We don’t know what the next version of the Switch will be, but as handheld consoles continue to grow in size, it’s a safe bet that Nintendo will move beyond the OLED Switch’s seven-inch screen. Hardware hacker Pavlo Khmel decided not to wait for Nintendo to embiggen the Switch and took things into their own hands with a 12.5-inch upgrade that’s still portable—technically.
This is actually Khmel’s second attempt to supersize the Switch’s screen while keeping the hardware portable, but their original custom dock had some limitations. It only worked with the original Switch, not the upgraded OLED model which is 2.5-millimeters longer, it had no built-in speakers, and it could only accommodate Nintendo’s official Joy-Con controllers.
Version two addresses all of those issues and is built around a 12.5-inch full HD LCD display harvested from a dead Dell XPS 12 laptop bought for cheap on eBay. Not only is the larger display easier on the eyes, but since it’s connected to the OLED Switch through an official Nintendo dock on the back (that’s been cut down to make this build as slim as possible) games play at 1080P on the 12.5-inch screen, instead of the limited 720P resolution with the Switch in its native handheld mode.
A giant battery pack integrated into a 3D-printed body that brings all of the custom components together offers a surprisingly decent five hours of gameplay away from a power outlet, even with third-party Joy-Con controllers attached that don’t have a battery of their own, and a pair of stereo speakers blasting out the front. Despite technically being portable, it’s not necessarily a setup you’d want to bring with you as a distraction during your daily commute. But for use around the home, it’s a very polished upgrade that improves an already solid and popular console.