SteamDeck OLED Review: He’s the King!

Released two years ago, the SteamDeck has shouldered the heavy burden of representing a new category of products that most gamers among you could not ignore: PC consoles. Indeed, since the release of the SteamDeck, competing products have multiplied with the Asus ROG Ally, the Lenovo Legion Go, or more recently, the Thomson Roxxor Infinity. With the latter, and because we’re talking about the PC universe, we expected the SteamDeck to be quickly overshadowed in terms of power.

And it wasn’t to be! Despite its new competitors, the SteamDeck is still in the race and compensates for its lack of power with a software part that is perfectly mastered today. At the very beginning, it was a bit more complicated, but after 6 months of updates, SteamOS is stable enough to prove that user experience remains a key value when choosing. You only have to look at the overlays of Asus or Lenovo to understand that the SteamDeck can boast of being considered a console and not a PC like its competitors.

While Valve has been clear that we won’t be seeing a SteamDeck 2 anytime soon, it was in November that we were able to discover a new version of the SteamDeck, the SteamDeck OLED, a bit like the Nintendo Switch OLED with the Switch. And that’s good; we just spent some time with the SteamDeck OLED, and here’s what we think!

Features of the SteamDeck OLED:


A quick reminder of the technical characteristics of the SteamDeck OLED:


Finishes & Colours– Plastic
finish – Black color
– Limited version with a transparent black shell but only available in the United States
Screen– HDR
OLED display – 7.4-inch
diagonal – 10-point MultiTouch
– HD+ resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels (224ppi)
– Format: 16:10 – Refresh rate: 90Hz
– 1000 nits
brightness – 110% DCI-P3
– Response time 0.1ms
Flea– AMD 6nm
APU – AMD Zen2 architecture – RDNA 2.0

– Power from 4W to 15W
RAM– 16GB LPDDR5
Storage– 512GB or 1TB NVMe SSD
Audio– Stereo Speakers
– Mic x2
Connections– 1 USB Type-C port, Display Port 1.4, Thunderbolt 3, PD 3.0 – UHS-1 MicroSD card reader – 1 x 3.5mm
jack – Wi-Fi 6E
– Bluetooth 5.3
Lever– Built-in
joystick – 2 Analog Sticks with capacitive
touch – 1 D-Pad
– 1 Trackpad
– Display and Menu
Buttons – A, B, X, Y
buttons – LB, LT, RB, RT
buttons – High-resolution
haptic feedback – 2 x 32.5mm square trackpads with haptic
feedback – Pressure sensitivity to configure the force applied to clicks
– 6-axis gyroscope (IMU)
Biometrics-N/A
Camera– FHD 1080p camera


In addition to the SteamDeck itself, there is not only the 45W charger but also a protective case that offers a 2-in-1 function, and not the least. Indeed, if you don’t need your charger and want a smaller and lighter case to travel, it is integrated into the big case. Very well thought out on Valve’s part to offer a double case that can be adapted according to uses. Practice.

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The Differences: OLED vs LCD


The first thing to remember is that the SteamDeck OLED is not a SteamDeck 2 but a refresh of the SteamDeck, in the same way that the Nintendo Switch OLED is compared to the original Switch. While some features have evolved for the better, the SteamDeck OLED offers exactly the same power as its predecessor. The same goes for the design.

By the way, at first glance, apart from the power button that turns orange, it’s hard to tell the difference between the base model and the OLED model. On the other hand, from the first grip, you feel a small difference in the grip. Indeed, the SteamDeck OLED is 30g lighter. It’s subtle, but you can feel it in your hand. If the APU has not changed and therefore offers the same power, we will note interesting evolutions such as Bluetooth 5.3 and especially WiFi 6E for faster downloads (up to 3 times faster) but also better network stability.

But that’s not all, since the battery has now been increased from 40Wh to 50Wh, which allows for more basic autonomy and even more thanks to the new OLED screen, which consumes less energy than an LCD panel. Speaking of the screen, it’s a bit bigger because the screen bezels are thinner and above all, in addition to the OLED panel, it offers a refresh rate of 90Hz, it’s clearly not as good as 120Hz but more than enough to feel a better fluidity in gaming and in the user interface.

If we find a similar APU between the two SteamDecks, the one of the SteamDeck OLED has evolved somewhat with a 6nm engraving (compared to 7nm), this allows it to be a little less energy-consuming but also to maintain the GPU frequency a little better, for example, which translates into more stable performance.

