Windows Central Verdict
At a price around half that of Valve's official dock for the Steam Deck, this alternative from JSAUX is every bit as good, so long as you don't want DisplayPort.
Three USB ports
Rear airflow partly covered
Ethernet location is mildly inconvenient
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The Steam Deck is obviously a handheld PC/console, but with the right equipment, it becomes a full desktop PC. It has a desktop mode with proper desktop apps, and whether you stick with the Linux-based SteamOS or you go with Windows, it's a powerful, portable PC.
The easiest way to achieve this transformation is with a desktop dock. Valve actually announced one at the time the Steam Deck was launched but didn't become available until much later. When it did arrive it came with a pretty high price tag.
That provides an opportunity for alternatives, such as this Steam Deck dock from JSAUX. This is a brand you've likely not heard of before but has quickly become one of the go-to's for Steam Deck accessories. JSAUX's Steam Deck dock is amazing. And it's significantly cheaper than Valve's.
JSAUX Steam Deck dock: Price and availability
The JSAUX Steam Deck dock is available to purchase now in various global markets through Amazon for $50. There is a less expensive version at $40, also, with the difference being the number and speed of the USB ports.
JSAUX Steam Deck dock: What's good
Power: USB-C PD
Ports: HDMI 2.0, 3 x USB 3.0 Type-A, Gigabit Ethernet
The key to a good Steam Deck dock is something that's specifically designed to hold the handheld safely while providing easy access to expansion ports. And the JSAUX dock has all of those.
The expansion ports are almost exclusively on the rear, where you'd want to find them. The only outlier is the gigabit Ethernet which resides on the side. Even so, with a cable in every connector, this is a tidy little dock. All the cable mess can be fed the same way, away from the dock, and the included right-angled USB-C cable is just long enough to fit securely, and neatly.
There's also a good selection of ports. The cheaper version probably isn't worth a saving of only $10, but this one has a trio of USB 3.0 connections, HDMI 2.0, and Ethernet alongside the USB-C PD that you can hook up your regular Steam Deck power adapter to. You can use all ports at the same time with no detriment to the Steam Deck's performance.
The dock itself is constructed from metal and the channel for the Deck is wide enough so that it's held securely at a slight angle. The angle is perfect for viewing while playing with a controller. And in its gunmetal finish, it's a pretty smart-looking setup. Certainly, I think it has the edge visually over Valve's own all-black dock.
JSAUX Steam Deck dock: What's not so good
There's really very little to complain about, certainly not for the price you pay.
The only real point of minor concern is that the rear airflow is compromised slightly when the Deck is seated in the dock. It hasn't proved to be an issue, but some of the vents are covered up.
The Ethernet port being on the side versus the back also makes it a little less convenient to connect and disconnect with one hand while the Deck is situated in the dock.
JSAUX Steam Deck dock: Competition
The main competition comes from Valve's own official Steam Deck docking station. It's about twice as expensive and only really adds one significant feature that's missing on the JSAUX.
Said feature is a DisplayPort connection. Otherwise, it has everything the JSAUX dock does, though the Ethernet is more conveniently located on the rear. But the major reason to spend the extra would be if DisplayPort is important to you. Valve's dock also doesn't cover any of the rear airflow.
JSAUX is also developing its own additional docks, with the latest capable of holding an SSD to add external storage seamlessly to your Steam Deck while docked.
JSAUX Steam Deck dock: Should you buy?
In a word, yes, you should definitely pick up the JSAUX Steam Deck dock. For $50 this is an elegant solution to using your Deck either as a desktop PC or just for hooking it up to your TV to play games on the big screen, making it one of the best Steam Deck accessories.
It has basically everything that Valve's own official dock has, save for DisplayPort, and is significantly more affordable. And I think it looks better, too.
The minor negative of covering a small part of the rear air flow doesn't seem to have any real impact on keeping the Steam Deck cool. As such, it's very much a winner and with the savings you can make over the official option, it really is a no-brainer.
Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine