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Power Grip
Score: 98%
Developer: Nyko
Device Type: Power



Function:

Those of you who, like me, upgraded from a DS Lite to a 3DS learned really quickly that you no longer had a very long battery, especially if you leave the wireless on. Of course, if you're like me, you want to leave the wireless on so that you can collect more people on Street Pass and all the other fun things that need the wireless running even while it is suspended. Combine this with playing games and you have a system that just doesn't last long enough to really be a perfect handheld system. The folks at Nyko decided that they just weren't happy with this and came up with a wonderful solution, the Power Grip.

The Power Grip truly does provide 3x the battery life of your current DS battery. In addition to this wonderful feature, the Power Grip is the best grip addition I've see for any handheld. The installation of it takes less than a second and it is just as easy to remove. You simply snap the 3DS right in place. You can't put it on wrong. The only thing that it blocks on the 3DS is the power input, which is necessary since it supplies its own power input that charges with the normal 3DS charger. All of the rest of the buttons and the stylus aren't blocked at all. The design of the grip is such that it provides channels on each side for you to rest your supporting fingers in so that they never get that numbness that I found starts after several hours of continual play on the plain 3DS. The soft coating of the grip makes it very comfortable to hold for hours and your hands never get sweaty. Personally, I find the size that it adds to the 3DS is just perfect for my hands. It's not too big to hold at all, but it gives it just enough size to fit perfectly.


Performance:

The Power Grip claims to provide "up to 3x the playtime than the stock DS battery," so I decided to test and see if that was true. First thing was to get my benchmarks. For my 3DS (which is relatively new) without the Power Grip, it took 3 hours to charge from a totally dead battery to a totally full battery. I then set out to drain the battery. I decided to use Pet Zombies as I could just leave the zombie playing with a punching bag until the 3DS died. I figured that this was the easiest game to use to test since I can provide minimal interactions so it should be a pretty easy test to recreate as closely as possible. The 3DS took 4 hours and 10 minutes to drain totally from full to dead without the Power Grip attached. So now that I had my benchmarks, I attached the Power Grip to the 3DS and started charging. From totally dead to completely full, it took about 10 hours to charge, which sounds like a lot, but it charges from the beginning quickly so you can charge it for even as little as 30 minutes and have plenty left to play on. If you drain them totally though, I just recommend charging overnight. So once I had it fully charged, I let my zombies play again to see how long the battery life was now with the Power Grip. I am more than pleased to report that it took over 12 hours to kill the 3DS with the Power Grip, 12 hours and 43 minutes to be exact, which means that on my 3DS, I am now getting a bit more than 3x the original battery life, which is wonderful to me! I now only have to charge it every three days rather than putting it on the charger every single night.

Features:
  • 3x Battery Life
  • Easy Installation
  • Comfort
  • Charge

Drawbacks & Problems::

Honestly, I'm finding it a stretch to come up with any drawbacks. There are a couple things that I can think of that some might consider an issue, but I don't. First, the Power Grip does get slightly warmer while it is charging. Since I usually don't play while it is charging, I don't consider this a problem though, but some might. Second, since the Power Grip does make the 3DS slightly larger, it might not fit in a normal 3DS case. Since I use a soft fabric drink koozie as a 3DS holder for now, the Power Grip actually makes it fits in that perfectly, so I consider that a benefit but some might not. The only other thing that I wish it had is an addition plug-in so that you could use a normal micro or mini USB cord, as well as the 3DS charger to charge the 3DS with, since that would make it a lot easier on the days that I don't have a charger available, but with the extra battery life, I haven't found that it dies on me very often.

It's rare that I say an accessory is a necessity. Actually, I don't think that I've ever said it, but I am now. The Power Grip makes the 3DS a truly robust handheld and solves the one issue that the 3DS has, the short battery life. Consider that for this Christmas with your normal 3DS you might survive the car ride with your family to and from grandmother's house, but you won't have much time left to play while you're there if she lives even an hour away. If you had the Power Grip though, you could make it there and be entertained the whole time, and still have battery left for the car ride back. I think that is more than worth it!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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