the DS Lite is very thin. It's also light, weighing in at about 216 gm. or less than 8 oz.


I like the design of it. My girlfriend had some interesting things to say about it. First of all, she's really not a gamer. She does play occasionally. She thought the DS Lite was a makeup case. She would never think that it was a Nintendo. She thought that the original DS looks cooler because you can tell it is a portable game just by looking at it. I think she's got the whole thing backward as far as Nintendo is concerned.


The screens are backlit, 3 inch, transmissive TFT color LCD with 256 x 192 pixel resolution and .24 mm dot pitch, capable of displaying 260,000 colors. The bottom screen is, of course, a touch screen. The stylus is more solid than that of the DS, and slides into a spot on the bottom side of the DS Lite. The screen can be adjusted to four different levels. The brighter the screen, the shorter the battery life. I've been playing on the lowest and it looks fine so I'm headed towards 15 hours on battery. That blows away the PSP.


I have 1 gripe with the DS Lite. I'd like a manual wireless communications switch on the outside. It would just make it easier when I get on a plane. The way it is now, you have to just assume that wireless is off until it's accessed. Hopefully you don't leave it on. The power light flashes rapidly when you're in wireless mode. I'd feel more comfortable regulating wireless communications on my own rather than depending on software.


Overall, I really like my DS Lite. My DS will soon be history, unless I keep it around so I can play games with friends. I like the design of the DS Lite. My guess is that they wanted something like this last year but it took that much time to make it look good so they couldn't make it. It's a no brainer if you're shopping for a DS, go get the DS Lite. Although maybe there will be a good market for original DSs on Ebay.

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