Are you considering picking up one of Valve’s Steam Decks? So, there are a few important things you should know before purchasing steam deck. I have used the Steam Deck for about a month and a half, I’ve noticed some key aspects that potential buyers should be aware of. In this article, we shared five things that you should know before buying a Valve Steam Deck.
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1. Different Models and Storage Options
Before purchasing a Steam Deck, it’s crucial to understand that there are three different models available, each with varying storage capacities and types. The base model features a 64GB eMMC internal storage, which is the slowest among the three options. The second model offers a faster 256GB NVMe SSD storage, while the highest-tier model, which I personally own, comes with a 512GB NVMe SSD storage that Valve claims to be the fastest.
Apart from storage, the models also differ in price and offer additional perks like carrying cases and exclusive Steam community profiles. However, the main distinguishing factor lies in the storage size and type. If you’re looking to save money, the base model can be a option with the flexibility to use external storage via SD card slots. On the other hand, if you prioritize faster storage and an anti-etched screen, the highest-tier model might be worth considering.
2. Size and Portability
The Steam Deck is a sizable device that may not be suitable for individuals with small hands. While it feels comfortable for those with average-sized hands, users with smaller hands might find it challenging to operate, especially when using a case. Additionally, due to its bulkier build, the Steam Deck is not the most portable handheld gaming device. You’ll need to carry it in a bag rather than simply it into your pocket. Ensuring proper protection is essential to avoid any damage to the device, particularly the screen, when transporting it.
3. Storage Limitations
If you have an extensive library of games on your Steam account or plan on storing numerous games on the device, you’ll likely need to upgrade the storage. AAA games, in particular, require a significant amount of storage space from 70GB to 100GB. If you opt for the 64GB base model, you may face limitations in storing larger games, compelling you to focus on smaller games or titles from older generations. To address this, adding an SD card becomes necessary, allowing you to store more games and have easy access to your entire collection.
4. Versatility as a PC
One remarkable feature of the Steam Deck is its ability to function as both a handheld gaming device and a portable PC. If you engage in light tasks like photo editing, web browsing, or school-related work, you can connect external devices such as keyboards and mice to use the Steam Deck like a PC. Moreover, you can dock it to an external gaming monitor or TV to play games directly from the steam deck. The Linux OS, which is similar to Windows, powers the Steam Deck. However, if you prefer Windows, you have the option to install it and utilize the device as a Windows PC. While it’s not meant for heavy workloads, it offers sufficient power for everyday tasks.
5. Battery Life and Power Management
When it comes to battery life, the Steam Deck has certain limitations. For extended gaming sessions, especially with AAA titles, it’s advisable to invest in a power bank. The battery life may not be sufficient if you plan on playing for more than an hour and a half. While there are ways to optimize battery consumption, such as reducing brightness or limiting frame rates, these measures may negatively impact your gaming experience. Alternatively, connecting the Steam Deck to a charger or docking it to a TV can help keep the device powered for extended periods. Additionally, purchasing a power bank with a high capacity allows you to play with decent settings without worrying about battery drain.
The Valve Steam Deck offers an exciting handheld gaming experience with the potential for PC-like functionality. By considering the different models and storage options, the device’s size and portability, storage limitations, versatility as a PC, and battery life management, you can make an informed decision before purchasing a Steam Deck. Remember to assess your gaming preferences, storage needs, and usage patterns to select the most suitable model for your requirements.
Can I upgrade the storage on the Steam Deck?
Yes, the Steam Deck provides SD card slots, allowing you to expand the storage capacity with external storage.
Is the Steam Deck compatible with Windows?
While the Steam Deck uses Linux OS by default, you have the option to install Windows and use it as a Windows PC.
Does the Steam Deck come with a carrying case?
Depending on the model, certain Steam Deck packages include additional accessories like carrying cases.
Can I connect a keyboard and mouse to the Steam Deck?
Yes, the Steam Deck supports external devices like keyboards and mice, enabling you to use it like a PC.
Is the Steam Deck suitable for heavy workloads?
The Steam Deck is primarily designed for gaming and light tasks. While it can handle some workload, it’s not intended for intensive tasks typically performed on a desktop or high-end laptop.