The Steam Deck is Awesome, But Not as a Main Device

A while back, I decided to de-desktop my office in favor of more portable technology. Although desktops offer better performance, especially per dollar, than laptops, they suck up a lot of electricity, and I’m forced to be tethered to my desk. So, I decided to try living with a few devices: an M1 iPad Air and a Steam Deck as my PCs for light and heavy work, respectively, so that I can work anywhere. Here’s why, with my use case, I decided to return my Steam Deck.

  • Form Factor
    This should’ve been a no-brainer for me to figure out, but it wasn’t. The Steam Deck is awesome for gaming handheld, but also at a desk or with a TV using the dock. However, when I want to use a desktop environment for getting stuff done, I have to either remote into the Deck or be at my desk. I had hoped the screen wouldn’t be too small so I could connect a keyboard and mouse and use it as a makeshift laptop. That was out of the question as the screen is great for games, but too small for desktop work. And I was even looking into something like a Nexdock to connect to the Deck before I realized how insane that was.

While that last part isn’t the Steam Deck’s fault, it just reinforces that the Steam Deck cannot be a main computer; something that at no point Valve even claims in their marketing. If you’re someone like me who wants to use more efficient computing in terms of space and electricity, the Deck is a good secondary device if gaming is a top priority, which for me it isn’t. However, if you want something to replace a desktop to do more than just gaming, then get a laptop. I replaced the Steam Deck with a Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3, a budget gaming laptop with a 3050 Ti. It isn’t the most powerful like the Deck, but for my use case it works great and cost the same as my 256GB Steam Deck with Black Friday pricing. Again, these aren’t the same devices in any way, but for my use case, it just made more sense to go back to a more traditional computer. Especially with Steam Link and Parsec offering low latency remote sessions without the need to pay for a GeForce Now subscription for when I want a handheld experience.

The Steam Deck is awesome, and I love that it exists. It just needs to be in the home of someone who will exclusively use it to play games.

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I’m a communications major passionate about technology, video production, and how the world works. http://anthony.guidetti.me

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Anthony Guidetti

I’m a communications major passionate about technology, video production, and how the world works. http://anthony.guidetti.me