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Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite – which one should you buy?

There’s one major difference to keep in mind.

nintendo switch consoles
Image: KnowTechie

If you’re trying to source a Nintendo Switch to stave off cabin fever, your already-small choice will often be made for you by what’s in stock. The rest of the time, there is a choice to be made between the normal Nintendo Switch with its removable Joy-Cons, and the Switch Lite, which is a sealed unit.

Both consoles have the same Nvidia Tegra X1 powering them, both have 1,280 x 720 resolution screens, and both run the same games. So… what’s actually different? Is there any point buying the more expensive Nintendo Switch if you plan on using it in handheld mode anyway?

So, which Nintendo Switch should I buy?

Short answer: It depends on if you want to use it docked

The main difference is if you want to use your Nintendo Switch hooked up to your TV, you need to buy the full-sized Nintendo Switch. That’s the $300 version, in case you were wondering. See, the Switch Lite only works in handheld mode, you can’t dock it and presumably, it won’t output video over the USB-C port that it charges from.

The Switch Lite also doesn’t have detachable Joy-Cons, so you’ll have to buy additional controllers to play anything that has a party mode with multiple players. That’s a problem if you’re thinking one console is going to keep all of your offspring entertained before you go crazy. Buy the larger one, you’ll thank us later.

While you’re here, go enter our giveaway and you might win your own Nintendo Switch console.

What do you think? Which Switch do you prefer? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at

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