Steam Deck OLED: Where to buy, release date & specs

Joel Loynds

Valve’s refreshed Steam Deck came with a bounty of new features, so let’s break it all down and see what’s different about the upgraded handheld PC.

The handheld landscape has changed forever. With Valve wading into the market, it altered what people want from their gaming handhelds. Since then, Asus and Lenovo have released their own systems, while Ayaneo and the usual suspects like GPDWin have ramped up production to outmatch Valve.

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However, from what we’ve discovered since we got hold of the Steam Deck, is that nothing compares. While the specs and performance might not be the top dollar anymore, with the 7840U and Z1 Extreme outpacing it, it still manages to be one of our favorite systems to play games on.

Now, since the launch of Steam Deck OLED, our admiration for the Valve handheld has only grown.

Where to buy the Steam Deck OLED

Similarly to the LCD models that came before it, the Steam Deck OLED is only available through Steam, Valve’s official storefront.

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The Steam Deck OLED is available in two different variants, the 512GB and 1TB model. Each version of the upgraded PC gaming handheld will gain you a considerable amount of Steam Points, which can be later used to purchase start up movies.

For those not based in the US, the Steam Deck expanded into more regions with the help of Komodo. Through the Komodo website, the Steam Deck has since become available in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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Steam Deck OLED specs

Everything internally is nearly the same as before. Valve has stated that it won’t be upgrading the RDNA 2 processor anytime soon, or at least until there’s a definitive path to a worthy upgrade. However, this has been shrunk by 1nm.

The Steam OLED brings a plethora of upgrades to the table where physical hardware is concerned. This means a new screen, a bigger battery, and faster charging.

OLED screen

First up, there’s a new OLED panel included in the system. Steam Deck users already have a third-party mod, DeckHD, which increases color accuracy, and the benefit of the Steam Deck 3.5.5 update, which brought an adjustment to the color rendering for a warmer and brighter appearance on the system. However, including an OLED panel opens up a tonne of avenues for the way things look on screen.

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The newly updated OLED display offers a richer color palette over the LCD panel inside the Steam Deck, with a heavy emphasis on contrast.

Valve has also sourced a 90Hz panel, so high refresh rates in certain titles is now attainable without having to dock the device.

Battery improvements

Then, one of the biggest complaints about the Steam Deck is the battery. Valve has listened and increased the size of the battery, along with the speed it charges at too. This has allowed us to reach over that hour or hour and a half mark without having to set the screen to a 40FPS/40Hz refresh rate in certain AAA games.

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Weight and size

On top of all this, the device is now lighter but has remained the same size. You’ll also find that the screen is ‘bigger’ due to the reduced bezels around it.

Steam Deck vs Steam Deck OLED

SpecOLEDLCD
APUCustom AMD Van Gogh (Aerith)Custom AMD Van Gogh (Aerith)
Process6nm7nm
CPU architectureAMD Zen 2AMD Zen 2
CPU clock speed2.4 – 3.5GHz2.4 – 3.5GHz
Cores | Threads4 | 84 | 8
GPU architectureAMD RDNA 2AMD RDNA 2
GPU clock speed1 – 1.6GHz1 – 1.6GHz
Stream processors512512
RAM16GB quad channel LPDDR5 @ 6400MT/s16GB quad channel LPDDR5 @ 5,500MT/s
Storage512GB NVMe | 1TB NVMe64GB eMMC | 256GB NVMe SSD | 512GB NVMe SSD
Display7.4-inch OLED touchscreen7-inch LCD touchscreen
Native resolution1280 x 8001280 x 800
Refresh rate90Hz60Hz
AudioStereo speakers, 3.5mm jack, dual micsStereo speakers, 3.5mm jack, dual mics
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth, 1x USB Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4 supportWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth, 1x USB Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4 support
Battery50Whr | 5,313mAh40Whr | 5,313mAh
Dimensions11.7 x 4.6 x 1.8-inch (298 x 117 x 49mm)11.7 x 4.6 x 1.8-inch (298 x 117 x 49mm)
Weight1.41lbs (640g)1.47lbs (669g)

What’s new in the Steam Deck OLED?

Valve has handily listed everything that the Steam Deck OLED has changed to it:

  • Updated APU to 6 nm for better efficiency
  • Updated memory to 6400 MT/s, improving latency and power management
  • Increased thermal module thickness and performance
  • Increased active area to 7.4″ (from 7.0″)
  • Updated refresh rate to 90Hz (from 60Hz)
  • Updated peak brightness to 1000 nits
  • Updated touchscreen polling rate to 180Hz, improved latency and accuracy
  • Updated WiFi / Bluetooth module
  • Added support for WiFi 6E
  • Added support for Bluetooth 5.3, supporting newer codecs such as aptX HD and aptX low-latency
  • Added third antenna near the top of the device for better Bluetooth performance, including when docked
  • Added support for wake from Bluetooth controllers
  • Improved bass response for an overall flatter sound profile
  • Added support for using onboard microphone array simultaneously with the 3.5mm headphones connector
  • Adjusted analog stick top material and shape for increased grip and dust build-up resistance
  • Adjusted analog stick post material to improve interaction feel with front cover and reduce wear
  • Improved reliability of analog stick touch detection
  • Improved responsiveness and tactility of shoulder buttons switch mechanism
  • Adjusted D-pad snap ratio and diagonal interactions
  • Redesigned trackpad for improved fidelity and edge detection
  • Greatly improved trackpad haptics feel and precision
  • Improved battery capacity from 40Wh to 50Wh
  • Improved battery chemistry for faster charging, from 20% to 80% in as little as 45 minutes
  • Changed charging LED to WRGB
  • Added support for waking up from initial unboxing by long-pressing power button instead of requiring AC power
  • Adjusted power supply cable length from 1.5m to 2.5m
  • Added logo to power supply
  • Reduced total system weight to ~640g, or ~5% less than Steam Deck
  • Rear cover screws now thread into metal
  • Adjusted rear cover screw heads to Torx™, as well as other materials and geometry tweaks on the heads to reduce stripping risk
  • Lowered number of screw types throughout system
  • Reduced step count required for common repairs
  • Improved bumper switch mechanism drop reliability
  • Moved bumper switch to joystick board for easier repair
  • Improved display repair/replacement to not require taking rear cover off
  • Greatly improved memory power management firmware
  • Added preliminary support for open-source BIOS and EC firmware
  • Improved resume time by roughly 30%

Steam Deck OLED price

steam deck oledValve

Valve is selling the Steam Deck OLED from $549 for the 51GB and $649 for the 1TB model. The limited edition version, when in stock, was available for $679.

The price increase is to be expected, as the new high refresh rate OLED and bigger battery are now included. However, LCD models are now being slashed in pricing as they’re phased out.

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Gabe Newell, head of Valve, has stated that the original was aggressively priced and sold at a low price for a reason, despite the company taking a hit on it.

When does the Steam Deck OLED release?

Valve

The Steam Deck OLED was released on November 16, 2023.

Is the Steam Deck OLED the Steam Deck 2?

No, the Steam Deck OLED is not the Steam Deck 2. The next full upgrade is still a ways off according to Valve, who is waiting for a proper upgrade to hardware before committing to new hardware.

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About The Author

E-Commerce Editor. You can get in touch with him over email: joel.loynds@dexerto.com. He's written extensively about video games and tech for over a decade for various sites. Previously seen on Scan, WePC, PCGuide, Eurogamer, Digital Foundry and Metro.co.uk. A deep love for old tech, bad games and even jankier MTG decks.