Steam Deck iFixit Teardown Has Some Great News And One Big Warning

There have been quite a few gaming PC handhelds launched in the past few years, but Valve's Steam Deck could still become the one that truly revolutionizes that market. In addition to the strong brand, the price tag makes it more accessible than other contenders that rival laptops in both power and cost. Now, however, there seems to be one more advantage to the Steam Deck that'll reassure gamers who will be investing in a long-term relationship with the device.

Valve itself effectively preempted iFixit's customary teardown by releasing its own quite early in the production process. Unsurprisingly, that teardown video didn't go all the way and included a bunch of warnings about dire consequences if you decide to open up the device on your own. Just as unsurprising was how none of those consequences happened during iFixit's more thorough surgery.

The great news is that the Steam Deck turned out to be pretty easy to open up. Even better, many of the parts are modular and easily replaceable. Components and even cables are clearly labeled as if Valve intentionally made it easy for technicians to take this thing apart. Suffering from joystick drift? Simply unscrew the thumbstick, pop it out, and pop in a replacement.

Other key details include the easily replaceable M.2 SSD, something that many laptops don't even offer. The motherboard isn't the all-in-one monster that it is on most portable devices like smartphones and laptops. This means you can do a lot of repairs and replacements without having to replace the motherboard in the process, except for the USB-C port and the microSD card slot, which are soldered on the motherboard.

Not everything is simple

There is some bad news, however, as iFixit says taking out the Steam Deck's L-shaped battery is a huge pain, even for experts. DIYers who attempt this removal on their own face the very real danger of actual damage to the display if isopropyl alcohol is used to loosen up the adhesive. This, the team explains, is due to the presence of holes in the frame. What could have been an almost perfect score ended up at only 7 out of 10 on iFixit's repairability chart.

Despite Valve's earlier warnings, the gaming giant has seemingly welcomed and embraced the teardown and DIY repair process in more ways than one. Valve has named iFixit as one of its authorized resellers for Steam Deck and Index VR replacement parts, making a strong statement in support of the "Right to Repair" movement.