HyperX Releases the ChargePlay Clutch!
If you are a GeekParent the chances that you have at least one Nintendo Switch in your home are very high, and the possibility that you may have several is also great. That being said, you may have encountered the frustration of battery limitations while playing your favorite games on the go. You may have even had the joy of having an apoplectic child in the back seat of your car cursing the gods of mobile power as they were shut down mid-Fortnite battle.
Luckily for all of us trying to survive these times of power limitations messing up our technology, HyperX has come up with a solution to deal with the inevitable gaming blackout. The ChargePlay Clutch for Nintendo Switch may be one of the best (if not the best) options available.
My son Nicholas devours power the way Godzilla decimates Japanese cities, so when I received this product I knew exactly the proper person to put it through the paces.
Unboxing and Parts
The ChargePlay Clutch comes in a very diminutive little box, but when you lift it the weight is substantial enough that you know you are not dealing with a cheap backup charger from Five Below. (Note: There is nothing wrong with Five Below; I shop there all the time, just not for quality electronics.)
The box included the main battery pack and two magnetic grips that attach either to the battery pack to make one solid unit or you can remove your Joy-Cons and create one solid controller by combining them with the grips. There are many variations on this idea on the market, and I can say that this version makes for a very solid and comfortable controller in your hands. Also included are a charging cable, instruction booklet, and marketing information. Now let us look at all the technical specifics that come with the HyperX Chargeplay Clutch:
- Extended battery life for long gaming sessions
- Detachable Joy-Con Grips
- Stable kickstand for Tabletop mode
- Secure, convenient docking
- LED indicators display charge status
- Battery capacity 6000mAh
- Input 5V ⎓ 1.5AMax
- Output 5V ⎓ 2.0AMax
- Weight 400g
- Dimensions Length: 273.9mm
- Width: 40.2mm
- Height: 114.1mm
- Type USB Type-C charging cable
- Length 1.8m
The Hyper ChargePlay Clutch is a pretty straightforward piece of technology. You basically just slide your Switch into the female USB-C clip on the ChargePlay Clutch and then snap the clip on the top of the Clutch to secure it. The grips are magnetic and you just have to attach them on the sides and they are on.
On the bottom rear of the Clutch is a power button and button indicators that tell you how much juice your unit still has available. Be sure that you activate the backup power on the back to save yourself and embarrassing call to tech support where you tell them that the unit is defective and they ask you if you tapped the power on.
The rear of the Clutch also has a very large and solid kickstand. The unit has some heft but is lighter than some of the previous backup batteries I have used on the Switch.
The grips have a very comfortable texture and ergonomic feel. I have hands the shape of two Easter hams, so the tininess of Joy-Cons has always been an issue for me. Anything that adds more body to them makes me one happy gamer. They are a bit beefy for my nine-year-old son, but he has not complained thus far.
Once everything was connected and in working order, I wanted to see how long the unit could run, so a rather long drive was in order. I handed my son his Switch with ChargePlay Clutch attached and headed from my home in the south coast of Massachusetts to the world’s largest arcade, FunSpot in New Hampshire.
I am glad to report that, other than the occasional outburst of joy or anger do to success and or failure in the battle royale arena, there were no complaints by my product tester. The ride was about 3.5 hours and then we had lunch and played some classic arcade games. A few hours and hundreds of game tickets later it was time to go home. The battery lasted about another 2.5 hours until I heard my son’s iconic catchphrase, “Dad, my Switch is dead!” So between the on-board switch battery and the ChargePlay Clutch, we were able to eke out roughly 5.5 to 6 hours total playtime and YouTube video periods. My son played it handheld the entire time using the grips and seemed comfortable with them. I would assume that after 5 hours, if some discomfort would be had that I would have received feedback.
The HyperX ChargePlay Clutch is a semi-necessity for Switch owners. Sure, you can live without it, but do you really want to? Yes, at $59.00 it is not cheap, but you can’t enjoy your games on the go without the juice to make it happen.
Look at it this way: for the cost of one AAA Nintendo game you can get five more hours of gameplay with all of your other Nintendo games. I am going to PAX East in a couple of months and I cannot fathom waiting in convention lines without a fully powered amusement distraction in my hands. The price is comparable to many good battery back-ups used for phones and other devices. Most of those will not work on a switch because of the amount of wattage and direct power needs that the Switch demands. So get one… you will be happy… I promise.
A Sample of the HyperX Chargeplay Clutch was made available by the manufacturer. I have not been paid for this review and all of the opinions are my own.
Read my previous articles and reviews here.