Gaming

Steam Deck Dock Overview

The Steam Deck is freakin’ superior, it’s arguably one of the best bang for buck transportable gaming machine out proper now. However with a dock, it might probably get even higher. The Steam Deck Dock elevates the Deck’s performance to match the opposite main gaming handheld available on the market, the Nintendo Swap.

At $89 USD, is the asking worth value it to make the Steam Deck a hybrid gaming machine? It’s positively value getting a dock, however the worth for the Valve one would possibly make you think about some alternate options.

What’s Steam Deck Dock

Steam Deck™ Docking Station is designed so as to add extensibility to your gaming setup. Whether or not connecting your Steam Deck to your lounge TV, establishing in your work desk, or charging in your evening stand, the Dock is ideal for extending the locations and methods you need to use your Steam Deck.

Not too huge or too small, Docking Station is precisely the suitable dimension and form to carry Steam Deck securely. From the suitable angle USB-C connector at precisely the suitable size, to the molded rubber seat to make sure there’s no scratching, the Dock was made for Steam Deck.

What’s within the field

The Steam Deck Dock is available in a barebones cardboard field, inside you’ll discover:

  • The Dock
  • 45W Charger to USB-C
  • A handbook

Ports and Connectivity

From left to proper, the Dock has connectivity for:

  • HDMI 2.0
  • DisplayPort 1.4
  • USB-C energy supply move by means of
  • Gigabit ethernet port
  • 3x USB-A 3.1 Gen1 Ports

Design & Construct High quality

The Steam Deck Dock is a streamlined and minimal {hardware} coming from Valve. It does precisely what it must do, no extra no much less. The Dock has a small footprint at solely 11.7cm extensive, 2.9cm tall and 5.05cm deep. I used to be apprehensive that the Dock wouldn’t be huge and durable sufficient to carry the Steam Deck reliably, however I’ve no points with slippage within the dock.

The dock is constructed nicely, there’s no flex or weak spots, not that it’s tremendous vital for a dock. The dock has a pleasant rubber lining on its base, stopping the dock from sliding when plugging in cables. It could’ve been good to have some type of cable administration, the Nintendo Swap Dock has a door that helps hold the cable mess at bay a little bit bit.

Plugging in a peripheral is a little bit of an ordeal since all of the USB ports are on the again, it will’ve been good to have a minimum of one port on the entrance to permit for fast plugging, and to keep away from a cable wrapping round from the again.

The low profile proper angle cable is designed nicely and completely matches the highest of the Steam Deck, it additionally helps the Deck sit extra firmly in place within the dock.

The Dock comes with a 45W USB-C charger, the identical wattage because the charger that comes with the Steam Deck itself. The Dock will nonetheless work with out energy, it should use the Steam Deck’s battery as an alternative, however the energy supply to USB ports can be lowered. Not like the Swap, the Steam Deck doesn’t get entry to extra processing energy when docked.

Connecting the Steam Deck Dock to shows

Steam Deck Dock to TVs

The Steam Deck Dock helps TVs by way of HDMI 2.0, permitting for a max decision of 4k at 60hz or 1440p at 120hz. On screens, you’ve the selection of DisplayPort 1.4 for HDMI 2.0 relying on what ports your monitor has.

The Steam Deck even helps multi monitor assist, both mirroring or further screens, which may be useful in desktop mode. No VRR assist is accessible proper now, although Valve says an replace can be coming for FreeSync assist. It’s value nothing that despite the fact that the Steam Deck helps these excessive refresh and excessive resolutions, the {hardware} with restrict what sort of efficiency you’ll really have the ability to put out to a show.

Utilizing the Steam Deck Dock

On first boot the Steam Deck will replace the firmware on the Dock. I’m unsure what it up to date but it surely’s good realizing that the Dock will proceed to obtain enhancements over time. As soon as the firmware is put in, getting the Dock to show is a matter of plug and play.

Controllers each wired and wi-fi generally is a little finicky. Wired controllers want a USB-A connection that wraps round to the again of the dock, not precisely probably the most aesthetic look.

Wi-fi controllers can join on to the Steam Deck by way of Bluetooth or by way of USB dongle. The Xbox controllers require a firmware replace to work with the Steam Deck, whereas the 8BitDo SN30 Professional and Final each labored instantly, even utilizing a Nintendo format within the Steam Deck. Mice and keyboards work flawlessly with the deck each polling at their most 1000hz charges.

As soon as all the pieces is related and arrange, the dock unlocks that true Hybrid convertible gaming feeling that the Nintendo Swap is so identified for. In the event you’re good with 1080p desktop gaming, the Steam Deck + Dock does an admirable job as a full fledged gaming PC.

Is the Steam Deck Dock value it at its worth?

The Steam Deck Dock retails for $89.99 USD, that is fairly expensive for what quantities to a specialised USB-C dongle. Any USB-C dongle ought to work, I’ve had success with the CalDigit TS4 Dock, the OWC Thunderbolt Hub and a less expensive generic USB-C Hub from Amazon.

None of those commonplace USB-C hubs provide the power to prop up the dock nonetheless, which isn’t as good show sensible, and will trigger some airflow points.

Steam Deck Dock Different

There are a handful of third get together Steam Deck Dock’s rising, all of them costing a fraction of what the Valve Steam DeckDock prices. The JSAUX Docking Station is the preferred on Amazon, that includes 3 USB-A ports, HDMI 2.0, USB-C PD and Gigabit Ethernet and prices $30 USD.

In comparison with the Steam Deck Dock, you lose out on a DisplayPort connection, a USB-A port, the included energy brick and probably future firmware updates. This dock barely, however partially covers the again fan exhaust and the usb-C cable to the deck isn’t as moulded. In the event you don’t want these connectivity choices, then the JSAUX does all the pieces the Valve Steam Deck Dock does at virtually 1/3 the value.

Must you get a dock for the Steam Deck?

I’d 100% advocate getting a dock for the Steam Deck, a dock makes tinkering with the Steam Deck in desktop mode so much simpler. There’s one thing very nice about with the ability to play a sport on the go, after which plugging it in to an enormous monitor or TV to get the that gaming at dwelling expertise that PCs and consoles ship.

Must you get the official dock?

Not likely the official dock particularly, until you actually care about squeezing each little final function from the Steam Deck + official dock combo, then pay the premium. It’s nonetheless one of the best dock for my part however there are simply too many good dock choices for decrease costs and contemplating that the Steam Deck will work with any USB-C hub makes the official Steam Deck Dock onerous to advocate. In the event you don’t have some other USB-C hubs you need to use, and also you want a dock with the ability brick, then the worth of the official Steam Deck Dock turns into extra precious.

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