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Steam Deck, The Most Powerful Handheld Gaming PC You Have Ever Held

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It’s a handheld gaming PC with your Steam library built right in, and it seems pretty darn cool at first blush. We’re fresh off the surprise Steam Deck reveal so we’ve still got a few questions to answer, but for now, here’s everything there is to know about the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck release date is set for December 

The first lot of Steam Deck stock will begin being shipped out in December 2021. Early adopters, those lucky few that managed to get a reservation in, can expect the console at this time, for everyone else, it’s expected that restocks are most likely in summer 2022. Valve has said that it will update people regularly.

The Steam Deck price starts at $399 / £349 

Valve is offering three distinct Steam Deck models, and while they have the same core components, the pricier versions offer greatly improved storage and come with some extra bells and whistles. Here’s the full breakdown:

• $399 Steam Deck– the baseline model comes with 64GB of eMMC storage and a carrying case.

• $529 Steam Deck – an upgraded model with 256GB of faster NVMe SSD storage, the same carrying case, and an exclusive Steam profile bundle.

• $649 Steam Deck – a top-tier model with 512GB of “high-speed” NVMe SSD storage, special anti-glare glass, an exclusive virtual keyboard theme, a custom carrying case, and the aforementioned Steam profile bundle.

How to pre-order a Steam Deck now  

Sadly, this is where things are likely to get disappointing for people hoping to have the system in their hands this year. According to the official pre-order page, order availability is currently slated for summer 2022 (Q2) or later, meaning it’s unlikely that many will be playing portably come December as anticipated.

In the few days since Steam Deck pre-orders went underway – originally on July 16 -the various Steam Deck models are already being auctioned off for double, and sometimes triple, the asking price.

Keep in mind, these scalpers don’t have the unit, but are instead promising the Steam Deck once they have it and asking astronomical markups for the privilege; avoid at all costs. Considering the handheld probably won’t be released until late into next year, it’s best just to wait and be patient, as people have had to do with PS5 restock updates and Xbox Series X restocks.

The Steam Deck specs are pretty impressive 

Valve has positioned the Steam Deck as a gaming laptop that you can hold like a Switch, and for how small it is, it’s packing some serious power. Here are the full system specs, complete with unit dimensions and dock features:

• CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)

• GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)

• RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 on-board RAM (5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels)

• Storage: 64GB eMMC base, 256GB and 512GB NVMe PCIe Gen 3 SSDs available

• Size: 11.7″ long x 4.6″ tall x 1.9″ thick

• Weight: 1.47 pounds

Screen: 7″ 1280×800 (16:10) 60Hz LCD

• Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack

• Battery: 40WHr estimated 2 – 8 hours

• Video output (docked): up to 4K 120Hz / 8K 60Hz (game performance at these often resolutions remains to be seen)

• Ports (dock included): microSD card expansion, USB 2.0 and 3.1, HDMI, DisplayPort

• Connectivity:  2.4GHz / 5GHz Wifi, Bluetooth 5.0

• Gyro: 2.4GHz / 5GHz Wifi, Bluetooth 5.0

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