The J&TOP Switch Dock Is Better and Cheaper Than Nintendo’s Original

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $30
This third-party Switch dock is better than the original in almost every way.
Michael Crider

Nintendo is really taking the piss with its Switch accessories. The $90 dock is a good example: if you need a second one for another TV, and the Switch is portable enough that you will. It’s a ridiculous expense.

Here's What We Like

  • Cheaper than Nintendo's dock
  • Smaller, too
  • Works as a stand

And What We Don't

  • Doesn't come with a power adapter
  • Picky about HDMI cables

Grab this generic one from Amazon vendor J&TOP instead. It does all of the same things that Nintendo’s first-party Switch dock does, at half the price. It’s even easier to use, thanks to a more straightforward, phone charger-style setup, with USB, HDMI, and charging ports that are evenly spread around its base.

The dock replicates all of the functions of Nintendo’s overpriced hunk of plastic, with a USB 3.0 and 2.0 port for accessories and charging other stuff, like extra controllers. It works as a kickstand, too, whether or not it’s plugged into anything.

The dock replicates all of the ports on Nintendo's hardware.
The dock replicates all of the ports on Nintendo’s hardware. Michael Crider

If for some reason you want to use the Switch’s screen on its own, you don’t even need to unplug the HDMI cable: just hit the button on the back of the dock, and it’ll cut off the video and audio output. That’s a niche use case, but again, it’s something you can’t do with Nintendo’s Switch dock, which completely covers the screen and speakers.

The third-party dock is about a third the size of the original---it travels well.
The third-party dock is about a third the size of the original—it travels well. Michael Crider

J&Top’s design is easy to travel with since it’s about one third the volume of the Nintendo dock. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with a compatible USB-C charger. (Nintendo’s dock has one in the box.) You’ll need a fairly specific one, too, since the Switch gets picky about its volts and amps—15 and 2.6, respectively. It also seems a little pickier when it comes to HDMI cables since I had to switch to a more high-quality one to avoid the occasional flicker.

It even shows off your Switch better when the screen isn't in use.
It even shows off your Switch better when the screen isn’t in use. Michael Crider

But even allocating an extra $15 or so for a second charger, this dock beats the original in pretty much every way, for half the price. Get one if you’re looking for an easier way to travel with your Switch, or you just want to use it on a second TV. It’s available in button-down black, or translucent green or purple if you want something a little more colorful.

Reviewer’s Note: I tested this with my Switch purchased in 2018. I can’t guarantee that it’ll work with the newer, longer-lasting model—though it should. I doubt it will work with the Switch Lite when it comes out, though since it doesn’t do video-out anyway, there wouldn’t be much point. I should also note that, quite a while ago, the Switch had some serious issues with third-party docks bricking units thanks to faulty USB-C compliance. That issue appears to have been resolved with a firmware update, and I didn’t experience anything like it.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $30

Here’s What We Like

  • Cheaper than Nintendo's dock
  • Smaller, too
  • Works as a stand

And What We Don't

  • Doesn't come with a power adapter
  • Picky about HDMI cables

Michael Crider Michael Crider
Michael Crider has been writing about computers, phones, video games, and general nerdy things on the internet for ten years. He’s never happier than when he’s tinkering with his home-built desktop or soldering a new keyboard. Read Full Bio »

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