Steam Deck: Is Valve’s Handheld Gaming PC a Good Buy?

Not so long ago, serious gamers wondered if gaming laptops could ever compare to larger desktop machines. Recently, gaming laptops have gotten much better and are a lot more popular. A few companies have even released gaming phones, like the Asus ROG Phone 5, and dedicated gaming handheld devices, like the Nintendo Switch.
Most recently, Valve introduced the Steam Deck. This device looks something like a Nintendo Switch, but its power and features have most people referring to it as a gaming PC, even though it’s small enough to resemble a tablet or smartphone. It sounds like a great deal, but does Steam Deck live up to its promises?

Steam Deck Versus Nintendo Switch

Most people immediately compare Steam Deck to the Nintendo Switch. The two devices are somewhat similar in size and offer similar experiences as handheld gaming devices. Since many people already know about the Nintendo Switch, it might help contrast the two devices to understand what the Steam Deck offers.
According to CNET, the resemblance stops with the fact that the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch are both handheld gaming devices. The Steam Deck comes with more power, extra features, and a higher price. For instance, the Nintendo Switch sells for about $300, and a Nintendo Switch Lite only costs about $200. In contrast, Steam Deck comes with three options:
  • 64GB storage: $399
  • 256GB storage: $529
  • 512GB storage: $649
Most of all, a Nintendo Switch might not provide the versatility of Valve’s device, but it does provide a plug-and-play experience. The Steam Deck takes a little more fiddling, though it can run many PC games and even various browsers and operating systems. For example, PC Magazine says the Steam Deck can boot with Windows 10 or Windows 11, and some users have successfully booted up with Chrome.
Those differences put the Steam Deck into a different category than a Nintendo Switch or an old-fashioned Gameboy. It’s genuinely a handheld PC and not just a device to play games. The device also weighs a bit more and has a larger case than a Nintendo Switch. That might make it less comfortable to hold for long stretches. As a result, many gamers say they end up using a stand with their Steam Deck. Still, some players have observed that the device and controls fit adult hands better than the Switch.
Some basic facts about this device include:
  • It comes with a 1,280 by 800, seven-inch display.
  • Purchasers can choose between 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB of onboard storage.
  • Steam runs with SteamOS, a version of Linux, but it can also boot with various operating systems.

How to Protect Gaming Devices

When you buy a Steam Deck, you’re purchasing a sophisticated handheld PC. Most likely, you’ll pay as much as you would for a mid-priced PC too. Unfortunately, Valve’s new device is still vulnerable to damage. Consider an Upsie warranty for Steam Deck handheld gaming PCs to protect that investment.
Here are some critical advantages that an Upsie extended warranty for gaming devices offers:
  • Choose between an affordable two-year or three-year protection plan.
  • Enjoy 24-7 access to live claims representatives by phone.
  • Gain robust protection against accidents, premature wear, and defects.
  • Get local or mail-in repairs, and with mail-in service, Upsie pays for two-day postage each way.
With an Upsie warranty, customers can make unlimited claims up to the purchase price of the device. Plus, Upsie is affordable and costs up to 70 percent less than warranties sold by retailers or manufacturers. As a result, customers get the best protection for the best price.
Upsie also offers extended warranties for the Nintendo Switch and various gaming consoles and handheld devices. Upsie also protects PCs, smartphones, and various electronics or appliances. Buy the best electronics with the confidence of knowing that Upsie will step in to fix problems.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.