You typically can't upgrade from 720p to 1080p resolution on the Nintendo Switch without having anything to plug the dock into, but there might be a way around that. This week on the Tom's Guide forums, one user asked if it's possible to run their Nintendo Switch on their laptop without a capture card—a device to record footage from a video source onto a computer.
The short answer is no. You cannot feed the Nintendo Switch's HDMI cable to your laptop because it has only an HDMI-out port. It's possible to do it without a capture card via an HDMI-in port, but that's harder to find, and more expensive, than you might think. The only reason a laptop would have an HDMI-in port is if it had a capture card already built inside. You'd have to use the same app that a capture card would use, and since you wouldn’t be using an external capture, it’s just cutting out the middleman.
If you're traveling, the simplest solution is to purchase a capture card such as the Elgato Game Capture HD (opens in new tab). If not, you might as well buy a 1080p monitor, since it costs less than a capture card.
How to set up a capture card for your laptop
If you can afford a decent capture card with USB 3.0 Type-C support, check out the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S (opens in new tab). It costs $160 and lets you play your Nintendo Switch on your laptop without experiencing any lag whatsoever. The HDMI cable runs from the Switch's dock to the Elgato, and the USB 3.0 connector runs from there to your laptop. Simply download the Game Capture HD program from Elgato's website, and you're in. It's perfect for anyone who is traveling and can't lug around a monitor everywhere they go.
Credit: Laptop Mag