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Steam Deck teardown reveals the modularity of Valve's handheld console

Valve warns that all hell may break loose if you take apart your Steam Deck. (Image source: Valve)
Valve warns that all hell may break loose if you take apart your Steam Deck. (Image source: Valve)
Valve has disassembled the Steam Deck in a teardown video. However, the company hopes that the video will serve as a deterrent, rather than as a teardown guide. Nonetheless, replacing the machine's M.2 2230 looks relatively simple.

Valve has shared a teardown video of the Steam Deck, which launches in December. While the video serves as a how-to on getting inside the console, Valve is also trying to scare off people from opening the Steam Deck themselves. As you can watch below, Valve spends the first minute of the video listing off all the reasons why you should not disassemble the Steam Deck yourself.

Additionally, the company highlights that the console's warranty excludes any damage incurred from taking apart the machine. Supposedly, merely opening the Steam Deck hampers its structural integrity, although Valve is vague on the details in this regard. For some reason, Valve repeatedly stresses that the Steam Deck could kill you if you tamper with it too, whether that be from an electric shock, an exploding battery or a fire. 

Ultimately, the Steam Deck looks no harder to disassemble than most modern laptops. Replacing the SSD is simple enough, for example, a procedure Valve advises against doing as well. According to Valve, third-party SSDs may consume more power than its chosen drive, again without offering any specifics. The company even claims that a third-party SSD, of which there are hardly any in the M.2 2230 form factor that support the NVMe protocol, can cause electromagnetic interference and mechanical problems.

Thankfully, the Steam Deck seems relatively modular. Replaceable parts include the SSD, joystick and battery. Valve settled on a soldered Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modem though, which is a shame. Currently, new Steak Deck reservations will not start shipping until after Q2 2022.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 5743 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 10 > Steam Deck teardown reveals the modularity of Valve's handheld console
Alex Alderson, 2021-10- 7 (Update: 2021-10- 8)