Mobile technology company FX Technology has recently announced that it will offer an aftermarket screen replacement for the Steam Deck under the brand, DeckHD. This new panel will have a higher resolution of 1920×1200 with 30% more AdobeRGB coverage, offering better color accuracy and the same anti-glare coating as Valve’s top-priced Deck. However, the new panels do not have a set price as of now.
DeckHD Screen Replacement
The Steam Deck’s base screen has a resolution of 1280×800 and is considered adequate. While the color accuracy or vibrancy front may not be essential, some have noticed a bit of light bleed during loading screens when the screen goes black. However, Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais stated that the screen is at the core of the device and everything is anchored to it. Therefore, it would require a considerable amount of work to replace the screen.
The screen is the last component that can be accessed after disassembling and reassembling the device. This requires finagling with a heat gun to remove the adhesive holding the original screen in place. Additionally, software work may be needed to get the best performance out of a different panel.
Resolution Arms Race
The resolution arms race is not necessarily ideal, particularly on smaller devices with naturally pixel-dense screens and battery constraints. The Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck’s 800p/720p screens are ideal in terms of resolution and battery life. A resolution bump on this screen size may not be worth the reduction in battery life.
Furthermore, new games can already struggle performance-wise at 800p or lower. This means that upgrading to a higher resolution may not be necessary for older and less-demanding games. The ideal next-gen Steam Deck screen would be a low-resolution OLED display with vibrant colors, similar to the Nintendo Switch OLED or the original model PS Vita’s OLED display.
Although it is an exciting feature, a screen replacement for the Steam Deck is a complicated DIY project. The Steam Deck’s modularity and open design make it an attractive option. IFixit has a full selection of replacement parts for Deck repair, while upgrade-wise, drift-proof, Hall Effect analogue sticks or even 1-2 TB replacement SSDs are available. However, it would be best to wait until there are more options available before investing time and money in such a challenging DIY project.
DeckHD estimates that the screen replacement will cost $99, but there is no set release date. A waitlist is available on the company’s website.