Valve Details Steam Deck Gaming Handheld, Starting at $399

Valve has taken the wraps off of its long-rumored handheld. The Steam Deck will release in December 2021, starting at $349 for a version with 64GB of eMMC storage.

The handheld runs on a custom APU from Valve and AMD, with a 4 core/4 thread Zen 2 processor ranging from 2.4 – 3.5 GHz and RDNA 2 graphics (8 compute units, ranging from 1 – 1.6 GHz). The APU will run between 4 and 15W. Additionally, there’s 16GB LPDDR5 RAM and a microSD card slot.

The $349 base model will have 64GB EMMB storage. For $529, you’ll get a 256GB NVMe SSD, while the $649 version has a 512GB NVMe SSD as well as anti-glare glass on the display.

Valve’s design is reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch with, controls on either side of its 7-inch, 1280 x 800 touch display (that’s a 16:10 aspect ratio for those doing the math).

There will also be a dock, sold separately, with Ethernet, DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and USB-A ports.

Steam claims that the 40 Whr battery will last between 2 – 8 hours when gaming, which isn’t much, but also isn’t shocking when you remember how long either the Switch (up to nine hours) or most gaming laptops last.

Until there is more hands-on experience, the button layout may be divisive. Sure, there’s a D-Pad, two thumbsticks, and ABXY buttons. But those are pushed way up on the device by twin trackpads, one on either side of the screen. There are also standard L1/L2 triggers and bumpers as well as R4. R5 buttons on the back.

Pre-orders for the Steam Deck will begin on Friday, July 16 at 10 a.m. PT.
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