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Steam Deck teardowns reveal potential shortcoming for Valve's handheld gaming console

The Steam Deck teardown videos have shown how little Valve wants owners to take the console apart. (Image source: Valve/LTT/GamersNexus - edited)
The Steam Deck teardown videos have shown how little Valve wants owners to take the console apart. (Image source: Valve/LTT/GamersNexus - edited)
The Steam Deck handheld gaming console from Valve has appeared in two major teardown videos from popular tech content creators. While the overall build of the Steam Deck and its custom AMD SoC received positive attention there was one particularly noticeable shortcoming with the battery and its removability.

Valve has made it clear in its own “teardown” video of the Steam Deck that the console is a “tightly designed system”, and while future owners will have the right to repair, it is specifically stated that the device does not feature parts that can be considered “user-swappable”. While the clip from Valve focuses mostly on the SSD and thumbstick controllers, YouTube channels Linus Tech Tips and Gamers Nexus have gone deep into the Steam Deck’s innards.

The two Steam Deck teardown videos are certainly contrasting: Steve Burke of Gamers Nexus takes a precise and methodical approach whereas Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips has to resort to brute force at various points – especially with what could be perceived as the Steam Deck’s repairability shortcoming: the battery. Burke shares his disappointment about the battery being glued into the Steam Deck and opines that a “socketable replacement” would have been a preferable choice.

Over at Linus Tech Tips, things get more brutal as Linus Sebastian forcefully levers the clearly non-user-replaceable L-shaped battery out of the Steam Deck’s frame. While OEMs frequently resort to using adhesive to set a battery inside a device, it is shocking to see just how far Valve went with making sure the Steam Deck’s battery would stay in place, with the show’s host commenting, “you outglued yourself, Valve”.

The Steam Deck handheld gaming console will be launched on February 25 and will cost from US$399/€419/£349. It is not advisable to attempt to replace the battery due to the potential for fire caused by damage, the fact that the warranty won’t cover such damage, and that Valve has obviously used this much glue to prevent users from swapping out the battery anyway.

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Steam Deck battery covered in glue. (Image source: Linus Tech Tips)
Steam Deck battery covered in glue
Valve warning about exploding batteries. (Image source: Valve)
Valve warning about exploding batteries
Steam Deck teardown. (Image source: Gamers Nexus)
Steam Deck teardown. (Image source: Gamers Nexus)
 
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 02 > Steam Deck teardowns reveal potential shortcoming for Valve's handheld gaming console
Daniel R Deakin, 2022-02- 9 (Update: 2022-02- 9)