iFixit showed Steam Deck on x ray and disassembled the
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iFixit showed Steam Deck on x-ray and disassembled – the console scored 7/10 for maintainability

Just prior to the release of the portable console, Steam Deck was in the lab I attach it, whose specialists disassembled the device and checked it for serviceability. It turned out that the device is quite easy to repair – only the battery caused some difficulties.

Steam deck X-rayed.  Image source: creativeelectron.com

Steam deck X-rayed. Image source: creativeelectron.com

Before dismantling, the device was scanned on an X-ray machine with the help of Creative Electron, which made it possible to determine the further strategy of work. Opening the case turned out to be easy: eight screws and a few simple plastic snaps. Not much has changed since October, when Valve itself showed the disassembly of the console: the arrangement of the screws has changed, the circuit boards have been repainted from green to black.

Production (top) and pre-production (bottom) versions of the Steam Deck.  Image sources: Valve and iFixit

Production (top) and pre-production (bottom) versions of the Steam deck. Image sources: Valve and iFixit

As noted in iFixit, Valve decided not to create additional difficulties with Steam Deck repair. The console can be dismantled with minimal effort: in most cases, a screwdriver is sufficient. Many components are easily interchangeable, and Valve has promised to supply parts – the first partner will be iFixit itself, which will deal with parts for both the Steam deck and the Valve Index VR helmet. The parts list has not yet been created by the manufacturer.

StickSteam Deck.  Image source here and below: ifixit.com

StickSteam Deck. Here and below image source: ifixit.com

Surprisingly, the console sticks are easily removed – they are held in place by three screws. Valve understands that sooner or later a drift problem will arise, so the replacement has been simplified as much as possible. Short red wires extend from small boards on the bottom of the sticks, which are designed for capacitive sensors – the device always “knows” when the user’s fingers are on their surface.

M.2 2230 SSD and shield

M.2 2230 SSD and shield

It becomes even easier to swap out the drive. An older 512GB version of the Steam Deck has surfaced in the iFixit lab: to remove the SSD, simply unscrew one screw and remove a thin protective grille that prevents interference from wireless modules located just below the drive. The SSD itself is standard – it’s an M.2 2230 for which there definitely won’t be a replacement.

steam deck

The only “Achilles’ heel” of the console, which iFixit specialists call, is the battery, which is quite difficult to remove. Heavy-duty gamers will definitely need this as the dual-cell battery has a low capacity of 40.04 Wh or 5313 mAh at 7.7V.

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About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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