Steam Deck OLED Version Review and Teardown
The much-anticipated Steam Deck OLED version has officially hit the shelves, bringing with it a slew of enhancements that make it a formidable upgrade over its predecessor. In a recent review and teardown video by popular tech YouTuber Dave2D, the gaming handheld’s impressive features and improvements were laid bare.
Display and Performance:
The standout upgrade lies in its 7.4-inch 90Hz OLED custom Samsung screen, a substantial improvement over the previous 7-inch 60Hz IPS LCD. This results in a more vibrant and responsive display, supporting a wide 110% DCI-P3 color gamut compared to the previous 67% sRGB. The HDR peak brightness of 1000 nits (up from 400 nits) contributes to a visually stunning gaming experience.
Battery Life and Efficiency:
Boasting a larger 50Wh battery (previously 40Wh), the OLED Steam Deck delivers extended gaming sessions. Rigorous testing with heavyweight titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Controls showcased the OLED Steam Deck’s prowess. It demonstrated an impressive runtime of more than 2 hours on a full charge, surpassing its predecessor by a substantial 20 minutes. For less demanding games such as Dead Cells, the OLED version excels further, boasting an extended runtime of up to 8 hours—an impressive 1.5 hours longer than its predecessor.
Steam Deck OLED Version is a remarkable reduction in noise and temperature during high-load gaming sessions. According to Dave2D, the OLED version operates 2 decibels quieter and maintains a temperature that is 6.5 degrees Celsius cooler compared to its predecessor.
The internal design remains consistent with its predecessor but incorporates a larger and quieter fan, larger heatsinks, and a more efficient 6nm AMD “Sephiroth” APU (up from 7nm “Aerith”). The RAM has been upgraded to 6400MT/s from 5500MT/s, contributing to smoother multitasking and gaming experiences.
Design and Ergonomics:
Weighing in up to 29 grams lighter, depending on the configuration, the OLED version introduces subtle but effective design changes. The rocker is now 1mm taller and wider, enhancing the overall hands-on experience. The buttons feature a darker print, and the improved haptics provide higher fidelity feedback.
Connectivity and Charging:
Noteworthy improvements extend to connectivity with Wi-Fi 6E support, ensuring 2-3 times faster download speeds. Bluetooth 5.3 with a dedicated antenna introduces AptX HD and AptX Low Latency, along with wake-up via Bluetooth controller. The on-board microphone now doubles as a headphone jack, offering versatility in audio options.
Enhanced User Experience:
The Steam Deck OLED version introduces a redesigned touchpad for improved fidelity and edge detection, along with a 180Hz higher touchscreen polling rate. The addition of multi-color LED indicators, a longer 2.5-meter power cord, and a faster 0.8C charge rate (20% to 80% in 45 minutes) further contribute to an enhanced user experience.
Maintenance and Repairs:
The device’s construction facilitates easier maintenance with Plummer screws replacing Phillips screws, mechanical screws on the back cover with metal tabs, and a redesigned bumper switch for improved reliability. Notably, routine repairs are streamlined, reducing the steps required.
Pricing and Variants:
The pricing structure sees the 512GB version retailing for $549, with the 1TB version priced at $649. The latter includes a new carrying case with a second, smaller enclosure inside. A limited clear version will be available in the U.S. and Canada for $679. Additionally, the 256GB LCD version sees a price drop to $399, offering a more budget-friendly option.
In conclusion, the Steam Deck OLED version emerges as a comprehensive upgrade, addressing performance, design, and user experience. With its impressive display, extended battery life, and refined internals, it solidifies its position as a top-tier gaming handheld in the market.