Portable Nintendo Switch dock fast-charges and upscales to 4K
The Nintendo Switch may be portable, but its dock not so much. A new third party alternative, the OmniCentro, aims to solve that problem with a pocket-sized gizmo that fast-charges the battery and outputs the visuals to a display – upscaling the resolution to 4K in the process.
The gimmick of Nintendo’s current gangbusters gaming machine is right there in the name – you can “switch” between playing handheld on the bus, or plugging it into your big TV at home. The problem is, if you want to play it on a different big screen somewhere else, the included dock isn’t the most portable option.
And that’s where JSAUX Team’s new device comes in. The OmniCentro plugs directly into a wall socket, or there’s the option of an extension cord that adds an extra 1.5 m (5 ft) of reach. It’s only one fifth the size of Nintendo’s original dock, weighing just 93 g (3.3 oz). But all of the Switch dock’s usual features are crammed into that smaller package – plus a few bonuses.
There’s the USB-C port that connects to the Switch, both delivering power to the console and carrying the audiovisual signal back from it. The HDMI port outputs that feed to whatever display you plug it into, and the USB 3.0 port lets you plug in controllers and other accessories.
But the OmniCentro has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, too. For one it can upscale the resolution to 4K, from the usual 1080p. Of course, that won’t look quite as pretty as native 4K, but it should look at least a little better. It also has a higher power output – 45 W, compared to the original’s 39 W – allowing it to charge the console faster without, the company says, damaging the hardware.
It’s not just for the Switch either – the OmniCentro can be used for basically anything that works with those ports. The company says that the device can be used to top up laptops and phones, or throw their display up on a bigger screen.
It may be a fairly niche problem, but it does crop up from time to time, and the OmniCentro looks like a reasonably elegant solution. If nothing else, it saves people having to crawl behind the TV and pull out the original dock when they go away.
JSAUX Team is currently crowdfunding the OmniCentro on Kickstarter, where it’s already more than tripled its original goal with 27 days remaining on the campaign. Early bird pledges start at US$59 (with US, UK or European plug options), and if all goes to plan, delivery should begin in July.
Check it out in action in the video below.