based.quest - GUEST ENTRY: Steam Deck Review
Posted on 13/03/2022 09:11:56 PM
This guest blog is written by BieHDC
Yes, it is me again, because i have got my Steam Deck one week ago and now i am going to tell you about it. The first clue is already my choice of words, i called it "my", because i actually own it. If you read my previous review of the FairPhone 4 you will already know that this is an important factor for me. It is a whole PC, or should i say PC2?...
The Model i got is the 512 Gigabyte one, because i already knew i was going to install "Hitman 2" (2018) which alone takes 150 Gigabytes and followed by "Grand Theft Auto 5" with 105 Gigabytes, taking away over half of the disk space available already.
As someone who has never owned a Console or Handheld before, one of the reasons being the lack of actually owning them, i had to learn a lot of the how to use first. You can watch that progress in my Unboxing and First Start Video.
Let's have a look...
Here is the list of games i personally tested. It is the raw experience, no nice-ification.
In the Video descriptions are sometimes hints on the setup and other information, so please make sure to read those and their entry on ProtonDB.
Ok, but how do you deal with games that have no controller support?
Valve added the option to remap the Deck's input to anything you want. You can see how it works in the following examples.
What if i need a proper keyboard tho?
You can ether attach a Bluetooth Keyboard which works out of the box, or you can utilise an application like "Remote Touchpad" you can find in "Discover" which lets you use another devices browser to input text.
- Pausing and Resuming during Gameplay is really fast.
- When you have downloads running it will automatically go to sleep once it is done when it is idle.
- The screen is not getting refreshed when there is nothing to refresh, so it will significantly reduce battery usage when you only have an idle picture.
- Setting Steam to offline mode causes no issues as long as the game(s) in question do not have an always online DRM.
- If you add external applications to the Steam Library (for example VLC) you can publish and download Controller Layouts for it. How amazing is that! This also means that application developers eventually have to rethink how to make user interfaces if the Deck and Deck-like mobile PCs become more popular. Or do you know a media player that comes with controller support out of the box from the top of your head?
- When it switches between 2.4 GHZ and 5 GHZ it sometimes causes the Deck to fully loose internet connection and you have to switch WLAN off and on again.
- Since i have a bad internet with max 900 Kilobytes per second download, i use a local samba server to transfer game files to the Deck (and other PCs), but the Steam Client still checks free space available first before it checks existing game files. This means i need to have double the game size of free disk space.
- In Desktop Mode, KDE is still buggy. One annoying example is when point 1 collides with point 2 above and i had several file transfers in parallel the retry windows would fight for the foreground dominance and i randomly have to minimise and maximise the windows until the correct ones were on top. If you use the top left corner for application switching it would deadlock. While the KDE developers did a lot of polishing work, they are not done yet.
- Also in Desktop Mode, the mouse input and on-screen keyboard is dependent on the Steam Client running, otherwise you have the "BIOS Controls" for the mouse and no keyboard. This must eventually become an external handler.
- Since all the Deck Hardware is the same, i would like to have a page that tells me how i should set the ingame settings for the best experience. One for best visuals and one for best battery life would do. Otherwise everyone is going to have a widely different experience and no consistency and compare-ability. This could be done by the community, with a voting system like for the custom controller configuration. It just makes sense.
- Manually turn off the screen option is missing. While it does automatically sleep when a download is finished, i can not turn off the screen to save power. It never turns it off in Deck Mode, but in Desktop Mode it eventually turns it off, timeout adjustable in the settings. It is just another entry in the "on/off menu", please add it.
I will keep using it. All the issues i have pointed out have been reported to Valve ether by me or someone else already did. I will follow up on this post later in the future, so make sure you are subscribed to the RSS feed.
What else i need to do is to take it on an outdoor trip. This is what your parents meant when they said: Play outside. Also tweaking games for battery longevity while not sacrifising quality too much is going to be a task.
Is it worth it? Definitely!
Hold on, i still have questions!
If you need more information, questions and etc please drop by in the #based-quest:cernodile.com Matrix Channel. I will happily share more information.
Support your local family farm and have a nice day