Steam Deck (original) | 64GB SSD | $349 at Steam
The Steam Deck may have had an OLED refresh but the original version is still pretty much the archetype of what a handheld PC gaming device should be. It's just as powerful as the most recent model so all those Steam Deck compatible games should run well, and while the 64GB storage is rather small, SSD upgrades like the Sabrent 2230 512GB are at a great price for a straightforward upgrade. It's the OG PC gaming handheld, and it demands respect.
We've been very impressed with the new Steam Deck OLED, and it's a rather lovely thing to behold once you get one in your hands. However, I've been spending a bit of time with the original recently and it's still a fantastic way to bring PC gaming with you wherever you go. It certainly doesn't feel like an ageing product, and we've just spotted the 64GB version has dropped to just $349. That makes it an incredibly cheap entry point for someone looking to get into PC gaming, and may just make those of you on the fence decide to jump into the wonderful world of handheld gaming goodness.
Let's not forget that the OG Steam Deck gets the same performance as the newer model, so your games will still run just as well on this as they would the OLED version. And while we loved the new screen and longer battery life of the new Deck, it's not like the old version was what you'd call under-featured.
64GB might be on the (very) small side for built-in storage, but given that the Deck-compatible Sabrent 2230 512GB is currently under $60, it's really not a big expense to fit it out with something chunkier.
Yes it'd be nice to get a bit more life out of it on the train, and yes an LCD is always going to pale in comparison to a fancy OLED, but in my time with the original Deck I've genuinely enjoyed the experience. I can play Warhammer 40,000 Boltgun sitting up in bed at a mostly solid 60 fps, and while that might be something that my partner wishes wasn't the case, I have to say I've been as happy as a pig in the proverbial.
If you missed out on the Deck the first time round or thought it was a bit pricey for what it was, then here's the deal for you. The new version might be the one to buy if you've got the cash to blow, but if you're not sure about handheld gaming or simply want one as a cheaper option to take your games with you on the go, this is about the best I think it's going to get.
Beyond that, if you know someone who wishes they could get into PC gaming but can't quite justify the price, this marks the cheapest entry point to our hobby, nay, passion that you're likely ever to find. It might be a bit of a stretch to call it a "cheap" Christmas present, but what a great one it'd make for a younger relative looking for their first PC gaming machine. You could even just about ram one in a Christmas stocking. Stop sniggering at the back.
Grab 'em while they're hot, as I can't imagine stock will last long at this sort of price.
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