HomeTechnologyNewsTurn your Nintendo Switch into a monster

Turn your Nintendo Switch into a monster

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  • 1 – Absolute Hot Trash
  • 2 – Sort warm garbage
  • 3 – Very flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Excellent, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $248

Andrew Heinzman / Geek Review

I’ve spent the last few months playing around with the Up-Switch Orion, an accessory that more than doubles the screen size of a Nintendo Switch. And, coincidentally, I’ve spent the last month laughing like crazy.

The Orion is one of the strangest Switch accessories I’ve ever seen. And while it’s fun to use (especially with my awful eyesight), I’m not quite sure why anyone would buy this product. At least not without some major improvements.

Warning: The Up-Switch Orion is only compatible with the standard size Nintendo Switch. Does not work with Switch Lite or Switch OLED Edition.

And what we don’t do

  • Screen quality sucks a bit
  • Volume buttons are confusing
  • Requires corded power or a high-voltage portable battery
  • Doesn’t feel sturdy enough for kids.

Review Geek’s expert reviewers get hands-on with every product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of real-world testing and benchmark it in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and we never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more >>

it’s a beautiful monstrosity

  • Energy: Requires wired power
  • connectivity: HDMI (Designed for other consoles)
  • Speakers: Double, back shot
  • Headphone jack: Yes

When Up-Switch came over to tell us about the Orion, I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s a ridiculous-looking thing: the gamers’ equivalent of a commercial-size jar of mayonnaise or pickles.

In fact, I laugh every time I use the Orion. Its 11.6-inch screen is huge, especially when compared to the Nintendo Switch’s relatively small 5.5-inch screen. And while the Orion’s built-in controller grips are quite comfortable, this monster is so heavy that I need to rest it on my lap while gaming.

Despite its goofy appearance, the Orion’s design is impressive. It’s basically a portable monitor with an integrated Switch dock (and a very clever locking mechanism). So Orion doesn’t just keep your Switch (and Joy-Cons) charged, it enables the consoles’ “docked” graphics mode to reduce lag and increase framerates.

And for multiplayer on the go, the Orion has a built-in kickstand. You can support it on a table and play. Smash Bros. either Mario Kart with your family. Plus, an HDMI port on the side of the screen lets you use it with PCs, laptops, and other game consoles.

There are only two major drawbacks to this design. First, the Orion requires a constant flow of power. You need to plug a USB-C PD cable, such as the official Nintendo Switch charger, into the side of this screen. (A portable battery can also do the job; we’ll get to that.)

I am also concerned about overheating. Remember, the Switch increases its power consumption in “docked” mode, so it needs decent airflow. But you can’t really use the Orion without placing it on your lap, where the only airflow is an occasional fart. (To be fair, I haven’t had any issues with overheating, even when playing games like Splatoon 3.)

I should also note that the Orion has rear speakers. They sound decent enough, but point in the wrong direction.

Screen quality is…great

The Up-Switch Orion with his kickstand deployed playing multiplayer Smash Bros.
Andrew Heinzman / Geek Review
  • Display: 11.6-inch 768p LCD screen
  • Touch screen: Nope

My eyesight is terrible. And because game developers are idiots who don’t care about accessibility, I can’t really read game text on a TV. It’s too small. Therefore, I usually play games on Nintendo Switch in handheld mode.

Given my situation, Orion feels like a compelling upgrade for my Nintendo Switch. It’s a bigger screen and runs my Switch games in “docked” mode for a slight boost in graphics performance. There’s also a good anti-glare coating, which the Switch lacks. Awesome!

Unfortunately, the Orion’s screen doesn’t look very good. It’s a 768p IPS display with a fairly weak contrast ratio and no touchscreen functionality. I wouldn’t say the Orion looks like horriblebut I’ve seen better looking portable monitors for half the price of the Orion.

I’m also concerned about durability. The Orion’s plastic screen looks thin and easy to scratch (reminds me of old portable DVD player screens). Personally, I wouldn’t give this accessory to a child, which is a shame as it could make a great gift for families who want to take multiplayer gaming with them on the go. (Orion comes with a flimsy carry bag, but a hard case would be more appropriate.)

Honestly, I think Up-Switch missed the mark here. The central point of this accessory is the screen. Nobody wants to spend $250 on a shoddy 768p screen, but you may be willing to buy a $350 accessory that turns your Switch into an 11.6-inch 1080p beast.

Orion isn’t exactly portable

Using the Up-Switch Orion with a portable battery.
Even a small battery feels awkward strapped to the Orion. Andrew Heinzman / Geek Review
  • portable mode: Requires 45W USB-C PD power bank
  • integrated support: Yes

Orion advertisements imply that it is a portable device. But it requires wired power, it’s big and bulky, and you can’t really play it without sitting on your lap. So what’s the deal?

well you can technically use the Orion without plugging it into the wall. You just need a portable battery with a USB-C output of 40 watts or more. (Confusingly, Up-Switch sells a 10-watt portable battery for the Orion. Reviews on IndieGoGo suggest that this battery works despite its poor performance.)

Whichever battery you use, you can attach it to the back of the Orion with two pieces of Velcro (included with the display). But attaching a battery to the Orion only makes it heavier. So if you like that, great!

I struggle to call the Orion a “portable” device. Even with a battery, it’s still an unwieldy and somewhat awkward accessory. And since it doesn’t come with a hard case, it’s not really something you can throw in a backpack.

The gist: I can’t stop laughing

Playing 'Yoshi's Story' on Up-Switch Orion
Andrew Heinzman / Geek Review

The Orion feels like a prototype. It’s an interesting product with a clever design and some very frustrating issues. But looking at this craziness makes me laugh, and to my surprise, it’s such a fun toy. I would love to continue using it.

Here is my problem; the Orion is a novelty. It’s a silly idea that someone managed to make a reality. And I’m not sure why I would spend $250 on such a thing. It’s cool and can be useful in some situations, but it’s a $250 accessory that no one really asked for.

Every time I think of a sticky situation where Orion could come in handy, I realize that a portable monitor could do the job for $100 cheaper. The one exception is poor eyesight: if you’re having trouble seeing the Nintendo Switch screen but want to play in handheld mode, the Orion might be worth a try.

And what we don’t do

  • Screen quality sucks a bit
  • Volume buttons are confusing
  • Requires corded power or a high-voltage portable battery
  • Doesn’t feel sturdy enough for kids.


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