The Steam Deck is a wonderful if imperfect device, with its screen being one of its most noticeable weak points. Now, a company by the name of DeckHD is promising to improve on Valve’s original design with a 1200p screen. While this sounds good on paper, I’m not convinced swapping out the stock option is a good idea.
To be clear, I’m constantly on the lookout for new additions to our best Steam Deck accessories guide, including a screen upgrade. However, I’m much more keen to see OLED options materialize, so my perky portable PC can truly give the display on the Nintendo Switch OLED a run for its money. Valve itself has admitted that it wants to improve this part of its pocket rocket, which will likely arrive as part of the Steam Deck 2.
While replacement Steam Deck screens are already readily available for you to swap out, upgrading to a different panel is another matter entirely.
This is where comes in DeckHD, packing a 7-inch 1200p IPS panel that covers 74% of the AdobeRGB color space for $99, with no release date confirmed yet. Increased color accuracy certainly appeals to me, as does higher pixel density, but they’re not worth the trade-offs I believe this new screen may introduce.
Here are the DeckHD specs versus the Steam Deck:
|Resolution||1920 x 1200||1280 x 800|
|Size||7-inch IPS||7-inch IPS|
|Color Accuracy||74% AdobeRGB||45% AdobeRGB|
|Brightness||400 nits||400 nits|
|Anti-Glare Coating||Yes||Only on 512GB model|
So, here are three reasons I believe the DeckHD display isn’t the screen the Steam Deck needs:
- Performance – The Zen 2 APU that powers the Steam Deck gives the PC enough juice to play most games at 800p. However, introducing a higher resolution display without any extra horsepower will likely irrecoverably cripple frame rates in already demanding games.
- Battery Life – More pixels means more power being drawn from the device’s battery, which is already another weak point for the Deck. Expect to see portable playtime take a tumble with the DeckHD equipped.
- Warranty – While this drawback isn’t unique to the DeckHD, swapping out the stock screen for an aftermarket solution will almost certainly ruin your warranty. Furthermore, actually replacing the display is no easy task, and you run the risk of causing accidental damage if you’re not careful.
The simplest way to improve your portable setup is by giving your Steam Deck a place to rest after a long gaming session, so check our best Steam Deck dock list for our recommendations.
If you’re after a higher resolution gaming experience on the go, I’d suggest checking our Asus ROG Ally review. The Steam Deck specs simply don’t lend themselves to 1200p gaming in many cases, and while I’m excited to see DeckHD in the real world, I’m a firm skeptic for now.