Anyone that listens to RetroforceGo! regularly knows that I have been absent for many an episode due to being on a plane in transit to one place or another (in fact, the joke was that whenever I was absent, I was on a plane, since it happened so frequently). It's true, as I travel often for work, and one thing you can always be sure of when I am standing in line to board an airplane is that I have my trusty DS Lite in one hand.
I always use my DS at the lowest brightness setting when I'm on a flight, but let's face it, for an overseas flight, even this tactic is not going to cut it. I was actually considering cases for my DSi when I came across the TeknoCreations DSi TekCase, which promises to not only protect your DS but give it three times the battery life. If this sounds relevant to your interests, hit the jump and I'll give you the skinny on this thing.
TekCase for DSi (DS Lite versions are also available)
I love everything about the DSi's slimmer design, so the idea of putting anything on it to protect it that would bulk it up was not something I really wanted to do. The fact of the matter is though, I'm a clumsy person, and I know I would drop the thing sooner rather than later. The bigger issue is that battery life, though -- considering the DSi can get a maximum of four hours at maximum brightness before it dies, you really need something to help you out for long trips.
When I opened the TekCase, I liked the look a lot right off the bat. The polycarbonate case is black with a glossy finish and adds remarkably little bulk to the overall system (it weighs in at 4 oz). Sure, it might get a little fingerprinty as you use it, but you can wipe those off with a soft cloth and it'll look as good as new. The case is also available in a magenta-like shade of pink, which ought to appeal to younger girls and drag queens in training.
Once you get your DSi in the case, you'll see a little USB plug in the back that slides in and out. You can charge both the TekCase and your DSi using this, and the case comes with both a wall adaptor and a USB cable, so you can use your computer or a wall socket to charge it. The system also uses what's called a smart charging system, which means if you plug it in it charges upyour DSi first and the TekCase second.
Putting cartridges into the DSi while using the TekCase is very easy, and there's even a little switch on the bottom that pops your stylus out for you. Very handy indeed. Of course, the thing I wanted to know the most about was the battery life boost, as TeknoCreations claims that the TekCase extends the life to 2.8 times longer than the system can last for on its own.
I'm pleased to say that after fully charging the case and my DSi, it lasted a whopping fourteen hours before both died. I did this on full brightness as well, so if you're willing to sacrifice a little bit, you could potentially jack this time up to even longer. If you don't want to waste the case's charge abilities, you can also switch it off.
Overall, I was incredibly pleased with the TekCase. The value for what it provides is a hell of a deal, and it manages to protect your DSi without ruining that sleek and sexy look that the black DSi does so well. Also, if you're into understated cases and don't want some tacky shit wrapped around your handheld, this ought to please your discerning sensibilities. I know I'll never travel without it again! Check out the TeknoCreations website if you're interested on prolonging your performance (ahem, cough cough).
reviewed by Colette Bennett