Nintendo DSi XL Teardown

Nintendo used a shrink ray on the “reverse” setting to develop the XL from a stock DSi.

The obvious changes are readily visible on the exterior — larger size, larger screens, even a larger stylus — but we also found several internal updates once we opened our burgundy unit.

You can also check out our YouTube video slideshow of the teardown!

Teardown highlights:

  • Nintendo is again using a custom ARM CPU, manufactured in December of 2009. This chip is marked identically to the DSi, and definitely not the Tegra chip that had been rumored.
  • The logic board grew proportionally to its casing. We’re sure Nintendo’s engineers were happy with not having to pack as much electronics as possible in a smaller design. In this instance, Nintendo’s going against the normal trend in electronics
  • Battery capacity is significantly greater than the DSi.  The DSi uses an 840 mAh battery compared to the DSi XL’s 1050 mAh battery. Given the internal similarity of the XL to the original DSi, we assume the extra juice helps power the larger-sized screens.
  • The DSi XL weighs in at 314 grams, about 45% more than its smaller DSi cousin (only 217 grams). A significant portion of the heft comes from the larger screens, and 4 grams comes from the added battery juice. The XL is really on the outer limits of what people consider to be portable — especially for a hand-held game console.
  • Nintendo redesigned the battery connector to eliminate a long ribbon cable spanning the width of the old DSi.
  • The lower display is held in place solely by the pressure of the logic board secured over it — no screws!
  • Although the screen size has been enlarged, the resolution still remains the same at 256 x 192 pixels per screen.
  • Reassembling the triggers is quite difficult. Take them apart if only you dare (or need to).
  • Power management is now relegated to a TI 72071B0 charging circuit. This used to me a Mitsumi component in the smaller DSi.
  • No “Supersize Me” inscriptions were found anywhere on the internals.
Removing the lower display in the Nintendo DSi XL teardown
Removing the lower display
Nintendo DSi XL teardown
The final layout