Product Manufacturer: Valve Corp
64GB from $840 to $860, 256GB from $999 to $1080, 512GB from $1107 to $1240
Estimated Time With Gear:
5 Months

What Is It?: Handheld gaming console
Screen Type:
Model Reviewed: Model: 512GB Steam Deck

After seeing a ton of people enjoying the Steam Deck in other countries, I decided that I wanted to enjoy the fun too. Unfortunately, I am an Australian, and Valve looks down on us convicts, so I had to get creative in obtaining the device. First, I started looking at the Facebook marketplace; although there were many there, they were priced way too high for me. I next looked at a forwarding service, but the requirement of changing details, setup and using a VPN seemed like more work than I was willing to put in the time to organise. Lastly, I jumped over to eBay and was lucky enough to bid on one. Although I lost the auction, the other person who won quickly backed out of the sale. The result: I now had a slightly used but basically new handheld coming my way. 

I was nervous about this purchase, but the person selling was straightforward, and the lower price also meant lower import tax, so it worked out cheaper than purchasing and importing the AYA Neo 2021 edition on top of that. As a bonus, I could still get it cheaper than what is currently on offer at KoganDick Smith and Catch of the Day at the time. With the Steam Deck in the post, all there was to worry about was waiting. Lucky for me, the seller had the device packed and shipped within about a week and on my doorstep not long after that.




  • CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)

  • GPU: 8 RDNA 2 Cus, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 Tflops FP32)

  • APU power: 4-15W


  • 16 GB LPDDR5 on-board RAM (5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels)

Storage: (Options)

  • 64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)

  • 256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)

  • 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)

Controls and Input:
Gamepad controls:

  • A B X Y buttons

  • D-pad

  • L & R analog triggers

  • L & R bumpers

  • View & Menu buttons

  • 4 x assignable grip buttons

  • Thumbsticks

  • 2 x full-size analog sticks with capacitive touch

  • Haptics

  • HD haptics

  • Trackpads

  • 2 x 32.5mm square trackpads with haptic feedback

  • 55% better latency compared to Steam Controller

  • Pressure-sensitivity for configurable click strength

  • Gyro

  • 6-Axis IMU


  • Resolution:1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio)

  • Type – Optically bonded IPS LCD for enhanced readability

  • Display size – 7″ diagonal

  • Brightness – 400 nits typical

  • Refresh rate – 60Hz

  • Touch-enabled

  • Ambient light sensor

Now my new device had arrived, it was time to unpack the deck. In the package were the Steam Deck 512GB Edition, a carry case and a U.S USB C Charger, and a small carry case for the charger, which was nice and simple. I opened the case, and the Steam Deck was there in all its glory. At the end of this process, a small beacon of light and a sound of angels singing — however, this last part may have just been in my head. I was excited to get the device set up, and after a bit of time finding the right cables, I had the Steam Deck charging, setting up Wi-Fi and logging into my Steam profile. 

Once the device was updated and charged, I set to work looking through the listed games that stated they worked on my Steam Deck, an easy thing to do as they have their tab in the library called “Great on Deck.” This list is quite comprehensive for me as I have been a Steam user for a long time. This simple folder made it easy to find the games I enjoy that are tested to run well on the deck. Keeping this in mind, there were many other options for games that the green or yellow indicators missed, and many alternate websites and forums are dedicated to listing the complete compatibility lists. However, having an easy option built into Steam itself is nice.  

Rogue Legacy 2 was the first game I booted up on the Steam Deck. It didn’t put the Deck through its paces, but it gave me a feel for the controls and the system’s weight. Rogue Legacy 2 ran like a dream, and I lost track of time. After my gaming session, I put the device to bed and moved on with my day. I realised the Steam Deck case was too big for my everyday travel, I reached out to the JSAUX for some, and they were happy enough to oblige me with some items to review. Please see my reviews on the gear on this website. They sent the mod case kit, cooling fan, screen protectors and a replacement backplate. Until they arrived, the Steam Deck would be a home unit. I picked up and played a few games in my backlog and some newer titles while waiting for the case to come to the Deck could join my day-to-day adventures. The games I played functioned quite well and with little adjustment. The main games were Control, God of WarMarvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesMarvel’s SpidermanDead CellsKatana ZeroCult of the Lamb and a few others that escaped my memory. These games were great, and it was fantastic to pick up where I left off with cloud saves loading and the games booting with little fanfare. Most of the games ran out of the box, while God of War and the two Spider-Man games took a little tweaking to get them to run as smoothly as I liked.


