Why I sold my gaming laptop to buy a Steam Deck

Immediately after waiting for virtually a yr, I ultimately have a Steam Deck. I have been psyched about this device because Valve very first introduced it, and despite the fact that the Steam Deck has some challenges, I adore working with Valve’s handheld gaming Laptop. I like it so substantially, in simple fact, that the Steam Deck is replacing my Razer Blade 15 — a gaming laptop computer that expenses more than four occasions as a lot.

I won’t faux like the Steam Deck is as impressive as a right gaming notebook, or that it will get rid of gaming laptops all round. Tranquil down. But for me, I just can’t come across a purpose to open the lid on my Blade now that the Steam Deck is in my palms. Here’s why.

Much less strong, more practical

Jacob Roach / Electronic Trends

The Steam Deck isn’t any where near as impressive as the best laptops, and there’s no query about that. On the Steam Deck, you are searching at 720p at 30 fps for most modern AAA game titles, while going to 60 fps for older titles and indies. Which is vastly below even machines like the MSI GS66 Stealth, which arrive with a 1440p display capable of as substantial as a 240Hz refresh price.

But the Steam Deck allows me to just choose up and engage in. I never have to fuss with graphics options mainly because I’m receiving frame drops, I really don’t have to mess all-around with my Xbox controller regularly losing its Bluetooth connection, and I really don’t have to keep tethered to a significant energy brick just to run online games.

Look at the spec sheet on any gaming laptop computer — even if the GPU does not convey to the total tale — and you will be convinced that it can tear through the most demanding online games at the best resolutions. And even though that’s legitimate for behemoths like MSI GE76 Raider, the actuality of participating in game titles on a gaming notebook is a lot unique.

That truth is extremely loud admirer sounds, which is consistent among gaming laptops from all suppliers, and so a lot warmth that you can’t even use the keyboard. Even when offering higher body rates and far more demanding graphics configurations, it feels like a chore to use a gaming notebook. Gaming laptops are laptops very first, gaming equipment second. The Steam Deck flips that.

And for me, I don’t need crazy electric power on the go. I play a ton of platformers, and I have a large catalog of more mature online games that run at a sleek 60 fps on the Steam Deck. Portable gaming is all about sacrifice, and the Steam Deck gives tailor-made sacrifices that gaming laptops just can’t.

Home windows is a con, not a pro

A laptop running Linux with a controller sitting on it.

What about Windows? The Steam Deck is a fantastic gadget, but it is crafted on SteamOS — a system that flat-out doesn’t assistance numerous big video games like Destiny 2, Rainbow 6 Siege, and fundamentally any multiplayer match that employs anti-cheat program. Even getting that into account, SteamOS is actually a pro for the Steam Deck, and Home windows is a con for gaming laptops.

As I found uninstalling Windows on my gaming Personal computer, Linux (which is the foundation of SteamOS) has turn into damn excellent for gaming. The extensive the greater part of video games in my library of more than 700 titles do the job perfectly, and I never have to worry about Home windows sucking down power in the track record or a dozen peripheral utilities vying for my consideration.

The Steam Deck doesn’t come stuffed with bloatware, either. I have been making use of the Lenovo Legion 5 Professional to perform game titles for a whilst now, and I’ve had to fully shut video games and restart Home windows because of to McAfee notifications that I cannot dismiss. I haven’t had so much as a pop-up on Steam Deck.

Home windows is undoubtedly more versatile than SteamOS — at the very least devoid of digging into how to use Linux — but that overall flexibility will come at a value. It will come at the price tag of overall performance, advantage, and frankly, satisfaction. Home windows may possibly acquire place-for-point, but here’s the fact: I have to jump by some hoop all-around 50 % the time I want to play a game on a gaming notebook. I by no means have to on the Steam Deck.

Console first, Computer system 2nd

Desktop mode on the Steam Deck.
Jacob Roach / Electronic Developments

Element of the rationale I desire the Steam Deck is that it has a different purpose than a gaming laptop computer. Gaming laptops are focused on remaining laptops 1st — even with more strong components, you need to have Windows, a keyboard, a trackpad, and a webcam on any gaming notebook. The Steam Deck cuts the fluff and focuses on gaming.

If you’re like me and previously personal a gaming Pc, the Steam Deck will make considerably a lot more feeling. I’m constantly going to run demanding, non-gaming programs on my desktop. Outside the house of gaming, my laptop computer is largely there for the fundamentals: Checking electronic mail, looking at YouTube or Netflix, and buying all-around on Amazon.

The Steam Deck can do all of that. It’s not excellent searching the net or utilizing desktop mode with the touch display, but you can even now hook up a keyboard and mouse. Hopefully, once the Steam Deck dock is below, it’ll basically provide as a gaming-targeted notebook substitution.

A complement, not a alternative

The Steam Deck laying on a laptop.
Jacob Roach / Electronic Traits

I’m marketing my gaming laptop computer now that I have the Steam Deck, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a complete-on substitute for Computer system gaming. I like it as a compliment to my main desktop, so I can cycle through much less demanding titles or bounce into my infinite collection of roguelikes on the sofa. I’m even participating in God of War on the Steam Deck thanks to FSR 2., which I never ever believed would be probable.

If you really do not have a gaming Computer by now, I wouldn’t propose buying the Steam Deck. But if you now have a desktop, preserve you some hassle (and money) by picking up the Steam Deck alternatively of a gaming notebook.

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