To make up for the slump in software releases, Nykoe sent us over a couple of exciting Wii U products, here is our take on them.
First up is the Nyko Wii U Power Stand. For those, like myself, that purchased the Wii U Basic Set, you were not treated to the handy docking cradle that the Deluxe Set and the 3DS came with. While not necessary by any means, docking cradles have become more and more sensible and useful as our technological lives have gone on.
Having an ever present cradle that keeps your devices from sitting on a bare table is nice, generally looks nicer, and is far more convenient in keeping devices powered up. In this regard, the Nyko alternative works wonderfully. At no time during my use of this product did I experience loss of battery life in my device or a failure to charge. It holds the GamePad up fairly well, but you might want to be careful about aggressive vibrations or something knocking your GamePad forward, there’s no brace there keeping it in. Gravity and something to lean on are what keep the GamePad in place.
To the best of my research, I haven’t been able to locate an official Nintendo version of this product that is white. The Nintendo GamePad Stand/Charging Cradle set that came with the Deluxe Wii U is black to match the console, but the stand alone retail version of the set is black as well. I find this confusing considering anyone in the market for this product would have likely purchased a Basic Wii U set, and would have a white console.
Luckily, the Nyko alternative works just as well, sells for 5-10 dollars cheaper in most stores, and is available in white to match your console.
Here is where we get to the good stuff. As any Wii U owner can testify, the GamePad doesn’t exactly have a long battery life.
During regular use, with sound and full screen light, my GamePad generally lasts about three hours, maybe three and a half, and then the indicator light starts blinking. During games of Nintendoland with my friends, it becomes quite frustrating when the GamePad decides to give up so quickly into the night. Nyko claims the Uboost will double the battery life of your GamePad, but in my experience it did more than that.
I was able to extend my GamePad battery life to somewhere around 10 hours with the Uboost attached, and I predict I could get even more if I were to lower the brightness and turn off the sound. For any Wii U owner, this product is a lifesaver.
The Uboost is really simple to attach, it rests in under the bottom, connecting into the same contacts where your charging cradle would, and then is held in place by a thumbscrew right on the back. It may not look like enough, but at no point in my sessions did I feel like this attachment was going to come loose. It adds a bit of weight to the controller, but not a lot. The weight stays centralized so it never puts additional stress on one hand over the other, it’s really only noticeable when you are using the GamePad with one hand, even then, it’s a very small con among the obvious pro. The Uboost even comes with this handy flip out stand, so you can prop your GamePad up to watch Netflix or Hulu. It’s even compatible with the charging cradle, so you don’t need to disconnect the device at all.
What I found really interesting was how the Uboost works. It’s not really an additional battery pack so much as it’s a portable charger. When your Wii U GamePad battery gets low, you simply turn on the Uboost. Your GamePad then acts as if it’s plugged into a wall, with the Uboost merely charging it.
All in all, this is just a fantastic product. For the price of $20, it offers more than enough functionality to make it essential to any Wii U owner. When the stream of excellent titles starts coming in later this year, this is something you will be glad you bought. I would highly recommend you pick one up now while there aren’t a ton of games competing for your money.