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SteamOS, the nerf de la guerre


With all these small differences, we will have understood that Valve has listened to its headphones from the beginning and therefore offers a new SteamDeck with everything that we didn’t necessarily appreciate on the first version or that was missing compared to the competition. But what struck us the most in the end was to see that the games, in general, were much more stable in their performance. As a result, we suspected the effect of the new version of AMD’s APU, but not only…

Indeed, we must not forget Valve’s work with SteamOS, which offers an OS designed for games and with which we really have this impression of having a console in our hands and not a PC. Just look at what the competition offers, often with an overlay to Windows that often makes you alternate between the controller and the touchscreen, the virtual keyboard too small or too big, etc. The proof is in the fact that we lent an Asus ROG Ally to a SteamDeck user and it didn’t stick at all, despite the presence of the Epic Game Store, Xbox Game Pass, and Battle.net.

So, it’s easy to understand that SteamOS doesn’t offer to launch other platforms like the ones we just mentioned, but that’s the price to pay for this console experience. In reality, there are ways to install these PC platforms on Windows, but it’s not native and it requires some small manipulations that you don’t have to do with an Asus ROG Ally or a Lenovo Legion Go, for example… But to use all these machines for some time, SteamOS is so well thought out that we forget about the other platforms, especially when we see that some very specific games for Windows are coming to Steam (we think of Microsoft’s games).

So yes, not all games are optimized for the SteamDeck, which is why Valve offers a “verified games” program, but even when this is not the case, it is often mainly due to fonts that are too small or a mouse interface that is still present.

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Path of Exile comes to mind, for example, which is not verified but is still perfectly usable on the SteamDeck.

It’s not for AAA but…


With time, we will have understood that we are still in the world of PCs. Also, it is easy to understand that the more powerful the machine, the more it will be able to run the most recent games. With a newer APU, the Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go are much better prepared to run the latest games, which is to be expected.

And yet…

The SteamDeck does very well, even on super demanding games. Spiderman Remastered, God of War, and CyberPunk 2077 come to mind. But how does Valve come up with this sorcery? Simply because on a smaller screen, you already pay less attention to details, which allows you to launch games in “LOW”. But that’s not all, since the SteamDeck is limited to 720p, which saves resources. Needless to say, for indie games and emulators, the SteamDeck is the perfect machine.

Even Baldur’s Gate III, the game of the year 2023 for us, passes quietly. We thank AMD’s FSR technology, which is no stranger to this.

Finally enduring


We’re going to finish on a bit more technical part. As we said above, in terms of performance, there hasn’t really been any evolution other than a better overall stability. On the other hand, the SteamDeck OLED now hosts WiFi 6E, which will allow transfers two to three times faster, but above all, a more stable network part.

And for the battery, the SteamDeck OLED offers a 50Wh battery, compared to 40Wh for the SteamDeck LCD. According to Valve, that’s 30% to 50% more battery life! In fact, we have to admit that we are there somewhere, but once again, everything will depend on your games. We were able to last more than 2 hours with Baldur’s Gate 3 or Spiderman: Remastered, which is quite appreciable. Basically, and to put it simply, we find the autonomy of a first-generation Nintendo Switch, and even if it’s not the best of the best, we appreciate this advance, especially since it didn’t have an influence on the weight of the machine. On indie games, we were even able to reach 5 or 6 hours, which is more than enough.

OUR TAKE


After testing the SteamDeck LCD, the Asus ROG Ally, the Lenovo Legion Go, or the Thomson Roxxor Infinity, let’s keep it simple: the SteamDeck OLED is the best PC console right now! The hardware side is very well thought out, but above all, SteamOS makes all the difference with the competitors on Windows. Added to this is an unbeatable price-performance ratio.

The addition of all the little new features such as the OLED screen, WiFi 6E, or the new battery corrects many of the negative remarks of the SteamDeck LCD. So now, to be honest, if you have an LCD model, we’re not necessarily going to advise you to switch to an OLED model, but if you want to enter the world of console-PC, the SteamDeck OLED is the device to have first.

And finally, as a reminder, the SteamDeck depends a little on your Steam library and for the time being, PC consoles remain primarily aimed at PC players. If you’ve never had a PC before, it’s a good way to get into the PC world at a lower cost and be sure that you can change your machine while keeping your entire library of games.

5/5 - (4 votes)

Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek, where I've demonstrated my passion for technology through extensive blogging. My expertise spans various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, with a focus on providing practical and valuable guides. Additionally, I delve into WordPress-related subjects. You can find more about me on my Linkedin!, Twitter!, Reddit

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