Switchblades by Gravilogic
Alright, I’ve never tried to review hardware before so we’re gonna make it snappy. The Switchblades are successfully funded Kickstarter project created by Gravilogic. The idea is surprisingly simple: to provide items that will make your Switch not appear to be broken anytime the Joy-Cons are not attached. I know this is something for which I’ve specifically made fun of the system in the past and it’s really exciting to see that some people with the design skill and production capabilities have bestowed upon us a resolution.
Written by H.R.Crabtree
The first thing I was surprised by as I pulled the blades out of their nifty carrying case is how supremely soft they are. The wood is sanded down and conditioned to the point where I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t rubbed them up against my face more than a couple times. The nice thing about the wood is that, while it is extremely soft to the touch, it is also porous and therefore provides its own natural grippy-ness. I’ve always hated sticking my Switch in the dock, what with the leads on the side being awkwardly exposed and feeling like I sometimes need to shove my hand inside the skinny dock to get the Switch to line up with the pins. With the Switchblades attached though, the process was remarkably easy and oddly satisfying.
The design is gorgeous and looks fantastic against the otherwise nondescript design of the Switch. The blades add a level of character that is pleasing to hold and look at. With multiple designs available to choose from, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find something that particularly speaks to you. I especially enjoy how they add a little extra to the side of the Switch, making it much easier to hold without the Joy-Cons and feel much less like the Kindle Fire that the naked tablet portion has always visually reminded me of. It actually felt so nice to hold that I kept getting confused and would try and play my Switch before remembering that my Joy-Cons were not attached.
The kickstands are what we’re really here for though. I’ll admit, prior to this I hadn’t even dared try and prop my Switch up using the memory card cover Nintendo claims is a stand. All I had to do was see other people use it and feel the plastic for myself to be completely terrified of even trying. I finally gave it a go, just to get a better idea of the base options and, needless to say, I will not be doing that again. I was terrified to set it down, terrified of knocking anything around it and absolutely horrified by the concept of trying to touch any button on the top of the Switch for fear of snapping the piece of flimsy credit card-like plastic Nintendo strapped back there.
In contrast, the Switchblades feel surprisingly stable, especially considering how the arms slide to any angle you want. The rotation is very tight and I felt perfectly comfortable setting the Switch down at a variety of angles, depending on the situation I found myself in. I was even able to use the top buttons on my Switch while in tabletop mode without any slippage at all.
The mechanism for removing the blades is somewhat easy to use, thought it is quite small and I generally needed to use both hands to remove them. This may just be my tiny hands. Gravilogic also mentioned that designs are still in progress and that the small locking mechanism has been mentioned and they may review the design in that area. I can’t say for sure if the Switchblades I am using contain the original lock or a redesigned one, but in the end it wasn’t so much of a hassle as to make them feel dangerous or unreasonably unwieldy to remove.
Regarding using the charging cable with the kickstand active: I’m not entirely sure how this should be able to work. When I attempted to use my charging cord while standing the system up, I had to slide it all the way to the edge of the table into what I would consider a fairly precarious position. The other option would be to put the weight of the system on the cord itself but I’ve never been too keen on putting unnecessary stress on a port. I’m probably a little over-protective but I still fear damaging the cord or, more importantly, the pins themselves. If I had an L-shaped USB-C or a charging cradle I can see how that may work nicely. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a position with the standard cord that comes in the box that I felt comfortable with. Again, this may just be a weird paranoia that is unique to myself but I did think it worth mentioning.
When it comes down to the bare minimum, the Switchblades make any Switch look super sleek and suddenly feel a bit more personal. When adding in the actual functionality of the blades, the value becomes extremely apparent. If you tend to play primarily in handheld mode you may find it too much of a hassle to be changing out the blades for the Joy-Cons on a regular basis. But if you find yourself playing in docked mode or tabletop mode fairly often, I can recommend the Switchblades whole-heartedly. The prices for each tier are quite attractive and certainly something worth checking out.
We would like to thank Gravilogic
for providing Trimmed Hardwood Switchblades for review
You can order Switchblades in Gravilogic shop in few options:
- Basic Hardwood – $15
- Cherry and Yellowheart Pairing (Pikachu and Eevee tribute) – $15
- Trimmed Hardwood – $18
- Galaxy Line (Limited Edition) – $21
- Executive Line – $38
The shipping is $3 for the USA and $10 for everywhere else as a standard.