Review Snapshot
Pros

A great portable gaming device at a very affordable price.

Cons

The 3DS is now on the market for just a bit more.

Verdict

Unless you're ready to invest in the 3DS, this is your best option of Nintendo handheld.

Reviewed by:
Lisa Mason : Lisa is a freelance writer and social media marketer with more than 10 years' e...Member Reputation 198 • 96 active Krits
DSi in Pink from Nintendo
Nintendo DSi In Pink Review
Lisa Mason rates this 5/5
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Why My Kids and I Love the Nintendo DSi

If youíre looking to buy a new handheld gaming system or upgrade from an existing Nintendo DS, but you don't want to buy the 3DS just yet, there is no better time than now to purchase a DSi and my favorite is the pink version. If you donít like pink, there are other colors to choose from. Personally, I think the pink is a fun color and I like to see manufacturer's making electronics and games in more feminine colors.

A Color for Everyone

We actually have this DSi model in color black, pink and blue. It also comes in white and some rare metallic colors that are harder to find. The black is self-explanatory and great for adults, neutral players or anyone who wouldnít like one of the other colors. The blue is actually a light, sky blue and we got it for my youngest son but older children might think it is too ďgirlyĒ of a color. My daughter and I have the pink. Itís a bit of a hot pink in a darker shade and one of my favorite colors. My daughter has outgrown her pink stage but she doesnít mind because she uses her DSi in a case that covers the outside color anyway.

Speaking of cases, my boys both use Nerf shock absorbing cases that also cover the outside color and provide much-needed protection to the device. They have dropped them, stepped on them and probably worse and they still work and donít even have a scratch on them.

DSi Compared to DS or DS Lite Versions

So what is better in this upgraded version of the Nintendo DS? Letís explore the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Bigger and slightly brighter screen
  • New interface is easy to navigate
  • DSi Ware is a nice implementation
  • Digital camera to take photos with
  • Internal memory and SD card slot are nice for storing data
  • Downloaded games are inexpensive and the service has a lot of potential


Cons:

  • Photos taken on camera only really look good on the DSi screen
  • Shorter battery life
  • Web browser isn't the greatest
  • The lack of a GBA slot means you can't play GBA games, use some of the DS Lite's accessories

Price

At the price of just over $100 brand new, you cannot beat the DSi. It takes pictures and comes with photo-editing software, can play all the great DS games (but no backwards technology for the Game Boy Advance), is small, sleek and portable, has Internet access (which parents can block or set restrictions on), a duel screen, SD memory card that you can upgrade to as large as you want for maximum storage, console integration with the Wii, DSi shop access, 3-14 hour battery life (my kids have stretched that to its limits many times and it lasts a long time on a full charge) and 2 (0.3 megapixels) digital camera. This little gadget packs a great punch at such a low price.

Itís simple enough to use and learn that my 3 year old enjoy its but my teenager still plays his as well. Itís a great pastime for car trips, waiting at the doctorís office and other times you want to keep busy or keep a kid busy while waiting around.

The Downside

Some of the not-so-great points are that the very glossy screens create glare when playing in sunlight. It makes it difficult to nearly impossible to see with the glare. It has a free Opera Browser but itís really not great for browsing capabilities. If youíre trying to check your email or something on it, youíre probably going to get frustrated. Itís slow and many pages donít load correctly. It can work in a pinch when you need to check movie times or some other quick-loading information.

Parental Controls

Since all of my children use the DSi, and it has Internet capability, I am happy that the parental controls are functional and easy to use. I set the children up on our home WiFi network where I have parental and safety controls on the network itself. If they go somewhere away from home and want on the WiFi, I have a passcode that I have to use before they can get on. This means they wonít be at a friendsí house or in a public place getting online or accessing things I donít want them to.

Usability

The screen is larger than previous versions of the DS and the whole device is very comfortable to hold, even for smaller hands. The camera function really adds a lot to the usability because my kids are now always taking pictures. It also has a simplistic but fun image editing program so they can draw beards on one another or whatever goofy things they come up with.

These have gotten much more use than the DS and DS Lite we had before which is why we ended up buying one for each kid so they would fight over who had a turn on the DSi.

Games

I do wish they had released more games for it since the GBA games donít play on the DSi but all in all, there is a good selection of games to choose from. We even found educational games like learning math and spelling to help the kids learn while they play. There are plenty of games for the preschool-aged children as well, which you cannot always find on handheld systems.

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2012, 12:54 pm
Reviewed by Lisa Mason
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