  • Bluetooth 5.0 (support for controllers, accessories, and audio)

  • Dual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac


  • Stereo with embedded DSP for an immersive listening experience

  • Dual microphone array

  • 3.5mm stereo headphone/headset jack

  • Multichannel audio via DisplayPort over USB-C, standard USB-C, or Bluetooth 5.0


  • 45W USB Type-C PD3.0 power supply

  • 40Whr battery. 2 – 8 hours of gameplay


  • microSD

  • UHS-I supports SD, SDXC and SDHC

External connectivity:

  • Controllers & Displays

  • USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode support; up to 8K @60Hz or 4K @120Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2

Size and Weight:

  • Size – 298mm x 117mm x 49mm

  • Weight – Approx. 669 grams


  • SteamOS 3.0 (Arch-based)

  • KDE Plasma – desktop mode

Before the Mod case arrived, I also acquired some skins for the Deck’s face, rear, top and bottom. I was successful in applying about half of them. As you can see in the photos, my Deck looks like a reverse panda with the trackpads, top and rear being white and the rest remaining default. Once the JSAUX gear arrived, I quickly covered my unit with the protective case. Once the Mod Case had arrived, I was excited as the protection and feel of the case were fantastic; it protected the joysticks with the front cover and made the unit small enough to fit in my day-to-day bags. 

Although I do have a laptop, the option of smart sleep and wake feature of the Steam Deck made it easier to drop in and out of games. I started off playing Control, and it ran well, but I soon found I would need to take some headphones or earphones with me as while the sound is fantastic, it is also loud enough to annoy others around you. The main problem with the small screen is that it makes reading some text hard. The IPS screen is great to play during the day, and the antiglare on the 512GB model means I have minimal glare or reflection from light on the screen. Some titles had a little stuttering here and there, and I needed to look further into the settings to ensure that they ran well. The latest update with FSR enhancement has helped keep the games looking great while also running smoothly. I am generally running most games at 40FPS, which is a stable option, although the screen is rated for up to 60 FPS, some games struggle to meet and maintain that. 

The Steam Deck is not only a portable console, but also a small portable PC. Running Linux in desktop mode and hooking up a monitor, keyboard, and mouse means that, as a user, you can further the Deck’s usefulness. While I did play with this feature, I have yet to explore it extensively. 

Names might be different, but many options are available after switching to desktop mode, from installing software and widgets to browsing the web. Set up your desktop with apps or install them from the “Discover” browser menu. This browser has a range of applications, from word processing, video editing, music players, simple games, retro emulators, and more. I mainly used it to install Desky, an app for use while in game mode, and play around and install Space Cadet Pinball. Returning to game mode is as simple as opening the desktop and selecting the return to game mode icon. The Steam Deck will reboot and return to Steam Decks OS.

While I have had my Steam Deck, I have also enjoyed the abundance of forums and video tutorials on what to do with the deck. I went from a basic user to an intermediate user relatively fast. The simplicity of the OS design and the optional desktop mode makes editing and making the Deck your own quite easy. To date, I have installed the following Decky extensions to add to my unit’s usefulness:

I installed the animation changer, allowing me to implement additional boot and sleep and wake screens. I have them on randomly to make it more fun each time I boot the Deck. On top of that, I also have the vibrant deck extension for colour correction, a Controller tool for addition and easier syncing of Bluetooth Controllers, and Network info for periodically checking the connections. From here, I delve into the CSS Loader. This addition to the deck is a way to modify the look of the Steam Decks OS and library layout. With this addition, I added the How Long to Beat extension and edited the layout to display the HLTB information and a more visually appealing look of the games when opening their page. There is so much more to do with the Deck extension, and it is impressive to see how far the modding community has come.

In conclusion, the real question is: should you buy a Steam Deck? Considering the variable price and the fact that you currently have to import the console to Australia, this is a tricky question. I don’t regret purchasing the Steam Deck; it does what my laptop cannot; with the fast sleep and wake function, it is like having a better-quality Nintendo Switch. Only some of my games work with it, and battery life is highly dependent on the games played, but it has changed how I play them. I love having this in my bag for work or my daily shoulder bag. In saying that, I must also carry an additional charger and cables, which means added weight. So, for me personally, if you have the cash and you want something that simply works and has an extensive library of games available, this would be my choice. There is plenty to work with. I have gone from just using it to play games to playing with the setup, layouts and more into the nitty gritty than I thought I would. For the average consumer, it might still be on the steep side for the price, but in terms of a do-all device, it is very capable and has somewhat refreshed the handheld market. While it is great, it still has some flaws, luckily Valve seems to have thrown its support behind the handheld and those issues are updated regularly.