I’ve tested a lot of docking stations at this point, and the UGREEN Steam Deck dock sings off the same hymn sheet as its rivals. However, subtle differences mean this particular accessory is potentially compatible with more than just Valve’s portable powerhouse, as it should also work just fine with other handheld gaming PCs like the Asus ROG Ally.
Coming in at $44.99 / £37.99, the UGREEN Steam Deck dock isn’t the cheapest on the block. While you can pick up the original JSAUX dock for less, it matches higher-spec models by the accessory manufacturer. Just like most options out there, small design differences and quirks set UGREEN’s take apart from the rest, while its visual aesthetic bears an uncanny resemblance to other thirds party options on the market.
Is UGREEN’s hub the best Steam Deck dock out there? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for in a docking station. It’s going to function just like its counterparts, and it’ll happily enable you to pair the portable with the PC peripherals and your monitor or TV. Admittedly, I’m more excited about the fact it can cradle chonkier handhelds, as the tailored fit of alternatives inadvertently hampers versatility.
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Reciting UGREEN Steam Deck dock specs feels like déjà vu, but let’s cover what the accessory offers. In terms of IO, you’ll get HDMI, Ethernet, two USB-A ports, and a USB-C connection. The latter actually sets this accessory apart from others on the market, as it means you won’t need an additional adapter for pesky peripherals that embrace the new standard.
|UGREEN Steam Deck dock
|USB-A (x2) / USB-C (x1)
|$44.99 / £37.99
The dock hooks up to the deck using the usual built-in USB-C tail that trails to the top of the Steam Deck, and a 100W power delivery port also lives on the back. At this stage, it feels like we know exactly what to expect from handheld PC docking stations, and it’s nice to see that UGREEN hasn’t missed any beats when it comes to specs.
Docking stations are tasked with the noble goal of turning your on-the-go device into a desktop PC, and the UGREEN Steam Deck dock embarks on that same quest. I’m trying to avoid making the Nintendo Switch comparison, but the accessory tries its best to match the experience of being able to plop your portable on a cradle and have instantaneous big-screen results. Having to plug a cable into the top isn’t anywhere near as slick as sliding the handheld seamlessly into a connector, but it’s on Valve to think about that when conjuring up the Steam Deck 2.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the UGREEN Steam Deck dock looks the same as other third-party alternatives, especially since it uses of the same aluminum body, rubber pads, and flexible USB-C cable as its competitors. Yet, upon closer inspection, you’ll notice quite a few design differences that I both consider to be improvements and things that change the way you’ll use the accessory.
For starters, the cradle section of the docking station is much wider than both the Valve Steam Deck Docking Station and JSAUX options. Not to sound cliché, but this alone is both a blessing and a curse, as it means the Deck doesn’t remotely fit snugly on the cradle. You’re talking about at least 5mm extra wiggle room, which subsequently means you use the Deck with a case or other handhelds with the dock without them feeling like an adult trying to squeeze into an infant’s swing at the play park.
You might think I’m just trying to be funny with that last remark, but it actually happened while fooling around during my Asus ROG Ally review. Out of curiosity, I popped the Steam Deck’s new nemesis onto the JSAUX dock, and it ended up friction fitted onto the bottom. Sure, removing it didn’t require a disgruntled visit by the fire department equipped with power tools, but it didn’t exactly feel compatible.
On the flip side, the Asus ROG Ally actually fitted onto the UGREEN Steam Deck dock almost perfectly, sitting at much less of an angle than the Deck itself. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to snap any photos before parting with the portable powerhouse after reviewing, but you’d almost think it was actually designed for it specifically.
So, if you’re wondering whether you can use the Asus ROG Ally with a Steam Deck dock, the answer is yes, as long as you opt for UGREEN’s model. We’ll no doubt see actual third-party solutions wearing the handheld’s name on the box soon, but this existing docking station won’t need to do much to change its agenda.
Using the accessory with other handhelds aside, it almost feels like UGREEN has heard my cries about JSAUX’s Ethernet placement. Rather than sticking it on the side, the dock places the port in the middle of the IO, making it easier to manage cables and prevent desktop obstructions. That said, one of the USB-A ports does live on the left-hand side, which may influence what kind of peripheral you choose to plug in.
Sadly, there is a worrying caveat tied to UGREEN’s cradle design, as the back support partially covers the portable’s rear vent. I didn’t notice any initial issues with temperatures as a result, and JSAUX’s dock also commits the same sin to a far lesser degree. Nevertheless, I’d feel more comfortable if the back avoided this completely, like the official Valve docking station.
In truth, you aren’t going to find any performance differences between the UGREEN Steam Deck dock and its main competition. Most third-party options use the same 5Gbps USB ports and HDMI 2.0, which enables you to run games at 4K 60fps. I say “enables”, but you’re not going to be doing that with any new release using Valve’s portable, but it’s handy if you’re looking to revisit classics like Fable: The Lost Chapters and max out settings.
The UGREEN dock doesn’t break ranks in terms of cost, as it comes with the same $44.99 price tag as its closest rivals. If you’re planning on picking up one of the best Steam Deck case options out there, investing in this particular docking station makes sense over any others, as it’s more likely to fit with shells and covers still attached.
Of course, there are cheaper docking stations out there, albeit with fewer ports, that will effectively provide the same experience as the rest. My personal favorite, the original JSAUX Steam Deck dock, will set you back $20 less and feels like a better fit for Valve’s handheld, even if it does feature irritating Ethernet placement.
That’s not to say the UGREEN Steam Deck dock isn’t worth the money, and you could say it makes the effort to be at least a bit different. Its included USB-C port is going to save any adapter hassle, and the roomy cradle section adds a layer of compatibility not embraced by alternatives out there.
There’s a lot to like about the UGREEN Steam Deck dock, and it’s great to see so many options on the market that understand the assignment. I am a bit concerned about back ventilation, and it looks more like a deck chair (sorry) than a propped-up cradle, but the subtle differences will come in handy depending on the situation.
This is going to sound strange, but I reckon UGREEN Steam Deck docking station could end up being one of the best Asus ROG Ally docks. I’d need to properly review it alongside the handheld PC, but the fact it fits is an incredible coincidence. Perhaps I’ll get around to that in another life, but for now, it’s safe to say that UGREEN’s accessory is a great way to hook up Valve’s handheld to PC peripherals and screens.
Where to buy the UGREEN Steam Deck dock
The UGREEN Steam Deck is available worldwide from Amazon, and we’ve got the best prices for it right here: