Nintendo 3DS Review - Connectivity and Charging Dock Review

When it comes to connectivity, there’s not much that’s new here over the DSi. On the left you get a volume slider and a flap covering an SD card slot. Like everything else on the 3DS, the flap’s rubber hinges feel solid and durable. A 2GB SD card is included by default, and though it’s a tad stingy it’s nice to have one included by default, enough to store pictures, game saves and other data. It accepts SDHC cards so you can add up to 32GB, which should be more than enough to keep even the most content-hungry gamer happy.

Along with charge and power LEDs, the headphone jack is still located at the front, which isn’t as convenient as at the side but in keeping with previous DS models. On the right there’s a wireless switch and you can also access the 3D slider here, though we can’t really see the use of this being accessible with the console closed.

The included stylus is now found around the back, a location that’s not quite as convenient as on the DS Lite and DSi where it was found on the left side. There’s a spring-loaded cartridge slot which will take DS games as well as the new, slightly wider 3DS cartridges. Just remember that DS titles will be in good old 2D, as there’s no conversion on hand. As with the DSi, GBA cartridges are no longer on the menu, so if you have a large GBA collection it’s worth hanging on to your DS Lite.

Here you’ll also find the charging port, and we’re very disappointed to find that it’s proprietary. Again. This might have been just about acceptable in the days of the older DS generations, but now we live in the age of universal chargers, where most devices on the market have Mini or Micro USB charging ports. It’s really annoying to find Nintendo forcing you to use its proprietary adapter and, even worse, the socket is different to that found on older DS models so you can’t even use your old chargers. At least the two meter cable on the AC adapter is long enough for most situations.

We’re rather more enthusiastic about the supplied charging dock, which is included by default rather than an optional accessory you have to pay extra for. You can plug the charger into the console directly or into the dock. If you go for the latter option, simply drop the 3DS into the dock and it will charge, as well as putting the console at an angle that’s comfortable for viewing material on its top screen. Finished in a combination of glossy and matt black plastic, it’s well-built and attractive.

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