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Friday, July 19, 2024

Here’s the official Steam Deck Dock in all its rendered finery

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This is essentially what the official Valve Steam Deck Dock is going to look like, though probably not exactly like it. All we’ve got out of Gabe’s gang so far are these pretty renders. Still, along with the Dock tech specs Valve released with the original Deck reveal, we do know a fair bit about the upcoming Deck Dock.

But when’s it coming? So far all we know is that Valve says: “It won’t be happening as early as we wanted, but we’re excited to talk more about it soon and are planning to make them available in late spring.”

Late spring is a fair way away, and technically that could take us all the way into June territory if it goes to the wire.

So, what will the Deck Dock offer that other docks can’t deliver to the Steam Deck? Basically… somewhere for it to stand while it’s plugged in. That’s about it. Still, I’m happy enough with that so long as the price is right, because during my testing I’ve been using it as my work PC, outputting to a screen in the office, and plumbed into a keyboard and mouse for the tapping and the clicking. All that via the existing Dell D6000 docking stations that litter the PC Gamer offices. 

But I’m a dual-screener, even with the ickle 7-inch screen of the Steam Deck, and I was digging having my emails and Slack on the Deck while I worked on the main screen. The downside of plugging it into a third-party dock is that I have to find something workable to lean my Deck against so I can actually see it.

Having a bespoke unit for Valve’s handheld to snuggle into—while it’s charging and outputting and doing all that alternative use case stuff I love about the device—will make the Deck Dock an actually pretty useful peripheral.

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Aside from a handy cradle, you also get a USB Type-A Gen3.1 port, two Type-A Gen2.0 ports, an ethernet port, one DisplayPort 1.4, and one HDMI 2.0 output. The only real miss for me is the lack of any further Type-C port. The only one on the Deck is taken up by the power pass-through, leaving no other port of call.

Steam in your hands

Steam Deck review: Our verdict on Valve’s handheld PC.
Steam Deck availability: How to get one.
Steam Deck battery life: What’s the real battery life of the new device?
How loud is the Steam Deck? And will it pass the Significant Other test?
Steam Deck – The emulation dream machine: Using Valve’s handheld hardware as the ultimate emulator.

So far I’ve played with a few third-party docks with the Deck, and it’s worth pointing out that HDMI audio can be an issue with some—because of a lack of native support for DisplayLink in Linux—and I’ve not managed to get anything out of a DisplayPort connection either.

The saddest fail for me, however, has been the fact that so far my Steam Deck won’t play nicely with the Eve Spectrum ES07D03 and it’s built-in Type-C dock. Being able to have all my peripherals plugged into the back of my monitor, and only needing to plug a single USB cable into my Deck, would make for a super sleek, minimalist setup for sure.

Still, the Steam Deck has been constantly updated, almost daily, since I first got my hands on the device, so I’ve no doubt that at some point along the line that will be fixed.

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