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Steam Deck: A Gaming PC on the Go

Valve officially released The Steam Deck Console on February 25, 2022. The Steam Deck is a hand-held gaming device that lets you play games on the go. You can play games from your Steam Library without sacrificing the quality of gameplay.

The Steam Deck gaming handheld is built on the primary components of Valve’s past hardware. However, with a much more focused and singular concept that does not try to replace gaming PCs in vain. 

Its main feature, portability, can be likened to the Nintendo Switch more than anything else. Even though it shares similarities with the Nintendo Switch, the Steam Deck is much more powerful. The Steam Deck also has an available but separately sold dock. 

Valve’s hand-held gaming device runs on Linux, but the SteamOS front end is straightforward to use. It lets you easily install and play many Windows games via Proton. The Linux backbone includes a full desktop environment, which leaves lots of room for tinkering and classic game emulation.

The Steam Deck packs a ton of power in a portable (yet rather chunky) package and it has a reasonable starting Steam Deck Price of $399. Valve’s handheld is a terrific device for taking your Steam library on the go, but the software still has some quirks that need to be addressed, especially if you want to go all-in on emulation and game mods.

The Steam Deck is Portable! But a Tad Too Big for my Taste.

Steam Deck

The Steam Deck borders on being unwieldy due to its large size in comparison to the other portable gaming devices e.g. a Nintendo Switch. The device is nearly a foot wide and weighs almost a pound and a half. 

The Nintendo Switch with Joy-Cons attached is two inches slimmer and half a pound lighter than the Steam Deck. This may be a surprise since the Steam Deck and OLED Switch both have 7-inch screens. You can pack the Steam Deck in a bag, but it’s far too big to tuck into a jacket or comfortably play on the train. 

A huge part of the Steam Deck’s frame consists of the control surfaces and grips, which are considerably wider than the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons. The Nintendo Switch gains an edge in portability because the Steam Deck’s control surfaces and grips are not removable. 

Steam Deck: Specs and Connectivity

In this part of the article, we will elaborate further on the Steam Deck Console Specs. The Steam Deck’s 7-inch screen is functional but unimpressive. It’s the same size as the OLED Switch, with a slightly higher 1,280-by-800-pixel resolution. The screen uses a 60Hz IPS LCD, so it’s bright and easy to read, but it lacks the deep blacks and vibrant colors you get with an OLED.

Its internal hardware uses a custom AMD processor with a quad-core, eight-thread Zen 2 CPU that pushes up to 448 GFlops, and an RDNA 2 GPU that pushes up to 1.6 TFlops. The system uses 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and comes with 64GB of storage on a PCIe Gen 2 x1 m.2 SSD.

For connectivity, the Steam Deck has a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C port that handles nearly every wired connection besides 3.5mm headsets. . It charges the Steam Deck with the included USB-C wall adapter, and works with any 45W PD3.0 power supply. The Steam Deck can output audio or video over USB-C or DisplayPort 1.4.

Juan Cesar Torres
Juan Cesar Torres
College student. Gamer since birth. Learned to read because of Pokémon. Dreams of buying a Nintendo Switch. Always looking for game recommendations (will play anything).
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