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The Steam Deck – Valve delivers an excellent PC handheld

Closer Look

The Steam deck comes in a relatively non-descript box. Inside you will find the Steam Deck, a case and a charger.


This is the premium case that you get with the most expensive Steam deck bundle. I’ve seen some images of the regular case and they seem to look quite similar. The main difference as far as I could see was that the regular case has a dark interior while the premium has a light-grey interior. Both are hard cases and molded after the Steam deck and have a velvety interior that should not scratch the screen of the Steam deck.

On the outside there is an indentation which can be used to store the charger. A strap covers the area so that the charger does not fall out.

If you have a 3D-printer you can print out a “PlugBud” (EU, US ) that will fit perfectly in the indentation and which will protect your charger even better.

The Steam deck is quite a big handheld. That is to be expected as it has a pretty large screen (for a handheld) but also because Valve has decided to try to make it comfortable as well as offer a full range of controls.

I am sure a lot of people are wondering how it compares to the Nintendo Switch and as you can see, it is a lot bigger.

The screen is a regular IPS LCD-screen which a resolution of 1280 x 800. The size is 7 inch and has a refresh rate of 60 Hz. It can output up to 400 nits. After using the Switch OLED it is obvious this is a cheaper screen that does not give you as much contrast and black levels. And I am sure there are those of you that are a bit disappointed that we do not get any support for variable refresh rate. In the end though Valve needs to compromise on some things, and I think the screen is good enough.

On either side of the screen, you find the controls. The Steam Deck has two analog sticks and two trackpads, one on each side of the screen. On the left side you also get a D-pad and on the right side the X/Y/A/B buttons. There are also a couple of smaller buttons to open a menu and pause a game as well as quick access to the Steam OS menus.

At the top you find the volume controls, a USB-C-port, a 3.5 mm headphone port and the power button. There is also a larger section where the hot air can be vented out from inside the Steam Deck. You can also glimpse two of the shoulder buttons.

At the back of the Steam Deck, you find another area for warm air to be vented out. You also can see all the other shoulder buttons giving you a total of 6 buttons to access in games.

Finally on the bottom you find the micro-SD-slot.

The feel of the Steam Deck is great. It is not super light but light enough that I did not really feel fatigue until I had played for several hours.

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