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Steam Deck OLED version is here, and it's more than just a pretty new display

The display isn't the only thing thast got upgraded.

Published onNovember 9, 2023

Steam Deck OLED
  • Valve just unveiled the Steam Deck OLED, with a larger, higher-end display with a 90Hz refresh rate.
  • Along with the upgraded display, it has Wi-Fi 6E support, a larger battery, and a new APU.
  • The cheapest OLED model is $549, which comes with a 512GB SSD.

As early as this year, Valve shot down the idea of an OLED version of its popular gaming handheld known as the Steam Deck. The company pointed out that swapping out the original LCD for an OLED panel would be harder than it seems, and suggested the original would be the standard for a long time.

Well, surprise! Valve just launched a Steam Deck OLED. It has a larger, higher-quality display and a slew of other upgrades.

The original LCD Steam Deck will still be available to buy. The 64GB eMMC and 512GB NVMe models will be discontinued and feature temporary price drops ($349 and $449, respectively) while supplies last. Meanwhile, the remaining 256GB NVMe model will get a significant permanent price drop to $399 and be kept as the new entry-tier version. That means the $399 you spent on an entry-tier 64GB Steam Deck yesterday would get you a model with more and faster storage today. Whoops.

Meanwhile, there will be two OLED models. The first will have a 512GB NVMe SSD for $549. The highest-end model will come with a whopping 1TB of NVMe storage for $649.

Now, let’s talk about what makes the Steam Deck OLED different from the LCD models.

Steam Deck OLED: More than a pretty display

Along with the upgrade from LCD to OLED, the new Steam Deck has a physically larger panel. The original Deck had a 7-inch display when measured diagonally, but the new model has a 7.4-inch display. This is a subtle but nice perk. Additionally, the display supports a 90Hz refresh rate, a nice upgrade over the 60Hz rate of the original, and a solution to one of the most common complaints of the original Deck.

Even more notable, though, is the fact that the OLED model has a new APU. The original Deck had a custom APU with a 7nm build, but now there’s a 6nm build. Theoretically, this should allow for a more power-efficient experience. Valve points out that it shouldn’t result in better game performance, but more battery life is always nice.

Speaking of battery life, the OLED model also has a physically bigger battery cell. It has 50WHr of juice, a roughly 25% increase over the 40WHr in the original model.

When you combine the new APU, the more power-efficient OLED display, and the bigger battery, you get 30% to 50% more battery life from the Steam Deck OLED, according to Valve. Even if you only see the lower end of that promise, that’s still a big jump.

The Steam Deck OLED also weighs less than the original and runs with cooler temps. This is because the OLED panel weighs less than the LCD panel, and the fan inside is bigger with some updated thermals.

Finally, the Steam Deck OLED supports Wi-Fi 6E, resulting in faster download speeds if your router supports the protocol.

When can you get the Steam Deck OLED?

Valve will open orders for the OLED Deck on November 16 at 10:00 AM PT.

Remember that the original LCD models have price drops and will continue shipping as orders come in. So, if you don’t care about the above upgrades, you can get a heavily discounted Steam Deck right now.

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