Nintendo DSi First Look

We bought a brand-new Nintendo DSi as soon as it went on sale and immediately took it apart! The look and feel of the device is incrementally improved over its predecessor and we found some  interesting things inside.

Nintendo DSi teardown


  • The DSi’s new matte black skin feels rougher than the DS Lite. The roughness allows for better grip of the system and should be far more scratch-resistant.
  • The overall size and shape are quite similar to the DS Lite. It’s 3 mm thinner but 4 mm longer and 1 mm wider.
  • Battery capacity is substantially less than the DS Lite. The DSi uses an 840 mAh battery compared to the DS Lite’s 1000 mAh battery.
  • The Game Boy Advance port is no more. In its place is a new SD slot and the ability to download DSiWare through Nintendo’s online download library.
  • The DSi now includes two integrated cameras. Unfortunately, each one only boasts VGA resolution (0.3 megapixels). This is certainly a bit underwhelming considering most mainstream phones have cameras of at least 1.3 megapixels.
  • An experienced hand can completely disassemble the DSi in less than ten minutes using standard tools. This is the first Nintendo system we’ve taken apart that does not require a tri-wing screwdriver. This should make repairing and tinkering with the DSi substantially easier. The DSi is definitely not as complex as an iPhone!
  • Nintendo is using Samsung MoviNAND integrated 256 MB Flash memory and MMC controller. The custom ARM CPU + GPU is stamped with the revision code ‘TWL.”
  • Our DSi’s components all had manufacture dates around September 2008, indicating that Nintendo has been stockpiling these devices for quite a while prior to the big North American release.