Steam Deck durability test might be the most painful video you’ll watch this year

Photo of Steam Deck handheld console
(Image credit: Future)

The Steam Deck has been put through a torture test to determine its durability, with Valve’s handheld doing well for the most part – with one exception (kind of).

The testing was performed by YouTube hardware destruction specialist JerryRigEverything, who took a blade to the Steam Deck’s case, as well as scratching and burning the display, and trying to bend the whole device to see if it would break.

And Valve’s mini gaming PC came through this host of tests with flying colors, pretty much, with the bend test, and applying a flame to the screen, all making no odds to the Deck which just shrugged off the punishment.

There was one weak point picked out, as the title of the video suggests, and that’s the upgraded (etched) screen on the top-end (512GB) Steam Deck, which didn’t fare so well in scratch tests with Mohs’ hardness picks.

The YouTuber observed that the upgraded anti-glare screen isn’t that great under bright light anyway, and theorized that Valve would’ve been better off adding a little extra brightness to the display in order to make it more visible when in a brightly lit environment.

Analysis: A bright idea – or not?

Doubtless this video clip makes for difficult watching for those who are in the pre-order queue to get a Steam Deck, with the device being much in demand, and some folks having to wait until much later in 2022 before they receive their hardware. For those long-suffering gamers, seeing one of Valve’s handhelds getting scratched, scraped, bent and burned can’t have been easy…

The point JerryRigEverything raises about the etched glass not being worth it is an arguable one. As far as we’re concerned, the anti-glare effect is worth having, and does make a difference in reducing reflections – even if it isn’t major enough to justify having to fork out for the top-end Steam Deck (as we pointed out in our review).

Furthermore, it’s all very well to say that Valve would’ve been better off upping the nits (brightness) for the screen, but we all know that’d have a trade-off – any increase in brightness would have an effect on battery life. And we’re sure Valve had enough on its plate trying to balance battery longevity with more demanding games as it is.

Of course, the suggestion seems to be that you should use a screen protector, and that’s not going to be possible with the anti-glare display – not unless you want to ruin its glare-defeating powers, of course, rendering the thing pointless.

The long and short of it is that if you’re going with the most expensive Steam Deck with the fancy screen, then you might need to take a bit of extra care with it, and be mindful of the display. Though broadly speaking, this is true for any expensive gadget you might own (let’s face it – it’ll never pay to be careless with any given piece of hardware).

Via PC Gamer

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).