Valve has released an official teardown of the upcoming handheld gaming PC, the Steam Deck. While tearing apart your Steam Deck is possible, Valve does urge users not to do it unless they can. Valve says that even though the Steam Deck is meant to be “your PC”, users should never open it up…. like ever.
The company explains that the Steam Deck has been designed in s very specific way and has a tight internal design. Some internal parts have been redesigned and created just for the specific hardware. Even though you can swap parts around, you shouldn’t.
Of course, this won’t prevent users from opening up their Steam Deck when they get it. However, if you’re someone who just likes to see the inner working of fancy tech (like me) then this video should scratch that itch.
In the video, Valve does reveal how users can swap out a handful of parts. This includes replacing the thumbstick and SSD. The thumbsticks are removable but you need to get into the device in order to do so. The same goes for the SSD. The company says they will provide a list of recommended part replacements in the coming weeks.
The SSD in the Steam Deck is probably the biggest issue and a part users will most likely swap out. The device comes in a range of storage options. The base model only includes 64GB of storage and the max model packs 512GB. The 64GB model includes the storage on an eMMC hard drive with an empty m.2 connector. The 256GB and 512GB use that slot for the SSD. Thankfully, users can easily upgrade this or install an m.2 SSD into the empty slot on the 64GB model.
Valve does warn users they will have to reinstall the OS if they do change over their SSD. So already this doesn’t seem like an easy task. Of course, tutorials will help in certain situations but again, it means having to tear open the device to get to the m.2 slot.
The Steam Deck is releasing in December and if you’re eyeing one out, you should pre-order it. Stock is extremely limited. There’s also no South African distribution channel for the hardware. This means you’ll need to import it into the country somehow. Probably work out cheaper anyway.
Take a look at the full teardown below.