Nintendo has confirmed that next month it will begin selling its official Switch Lite hinged cover for the United States in Japan next month, with a release date set for January 9th. This is good news because it is a great product, and I would recommend choosing it when it comes out if you are using a newer, smaller switch. This does what I want the case to protect the screen when adding as little volume as possible.
The hinged lid is a lightweight case in which the switch snaps into place, with fabric trim and a lid that attaches magnetically. It also comes with a plastic screen protector. I have been using this business for several weeks now, as it appeared in Japan earlier this month along with Pokemon Sword and Shield Limited Edition Switch Lite, which I decided to wait because, well, look at these pink and blue buttons.
Switch Lite is for the more portable version of Switch, but it is not what much smaller than a regular model. Lite is still the console you almost always need to carry in your bag. It’s for the best – I don’t think I can play Fire Emblem: Three Houses if the font size has decreased much further. But the overall size of the switch-plus-case combination is so dramatically reduced with the hinged lid that it significantly affects the portability of the system.
In particular, Nintendo managed to make the case much thinner by covering the analog joysticks with two slightly raised protrusions, instead of allowing them to increase the size of the entire case. Here's how it compares with the official Nintendo case I received with my original Switch at launch in March 2017:
As a result, now Switch Lite is something that I can just throw in my bag without a single thought, and not a bulky gadget that I would like to take with me only if I was sure that I really was going to use it.
Fortunately, it’s easy to take Switch Lite off and on from the chassis, but you can still play the system with the lid attached and open it if it is more convenient. It does not fold completely back – it just hangs down at an angle of 90 degrees, without interfering. There is also a cutout for the USB-C port, so you do not need to remove the case to charge the switch.
I don’t know why Nintendo didn’t have a flip cover ready to launch Switch Lite, and it was available in other regions because it seemed to me an integral part of the product, like Smart Cover, when Apple first introduced it for the iPad. My only complaint, in fact, it does not block or unlock the switch itself, like the iPad Smart Cover, which would be nice.
However, for $ 39.99, I would recommend it to almost anyone. The essence of Switch Lite is portability, so you probably need a case, and this is the best I can imagine.