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Nintendo DSi XL

*Est. $170
Reviewed
March 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Nintendo DSi XL

Pros
  • Two 4.2-inch displays
  • Huge game library
  • Dual cameras
Cons
  • Limited internal memory
  • Can't play Game Boy Advance titles
  • Graphics more basic than some competitors
  • Other than larger screen size, few advantages over the Nintendo DSi
  • Resolution is unchanged despite the bigger screen

The Nintendo DSi XL offers the same features and performance as the Nintendo DSi (*Est. $150) but with larger screens (4.2 inches versus 3.75 inches). That improves viewing angles a bit, and the larger case allows for speakers with a bit more presence. However, since resolution is unchanged, some games might look blurrier than on the DSi, and the larger size of the console makes it a touch less portable. Since the two handheld game systems are otherwise identical, most reviewers to say that unless you really want the bigger screens, there are few reasons to upgrade, though it might be worth considering for those that are buying for the first time. For more information on the capabilities of the Nintendo DSi XL, see our report on the Nintendo DSi.

Most of the major technology sites have looked at the Nintendo DSi XL. That includes CNET, PCMag.com, DigitalTrends.com, Engadget and Wired, among others. Look to BestBuy.com for user impressions of that portable gaming system.

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Nintendo DSi - Matte Black
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Nintendo DSi XL - Midnight Blue

 (761 reviews)
Buy new: $169.99 $124.79   159 Used & new from $53.35

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eBayeBay rated 3.83 (1281 reviews)1,281 store reviewsIn Stock. Buy it new & now! with eBay Buyer Protection$159.95
eBayeBay rated 3.83 (1281 reviews)1,281 store reviewsIn Stock. Buy it new & now! with eBay Buyer Protection$149.78
 

Our Sources

1. CNET

While Jeff Bakalar notes that the larger screen size of the Nintendo DSi XL improves viewing angle a bit, he also complains that it makes the system a little less portable. His take: "At the end of the day, the DSi XL is exactly the same as the DSi, so unless you're desperate for more touch-screen real estate, or your vision is impaired, we can't recommend a purchase over the original DSi."

Review: Nintendo DSi XL (Bronze), Jeff Bakalar, March 24, 2010

2. PCMag.com

Carol Mangas notes that the larger screens of the Nintendo DSi XL are easier to see than those of the DSi, and she highlights other benefits such as improved sound and viewing angles. However, the DSi XL is also less pocketable, and the resolution has not been upgraded to match the new screen. She calls it a "great choice" for those getting their first Nintendo handheld game system but says there's no reason for current owners to trade up.

Review: Nintendo DSi XL, Carol Mangis, March 29, 2010

3. DigitalTrends.com

Marc Saltzman says the Nintendo DSi XL is exactly the same as the Nintendo DSi, but bigger. That might be fine for first-time buyers, but few who already own a Nintendo DSi will have a good reason to upgrade, he says.

Review: Nintendo DSi XL Review, Marc Saltzman, March 25, 2010

4. Engadget.com

Sean Hollister calls the Nintendo DSi XL a solid gaming system. However, he notes that for every advantage it brings over the Nintendo DSi, there's a "trade-off." The exception is sound, which is notably improved. Still, other than for those whose eyesight demands the larger screens, he can't see much need for the console.

Review: Nintendo DSi XL Review, Sean Hollister, March 26, 2010

5. GoodGearGuide.com.au

This Australian site hosts a review of the Nintendo DSI XL originally published by its shuttered sister site, GamePro.com. McKinley Noble finds a number of pluses -- including the fact that the larger size oddly makes the DSi XL more comfortable to use than the DSi. Still, like so many others, and despite a relatively good overall score, Noble calls the Nintendo DSi XL only an incremental upgrade that leaves owners of the Nintendo DSi or even the DS Lite little reason to make the jump.

Review: Nintendo DSi XL, McKinley Noble, Jan. 4, 2010

6. Wired

The Nintendo DSi XL gets a very positive review and a 9 rating out of 10: "Nearly flawless; buy it now." The resolution issues caused by the larger screens are noted, but their big size and the better battery life of the console found in the test here show "size matters."

Review: Size Certainly Matters With Nintendo DSi XL, Chris Kohler, Feb. 1, 2010

7. BestBuy.com

Nearly 40 users have weighed in here on the Nintendo DSi XL, and nearly every one says that they would recommend it to a friend. All but one owner rate it either 4 or 5 stars out of 5.

Review: Nintendo DSi XL, Contributors to BestBuy.com

Handheld Game Systems Runners Up:

Nintendo DSi XL *Est. $170

3 picks including: DigitalTrends.com, Engadget.com…

Sony PSP-3000 *Est. $130

3 picks including: Amazon.com, DigitalTrends.com…

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Nintendo DSi XL - Midnight Blue
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PlayStation Portable 3000 Core Pack System - Piano Black
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