Usually portable game systems just get smaller and smaller, but the newest one is actually larger. The Nintendo DSi XL has all the same features as the regular DSi game system, including two cameras, a music player, and the ability to surf the Web and download software through a Wi-Fi connection. But the difference here is that the dual screens are 93 percent bigger: 4.2 inches each. It also comes with a second extra-large stylus pen.
For $189.99, it also comes with pre-installed software: "Brain Age Express: Math," "Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters," "Flipnote Studio" and "Photo Clock." But even though you're getting bonus software, don't think you're getting a deal. The regular DSi is $20 less... and if you bought all those programs off the DSiWare Shop, it's about $18. The price is practically the same, so it really comes down to if you want a larger screen.
The bigger screen makes it a better experience when using applications and playing games, like the "Let's Get Cooking'' step-by-step tutorials (sold separately for $19.95). There's still a thin stylus that tucks itself into the system, but the second, larger stylus pen has a more comfortable grip when you want to doodle. The larger screen is also just more comfortable on the eyes.
But the 0.3-megapixel cameras are a little wonky -- you've got to hold it still for a couple of seconds after hitting the shutter button, otherwise photos come out blurry.The XL is about $20 more than the original DSi, but it comes with software that DSi users can download for $18.
The bottom line is if you want a larger screen that is easier to see, this is the way to go, especially if you want a game unit the whole family can share. A larger screen also gives you more room to doodle in animation tools such as "Flipnote Studio." After playing around with it, I prefer the XL over the smaller systems.