Steam Deck’s OLED Upgrade Delivers a Nice Step Forward

Valve’s Steam Deck was met with rave reviews when it launched back in February of 2022. Acting as a kind of handheld PC, the Steam Deck didn’t exactly deliver on a new concept, rather it raised the bar on what already existed. As Apple achieved with the iPhone back in 2007, the Steam Deck set a new standard, leading to a rush of imitators and explosive market growth.

While Valve has stated that a full hardware upgrade with a major power boost and redesign is years away, the OLED release acts as a welcome stopgap measure. Make no mistake, the OLED Steam Deck is more than just a fantastic new screen, it also increases performance, and it’s again demonstrated what the hardware division of Valve can accomplish.

By the Tech

The most visible upgrade for the new Steam Deck is its eponymous OLED screen. With the new display comes brighter colours, darker blacks, a slightly lighter weight, a much-improved battery life, a higher refresh rate, and lower display latency. Aiding in the backing technology is the inclusion of Wifi 6E, which can triple download speed and offer more reliable online connections.

The new CPU in the Steam Deck runs at a constantly faster clock speed, and the memory bandwidth has seen a 15% jump in performance, all without sacrificing battery life. The better battery also facilitates faster charging, with Valve claiming an empty to full charge time of just over an hour.

The Experience for New Owners

OLED Steam Deck

For players, the changes to the OLED Steam Deck will be both felt and seen. The slightly improved and more reliable performance of the new model will translate to higher and more consistent frame rates. It might not be enough to bring much-loved titles like Elden Ring up to the all-important 60FPS mark, but it still provides an experience superior to that available on the original model.

Better battery life also manifests as improved viability outside of standard video games and into browsing and browser gaming. Claiming and playing slots with free spins UK websites is already possible on older models thanks to emulated mouse support, but the new machine will take the experience even further. Less demanding uses like this mean that players of simpler games could play on and off for days without charging, which is far more convenient.

Setting Up for the New Generation

While the Steam Deck has set the standard for the new world of handheld PCs, it’s still too early for the machine to rest on its laurels as a total victor. Like Netflix’s place in video streaming, it’s possible that challengers offering more could arrive to take the crown. Unlike streaming services cutting up viewing libraries, however, competition in the handheld PC space is a universally promising development.

Other systems like the ROG Ally have introduced real market competition, helping avoid the type of monopolistic grip that Valve has on the PC storefront space. Without others, the OLED might never have been developed, and we can only hope they push the future Steam Deck models to new heights.

Whatever happens, for now, we’re happy to see that Valve is still taking big swings with the OLED Steam Deck. It’s a corner of the market that’s been undervalued for too long, still with largely untapped potential. It’s been an interesting couple of years, and we can’t wait to see what comes next.

For more Technology and Gadgets from H&N Magazine



Most Popular