The Steam Deck is a pc, full cease. It lets me take my total Steam library on the go (and even Epic Video games and different launchers, if you wish to set up Home windows on the Steam Deck). However one draw back to the Steam Deck is that it lacks expandability.
That is the place the Steam Deck Docking Station is available in. It is an $89 dock that falls someplace between what comes with the Nintendo Swap and what I take advantage of to attach a laptop computer to a monitor. This makes it simpler to attach peripherals or connect the Steam Deck to a monitor or TV.
After a short period of time attempting out the Steam Deck Docking Station, I’ve discovered it to be a very non-compulsory accent, particularly if you have already got another powered hub. There are a number of use circumstances the place it could enhance your expertise, however I discovered it to be one thing good, however nowhere close to required.
Steam Deck Docking Station Specs
|Ports||3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Kind-A ports, Ethernet, DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0 (As much as 4K/60 Hz or 1440p/120 Hz)|
|Measurement||4.5 x 1.99 x 1.14 inches (117 x 50.5 x 29 mm)|
|Weight||0.26 kilos (0.12 kg)|
|Charger||45 W, included|
Design of the Steam Deck Docking Station
The Steam Deck is large, however the docking station positive is not. It is simply 4.5 inches vast and takes up little or no house on a desk or close to a TV. It’s miles smaller than the Steam Deck that it really carries.
A small lip holds the Steam Deck up, and in contrast to the Nintendo Swap, there is not any plastic blocking the display, so you need to use it by itself whereas it is docked. However in contrast to the Swap, merely inserting the Steam Deck within the dock does not begin charging it or outputting its display to a monitor; There is a right-angle USB Kind-C port with the right quantity of size to succeed in the highest of the Steam Deck. This cable just isn’t removable from the dock, so let’s hope it does not get broken.
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All the ports are on the again of the dock. The primary two, DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0, are for video. Subsequent to that’s the energy connector, which makes use of an included 45-watt USB-C charger (the identical one which comes with the Steam Deck). Subsequent to that, there is a Gigabit Ethernet port, adopted by the trio of USB 3.1 Gen 1 Kind-A ports for peripherals.
I am glad Valve included the charger right here. Meaning you may preserve a charger with the Steam Deck whereas on the go, but in addition have the dock instantly arrange and able to go everytime you get again to it with out continuously changing cables.
Utilizing the Steam Deck Docking Station
This is the brief model: it really works. After I plugged in my Keychron Q1, pulled mouse dongles and wired controllers out and tried them, they labored.
This is the longer model: usually, I would not use the Docking Station. For me, it is a very good place to stay the Steam Deck to cost. However I like utilizing the Steam Deck to curve up on the sofa and play video games on the build-in controls. I not too long ago completed all of Stray that method.
The Steam Deck’s specs are meant for gaming on the go. Its customized AMD Zen 2 “Van Gogh” APU and eight RDNA 2-based compute items are potent sufficient, however they do not have the specs to explode these video games to a big display. For me, somebody with a gaming desktop, I do not assume plugging right into a monitor is the perfect expertise. But when that is your solely gaming PC, it does work That being mentioned, the dock does not add any graphics energy to the Steam Deck. Soul Calibur VI, Stray and different video games I have been enjoying on the Steam Deck seemed worse when stretched throughout my 28-inch laptop monitor than on the Steam Deck’s 7-inch, 1280 x 800 display.
The monitor facet really works higher for a completely completely different facet of the Steam Deck: the Linux KDE Plasma desktop. Once more, I take advantage of my very own private laptop for looking the net, writing or engaged on different tasks, however on this case, an even bigger display, with a mouse and keyboard permits the Steam Deck to be a desktop Linux machine
Maybe the perfect use of the Steam Deck Docking station is for multiplayer video games. The Deck already helps Bluetooth controllers, so you do not want the dock for that. However if you wish to play a preventing recreation (I like some Soul Calibur) with two controllers, both having a TV or having the Steam Deck propped up in any respect is useful. The Steam Deck does not have a kickstand. For $89, you may maintain it up for this goal. In my preliminary overview, I used a cellphone stand.
There’s a large characteristic we’re nonetheless ready for: FreeSync help, which Valve mentions on its product help web page, however is scheduled for an eventual replace.
The Massive Various
Valve, which makes the Steam Deck, has by no means been quiet about the truth that different USB-C hubs or docks can work with the Steam Deck. Chances are you’ll have already got one thing in your house that works for almost all of those functions.
For the reason that Steam Deck launched, I have been sometimes digging into my drawer for a hub. I’ve received one powered hub sitting round for such a use case that I usually use to plug into my work laptop computer, which has simply two USB-C ports.
Mine’s from some drop-shipped Amazon firm with a nonsensical identify and was insanely low cost on the time. For a PC dock, which is normally designed for the enterprise or professional customers, $89 is not insane. However I feel quite a lot of Steam Deck customers may gain advantage from grabbing a USB hub with pass-through energy supply (utilizing their included Steam Deck charger) for after they want it.
For example, this $35 Anker hub (opens in new tab) with pass-through charging has two USB Kind-A ports, a USB Kind-C information port, and an HDMI output (although not DisplayPort or Ethernet). This $39 hub (opens in new tab) from some firm I’ve by no means heard of has Ethernet and three USB-A ports.
Valve is not locking you into their dock. If you’d like all the pieces it offers you, it’s there, however there are many different choices for individuals like me, who simply need to plug in a USB-A peripheral sometimes.
The Steam Deck Docking Station is sweet to have for sure individuals. If you wish to play on a TV or monitor, decision or particulars be damned, it could assist, nevertheless it’s not the one method. If you wish to use the Linux desktop or play multiplayer video games, it might make extra sense.
It really works finest for individuals who need it in an leisure heart. The dock has its personal energy provide and can look snazzy holding up your Steam Deck.
However for many who need to sometimes add a peripheral, getting a USB hub could also be a greater, or cheaper possibility. It’s for me, and I am glad Valve has given me the choice.