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Nintendo DSi XL Review

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

Our Verdict

The Nintendo DSi XL is simply a larger version of the already existing DSi handheld.

For

  • The Nintendo DSi XL boasts a large screen and long battery life.

Against

  • The buttons did not increase in size with the unit, and the online features are still lacking.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: Front view of the device.

Nintendo DSi XL image: Front view of the device.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: Audio port and front camera.

Nintendo DSi XL image: Audio port and front camera.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: Size difference between the DSi XL and normal DSi.

Nintendo DSi XL image: Size difference between the DSi XL and normal DSi.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: Three different DS models.

Nintendo DSi XL image: Three different DS models.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: Front facing camera.

Nintendo DSi XL image: Front facing camera.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: Close-up view of the direction pad.

Nintendo DSi XL image: Close-up view of the direction pad.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: LED lights used for indicating connection types or if the power is on.

Nintendo DSi XL image: LED lights used for indicating connection types or if the power is on.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: The X, Y, A, and B buttons.

Nintendo DSi XL image: The X, Y, A, and B buttons.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: One of the two LCD screens and stylus.

Nintendo DSi XL image: One of the two LCD screens and stylus.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: Top LCD screen and speakers.

Nintendo DSi XL image: Top LCD screen and speakers.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: Manufacture packaging.

Nintendo DSi XL image: Manufacture packaging.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: The 93% larger screens make playing games much more enjoyable.

Nintendo DSi XL image: The 93% larger screens make playing games much more enjoyable.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: All of the extras that come in one of the packages.

Nintendo DSi XL image: All of the extras that come in one of the packages.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: Bottom view of the device.

Nintendo DSi XL image: Bottom view of the device.
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Nintendo DSi XL image: Hidden compartment, large stylus and game lanyard.

Nintendo DSi XL image: Hidden compartment, large stylus and game lanyard.

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

The Nintendo DSi XL is a larger design of the basic DSi model. The main difference is in the screen size, larger stylus and, of course, a bigger overall design. Nintendo refers to this handheld game console as their "grown up" version of the already popular model. The two screens are 93% larger than the smaller DS model, and they make a huge difference when you're playing games that require more detailed inputs. The larger stylus feels more like a normal pen, which works much better than the small stylus also included with the device.

The most noticeable feature on the Nintendo DSi XL is the large viewing area, comprised of two 4.2-inch touch-sensitive LCD screens. The larger viewing area makes online internet browsing, reading text or simply playing your favorite game much more enjoyable. However, the extra size makes it almost impossible to slip the device into your pocket or even into smaller pockets on your backpack or traveling bag. Like many of the other handheld game consoles Nintendo has released in the past few years, the DSi XL comes with both a front facing and rear camera. These cameras come into play on specific games that require the cameras.

Interacting with DSi games, the internet or other apps is much easier since the screen size is much larger than that of a standard DSi. The ability to draw pictures of your favorite game characters is also one of the major reasons people enjoy using the DSi XL verses the smaller model. Even though the game console is quite a bit larger, the direction pad and button layout stay the same size as the small model. We would like to have seen larger controls to match the much larger device.

The Nintendo DSi XL comes with three pre-installed titles and additional software to get you up and running without needing to download and install software later on. The apps that come with the device are simple yet fun, and they include Brain Age Express: Art & letters, Photo Clock, Flipnote studio and of course Nintendo DSi Browser. Nintendo's Wi-Fi network and download center include additional apps to keep you busy. The network used for the DSi is no different from previous Nintendo handhelds and so it offers the same apps as are available for the smaller model.

When it comes to help and support, few companies are able to outdo the quality performance of Nintendo's features. They offer specific information on all their products and deliver excellent service for each. Nintendo's site provides a phone number, email address, FAQs, user manuals, downloads and much more. It doesn't matter if you need help this very second or have the time to browse through a few of the online FAQs; Nintendo makes the process of getting technical support quick and simple.

The Nintendo DSi XL is Nintendo's idea of a bigger brother to the smaller DSi. The actual hardware and software available is the same as the base DSi model. The big difference comes in the size of the screen and ease of use. The touch screen is much easier to manage and feels more responsive then previous models. Those of you with large hands will enjoy the increased size, and anyone will find the larger stylus to be a welcome addition. Overall, the Nintendo DSi XL is a larger handheld game console that will appeal to those looking for size over portability.