$99 Steam Deck Screen Jumps to 1200p

The Steam Deck‘s 7-inch display, with 1280 x 800 resolution and a claimed 67% sRGB color coverage, is good enough, but it doesn’t necessarily compare with the quality you’d see on your PC. It’s not as high-res or as vivid as the panel on the Asus ROG Ally, that’s for sure. But FX Technology has come up with its own 7-inch screen designed as an aftermarket replacement for the Steam Deck’s panel to improve resolution, brightness and add anti-glare coating to all models.

The new screen, which FX Technology is calling DeckHD, jumps to 1920 x 1200 resolution and claims 95% coverage of the sRGB color gamut. It will maintain the same 400 nits of claimed brightness and a 60 Hz refresh rate, which mean when it comes to comparing the Steam Deck vs. Asus ROG Ally, the latter will still be brighter and offer a faster 120 Hz refresh rate.

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Tom’s Hardware DeckHD Specs Steam Deck Display Asus ROG Ally Display
Resolution 1920 x 1200 1280 x 800 1920 x 1080
Size 7 inches (16:10) 7 inches (16:10) 7 inches (16:9)
sRGB Coverage 95% claimed 60 – 70% 100% (claimed)
Brightness 400 nits (claimed) 400 nits (claimed) 500 nits (claimed)
Refresh Rate 60 Hz 60 Hz 120 Hz
Screen Surface Anti-Glare Anti-Glare on 512GB, Glossy on 64GB and 256GB Glossy

For most, the better color may be the big deal here. Steam Deck reviews typically measured the display between 60 and 70% of the sRGB gamut, which isn’t amazing. 1920 x 1200 will make menus and games look sharper, but most games play their best at 720p on the Deck — and it’s unclear how Steam Deck’s “Aerith” chip, using AMD Zen 2 cores and RDNA 2 graphics, will handle the higher resolution in some games. Even when I reviewed the ROG Ally with its 1080p screen, I tended to lean towards 720p for optimal performance.

The DeckHD will be an anti-glare display. That’s what I have on my 512GB Steam Deck, but Valve went glossy with the lower-end models. This replacement screen will let anyone use a matte display, which is nice for playing outside. Valve has discussed the possibility of updating screens and batteries before performance, and it seems like third parties have taken the company up on the idea.

There’s no release date for the DeckHD just yet. FX Technology predicts the final product will cost $99, and you can join a waitlist for more information on its website.

Of course, changing the display on your Steam Deck is a bit of a process. Valve has partnered with iFixit to sell replacement parts and produce repair guides, so you can find the 43-step instructions to replace the display here. If you don’t want to wait, iFixit sells the 512GB screen with anti-glare display already — though that won’t boost your resolution or improve colors. The DeckHD price is only $5 more than the official screen from iFixit (or the same if you get the iFixit bundles with tools).

At least one person seems to have one preinstalled already: Twitter user Balázs Triszka has posted video of the Deck HD on a Steam Deck, including one showing Stray (one of my favorite games of last year) set up to run on the new screen. 

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The DeckHD Twitter account has retweeted others claiming a June or July release date, so we may see these new screens hit the market this summer.