The Switch is arguably Nintendo's most premium-feeling handheld console ever released, with its smart and sleek design making earlier systems feel a little clunkier (and more able to take a battering) as a result. Thanks to this, as well as the fact that it comes with a whole range of extras that you wouldn't usually need for a handheld (extra controllers, cables, the dock, etc.), it's also the console most in need of some extra protection and storage space when out and about.
Whereas your 3DS can likely slide right into your pocket, protected by its own flip design, the Switch is too big to simply carry around and has a large, beautiful display just waiting to be scratched up by the keys and other bits and bobs inside your bag of choice. Luckily, tomtoc has released a new range of cases for the console that appear to suit every need and, even more luckily, they just so happen to be pretty great.
Each case is waterproof, made of strong, sturdy material (which tomtoc tells us has passed the latest military standard drop test), and has its own advantages and disadvantages over the other options. We've gathered our thoughts on each design below.
The smallest of the bunch, and the best for quick trips or your daily commute, is the slim variant (which comes in black, red, grey, or camouflage colourings). Even with your Switch inside, the width of this case only measures in at around 4cm, easily slotting into your backpack for that extra layer of protection. Actually, this is where we found this case to be most useful; it only holds your Switch (with Joy-Con attached) and eight games, with no room for any extras, but it does serve as excellent protection when you just need to slot the console into a bag of some sort and avoid any scratches.
The case actually moulds around the design of the Switch, with the Joy-Con triggers sitting inside small indents on the bottom of the case and the control sticks and face buttons being protected by the raised parts seen on the front. This is a fantastic feature; applying pressure to these raised points has no impact on the Joy-Con's delicate control sticks, and some of our official Nintendo-branded cases fail to offer that same level of protection. Having said that, we wish the part of the case sitting on top of the screen had a similarly robust design - pressing hard on the middle of the case, or dropping something heavy on it, does seem to press onto the Switch's screen just a tad.
Speaking of Nintendo's official releases, this small case from tomtoc retails at a considerably cheaper price point while actually giving you a greater amount of protection. A small pouch is included with the case, too, and while we didn't feel was completely necessary, it does provide a nice way of carrying some small extra bits like an AC adaptor.
The Frequent Traveller
This one sees a significant step up in features, but a much smaller jump in price. This medium-range case holds your Switch (with Joy-Con attached), 18 game cards (six of which are hidden away), and has space for a Joy-Con grip and your AC adaptor, too. It features the same indents on the bottom of the case for your Joy-Con's ZL/ZR buttons for a snug fit, and a centrefold rests on top of your screen. The same raised sections also appear on the front of the case, but these are purely aesthetic as the case is considerably wider this time around, and there's a small handle on the top to help you carry it around.
The big selling point of this one, though, is that it doubles up as a way to play your console in tabletop mode. The centrefold we just mentioned has two straps on either side, which strap your Switch's tablet section down nicely; the weight of the console keeps the folded material rigid - as long as you don't wobble the case around too much as you play.
We wouldn't recommend playing this outdoors under the sun for too long, for fear of the console burning up the fabric behind it, but the Switch's fans are allowed to breathe at the top of the system and we haven't experienced any overheating issues while playing inside. The best part about this is the fact that you can still charge your console while playing in tabletop mode - again doing something which Nintendo hasn't allowed with its own kickstand.
The Professional Storage Case
Easily our favourite of the bunch, but also naturally the most expensive, is the professional storage option. This one features a large, suitcase-like section on the bottom with a chunk of foam padding nestling inside; almost everything you could possibly need fits in here thanks to the perfectly cut shapes. You can carry your Switch, two extra Joy-Con on your Joy-Con grip, your dock, the AC adaptor, a Pro Controller, and four wrist straps in this section, and there's another mesh-type pocket on the opposite side for the HDMI cable, Pro Controller charging cables, game cases, and more.
In between the two sections is a flap of material which can hold 32 game cards - which should be more than enough to hold of your favourite titles - although you could theoretically throw more in that back pocket, too. Every item fits into its designated spot securely and neatly, with no wiggle room being given for things to slip out during travels, and you can even attach a shoulder strap if you prefer to carry it that way.
To test out its practicality, we took this case out on a weekend trip to see some loved ones and play lots of games in the process. Having everything neatly tucked away was perfect; previous trips had seen the dock, cables, and extra controllers simply thrown into a plastic bag for travels - constantly scaring us with thoughts of scratches or damage - but this almost fixed the issue completely. We still had to find somewhere to put extra Pro Controllers, but the case was more than enough to transport everything else securely.
The idea behind this one is for professional gamers who might attend championships or other events, and while we're sure it would be great for that, too, we'd actually recommend this for anyone who finds themselves taking their entire Switch setup to friends or family homes. It's a little more on the pricey side compared to the other options, but it's absolutely worth it.
Thanks to tomtoc for supplying the cases featured in this review.