You'll soon be able to upgrade your Steam Deck display, but not in the way you want

Installing Windows 11 on Steam Deck
(Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • F(x)tec has announced plans to make a DIY display upgrade for the Steam Deck available. 
  • The IPS panel will offer better color reproduction than the stock display as well as bumping the resolution to 1920x1200. 
  • It's expected to cost around $99 and those interested can join the waitlist right now. 

The Steam Deck display isn't bad, let's get that out of the way from the start. It's not the greatest panel you'll ever see, but for something that's as affordable as this it really isn't a problem. But if you've ever lusted after a higher resolution or better colors, something the soon-to-be-released ASUS ROG Ally will offer, there's an interesting solution on the way. 

F(x)tec, a company you may have heard of thanks to its attempts at sliding keyboard Android phones, is planning to offer a display upgrade under the Deck HD brand as surfaced by GamingOnLinux

The big draw is that you'll be bumping the resolution up to 1920x1200 from the 1280x800 on the stock display. In addition, every single one will have anti-glare, something so far reserved for the most expensive Steam Deck, and improved color reproduction. F(x)tec says it'll offer 74% Adobe RGB coverage, a significant upgrade over the stock display's 45%. 

Refresh rate and brightness will be the same as the stock display. This all sounds lovely, but is it really the display upgrade that the Steam Deck needs? I'd say no. 

An impression of the color reproduction upgrade the Deck HD will offer over the stock Steam Deck display. (Image credit: F(x)tec)

While higher resolution and better colors sounds great, there are going to be drawbacks. For one, more pixels means a negative impact on battery life, you simply can't escape that. If you're running games at 800p and you suddenly bump that to 1200p, you're going to use more juice.

The Steam Deck also just isn't powerful enough really to run more modern titles at this resolution. In most cases we're locking to 30 FPS already and making use of FSR to upscale from a lower native resolution. Older games or favorites like Vampire Survivor will be fine, but you're going to be asking more from the internal hardware. You wouldn't use a dock and try to play a game at 4K on an external monitor, would you? 

But perhaps the biggest elephant in the room is the fact this isn't an OLED upgrade. OLED would cost more, but would also be able to offer better colors, an improved brightness and power efficiency which could help offset some of the battery concerns. I'd wager a sizeable number of Steam Deck owners would be happier with an 800p OLED upgrade over a higher resolution IPS panel. 

In any case we'll never turn our noses up at options and the ecosystem of parts, accessories and upgrades for the Steam Deck continues to get more impressive. If this sounds like something for you, hit up the Deck HD homepage and add your name to the waitlist to hear more. 

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

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