What you need to know
- Valve has published its own teardown video of the Steam Deck.
- Opening it up isn't recommended, but it doesn't look difficult.
- The SSD is replaceable, though it's not the regular size you'd get for a desktop or laptop.
Much has been made of the Steam Deck being a handheld PC and what you can do with it even if you shouldn't. Being a PC gives much more freedom compared to something like the Nintendo Switch.
One such topic is what's inside. Not the spec sheet, the physical hardware, and how much of it you can get at, touch, or even replace, and how hard the Steam Deck is to crack open. Valve has now given us our first official taste by publishing its own teardown video where they're cracking open the case to feast on the tech within.
There's a big focus on "you shouldn't do this," it's even made clear in the thumbnail for the video. But Valve knows damn well that as soon as the first of the early adopters get their hands on a unit, the screwdrivers will be coming out.
So, what do we actually find inside the Steam Deck? Well, it looks like a small computer. There's a battery that is easily accessible, you can see the cooling for the AMD APU which is probably as big as it could possibly be in something this size, and you also have easy access to the SSD.
All Steam Deck models use the m.2 connector for storage apparently, even the base 64GB eMMC model, and like the Surface Pro X, the Steam Deck uses the smaller 2230 size. The video explains all the reasons that you shouldn't use an off-the-shelf SSD, but there's physically nothing stopping you from trying.
Even if it's not recommended, it's pleasing to see that the Steam Deck will be user repairable if you're comfortable using a screwdriver.