Steam Deck™

Valve has a mixed track record when it comes to their hardware. The Index is a cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) headset that features game-changing controllers. The Steam Machines and the Steam Controller were an absolute failure in comparison to more traditional gaming PCs and gamepads. Surprisingly functional local game streaming was made possible via the Steam Link, but it was later succeeded by an app.

The Steam Deck gaming portable is now available for the price of $399. It is based on the Steam Machines, but has a much narrower and more specific concept that does not aim to compete with traditional gaming personal computers. It's most comparable to the Nintendo Switch, despite being larger, more powerful, and devoid of a docking station (one is scheduled to arrive in late spring). The Steam Deck is powered by Linux, but the SteamOS front end is extremely user-friendly, and it enables you to effortlessly install and play a wide variety of Windows games with the use of Proton. The core of Linux consists of a complete desktop environment, which provides a great deal of leeway for customization and the emulation of older video games.

In the Past Year, Our Team of Testers Investigated and Reviewed 39 Different Pieces of Gaming Hardware.

The Steam Deck is a portable device that packs a lot of machine into a cumbersome package. It begins at a reasonable price of $399, but we recommend spending the additional $130 on the mid-tier model, which has four times the amount of onboard storage (it is important to note that all three Steam Deck models house the same CPU, GPU, and RAM power; the display and storage type and capacity are the only things that differ). Having said that, despite encouraging first impressions, Valve's handheld has a considerable amount of idiosyncrasies that need to be solved, particularly if you wish to connect it to your TV or monitor. This is especially the case if you want to play games on a larger screen.

A Big Portable

The Steam Deck is on the cumbersome end of the spectrum when it comes to what you might think of as a portable gaming system because it is almost a foot wide and weighs almost an entire pound and a half. When attached, the Joy-Con controllers on the Nintendo Switch are over two inches thinner and weigh half a pound less than those for the Steam Deck. Given that both the Steam Deck and the OLED Switch feature panels of 7 inches, this comes as a bit of a surprise. Although it may be stored in a bag, the Steam Deck is much too large to be easily tucked inside a jacket or played with while riding the train. Even my gaming notebook, the Asus ROG Zephyrus 14, which is substantially deeper and heavier than the 4.6-inch-deep handheld, is only about half an inch broader than the portable device.