Tech and Innovation

Every thing Ought to Be As Simple to Improve Because the Steam Deck (2023)

After I purchased the Steam Deck just a few years in the past, I used to be skeptical. I used to be prepared to danger shopping for solely the most affordable model doable—a $400 handheld with a measly 64 GB of storage. Now, I do know I like it. I’ve used it for tons of of hours already, caught with restricted, slower storage. If I have been to rectify this error, I would have to purchase an entire new console. Or no less than, that is what different devices have educated me to consider. Not this time.

I’ve a protracted historical past of upgrading my units myself, after I can. The desktop PC I take advantage of each day has been ship-of-Theseus’d from the identical pc I constructed over 20 years in the past—by no means absolutely changed, however upgraded, piece by piece, through the years. Throughout that point, it is more and more turn out to be the exception to the rule. Till the Steam Deck got here alongside.

Elusive Upgrades

I used to exchange the battery in my early smartphones once they acquired outdated, respiratory new life into dated {hardware}. Now, few telephones enable this with out cracking open the entire thing. My first MacBook had house on the underside to improve its RAM. Now it’s baked proper into the M-series processors. I wouldn’t be capable to improve it, even when it weren’t tough to entry.

Which is possibly why I felt so completely happy to be taught that my Steam Deck is, in actual fact, extremely simple to improve. Assets like iFixit, which advocate for a person’s proper to restore their very own units, have guides that present easy methods to do particular upgrades on completely different devices.

The information for upgrading the Steam Deck’s storage is refreshingly easy. Unscrew and take away the again panel, take away the board defend, come out a cable, and unscrew the outdated storage. Put your new SSD as a substitute and reverse the method. Completed. 

It’s not fairly as simple as changing the battery in your TV’s distant, nevertheless it was sooner so as to add extra storage than it was to reinstall Steam OS. All instructed, the method took possibly an hour. As an alternative of paying $130 further for a unique Steam Deck—or worse, shopping for an entire new one for $530—I paid $20 for an inexpensive SSD on eBay. Minus the price of a good hamburger and half the size of a typical video essay on YouTube later, I can now set up extra video games on my Steam Deck, in much less time and with shorter loading screens than I had earlier than. This doesn’t must be a novel expertise.

Restore on the Horizon

It additionally may not be, for for much longer. Earlier this yr, the European Union voted to go new laws that can require smartphones to return outfitted with user-replaceable batteries. At present, attempting to change a battery on a current iPhone requires specialty instruments and technical know-how, and may nonetheless lead to warnings that you just’re not utilizing “real” elements, even when utilizing official Apple batteries.

By 2027, that sort of barrier to changing a battery gained’t be authorized within the EU, although the knock-on impact will doubtless result in producers complying globally. We already noticed an identical impact happen when the EU handed a regulation requiring all telephones, tablets, and cameras offered within the area to have a USB-C port. It’s simply extra environment friendly to make one mannequin that the corporate can promote in all places.


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