The title does not decieve you, my SteamDeck has in fact arrived! Well actually it arrived on the 15th of August, and I've been using it since.
Why order the SteamDeck?
I liked the concept, I loved that Valve opted for, and have aided in the development of the Linux kernel (notably for gaming), I wanted to untether from my desktop PC, and I wanted to emulate handheld games on a, well, a handheld.
I also figured buying this device puts a little money in Valve's pocket, and shows that there's a want, for both Valve, and other game developers.
Which did I order?
I ordered the 256GB model (the middle tier), as I figured Valve made nothing on the model before, and I couldn't justify to myself (at the time) the model after.
How long did it take to get?
It took a bit over a year for me to recieve my order email (check Steam for your estimated dates though!). I ordered on the 16th of July (2021) after much hesitation, and got the email on the 8th of August (2022), but after the order was placed, it was around a week for it to get delivered to my house. It did take a little over a week for me to receive it though, as I missed the Friday delivery due to being at work, and had to take the day off on Monday, to ensure I recieved it next working day.
I've only been using it for around a week, but it has been my daily driver so I can give a current thought which is yes.
Using it in both gaming mode, and desktop mode (with external peripherals) has been great, and if you enjoy handhelds I wholely recommend grabbing one once they're more readily available.
With my thought on its worth (strongly worth), I've still written this article unbiased, with any qualms I have with entire honesty, because I cannot stand when people lie about products they like
Desktop mode with peripherals works as any Arch desktop would, there are a few hoops to jump through on first use, but after that it's a neat PC. Most of my desktop use is gaming with friends on Discord, or SSHing into servers to work on them, and the SteamDeck does them both.
Sometimes when tabbing between programs, and more often when new media starts to play, my audio will stop, which is annoying as I need to use volume controls to change back to the correct device each time this occurs. It's probably an issue with Pulseaudio itself, but none-the-less it's annoying.
Maybe not a problem, as many laptops are heading this way, but I needed to buy an adapter (USB-C splitter) to plug in my USB-As, HDMI, Ethernet, etc.
This is how most of my time with the SteamDeck has been spent. I've played a bunch of Hades, some (emulated) Pokémon Legends Arceus, Minecraft, and tried some mid 2010 AAAs. Within this short stint, it's been a fantastic experience, the screen's splendid indoors, audio is great (for a non-audiophile like me at least), and the controls feel balanced, and responsive, can't ask for much else.
I feel like there's room for improvement with the Steam GUI, such as hotkeys to get to the top bar, etc. but I'm a tiling window manager guy, so of course I want the efficiency of hotkeys.
After a few hours of play, I get some pain in my right arm, and thumb, although if you don't have RSI already, this likely won't affect you.
The screen is very reflective on my model, and is annoying to use outside. I went for a walk while playing Pokémon, and even at full brightness I couldn't see the gameplay very well whilst in the sunlight.
My joysticks make a very quiet clicking noise when I tap them upwards, which most people probably don't notice, but unfortunately I do. Thankfully with the speakers on it's non-noticable.
Battery life is a bit lacking for me, with ~2-5 hours or so depending on the games played (even with GPU clocked down). I knew what I was getting into, but still hope the next iteration has a lil' more juice.
Actually yes, I regret not purchasing the 512GB model with the reflective screen. As mentioned I've tried using the device outside, and the reflection is annoying (could just be the 'tism), but not entirely unusable especially at higher brightnesses (and definitely usable outside of sunlight). I'll likely purchase a screen protector to try to fix this problem.
I've also noticed that I've used a lot of storage already, and the extra 256GB from the SSD would have been majorly useful (especially since I may well have installed some larger, 100GB+ titles if I had it). This can be solved with a larger SD card, or by switching the SSD, but it'd have been nice to have from the start.
Not a regret per se, but something I've spotted. In this ~week of usage my battery health has dropped from 100% to 96%. It may be a calculation issue, but still that's spooky, and I don't like that it's already gone down. I'm going to get a 20k mAh battery pack to allow me to use it during travel, etc.
Yea, the SteamDeck's pretty good. I'll be investing in a reflective screen protector, and a powerbank to hopefully cover up its flaws, but besides that it's definitely worth the buy so far.
If you don't own a PC, this is a good starting point, as it's an affordable in, and unlike traditional PC gaming, you don't need to sit at a desk the whole time!
I'm looking forwards to some LAN-esk ventures with the 'Deck, and if a new version is announced in the next couple years, I'll definitely be hopping onto that pre-order queue.