The Steam Deck is a runaway hit, and the best handheld console I’ve ever played. Even so, it was a bummer to have to wait for Valve’s official dock, so I decided to look around for alternatives. It looks like the Steam Deck Dock by JSaux does the job, and pretty well.
If you saw the official Steam Deck Dock first look at the Tokyo game show, you’ll see that JSAUX has the right idea in terms of their docks. In fact, the JSAUX “upgraded” dock has a lot going for it. It has a HDMI 4k output at 60Hz, a LAN port that gives you gigabit speeds, three USB-A 3.0 ports, and the (unfortunately only) USB-C hookup to charge and connect your deck to the dock.
I was hoping that somehow someone would come up with a dock that defied the Deck’s design–that top mounted USB-C input. Because of the Deck’s USB location, using the Steam Deck in a docked experience isn’t seamless like the Nintendo Switch. First of all, you have to plug the USB C into the upper port of your Deck–something that Switch bypasses by having a hardware connection on the bottom, making docking your Switch and getting into TV mode easy, and even a little fun. Conversely, the docked experience with the Steam Deck has been a mixed bag, but most of that has been fixed with new Steam Deck updates that have rolled out.
While the JSAUX Dock does everything I want it to, it’s not perfect. I do wish it was a little heavier. I’m sure some will appreciate a light device, but for something that requires stiff cables to stick out of the back of the device, it’s surprisingly not as stable as a Nintendo Switch dock. It also doesn’t have a screen shield, which is something I was baffled by on the Switch until using this Dock. I also wish the JSAUX Dock had more USB-C ports, but that’s a problem even the official Dock looks like it’ll have at release–at least according to what we saw at the Tokyo Game Show.
Docking the Steam Deck was not, and is not, a seamless experience–but I’m wondering if that’s more on the software side for the Deck itself instead of any product that is being put out. When I hooked the dock up to a 4k TV, I was forced to change the resolution for each individual game. Not only that, but the UI itself scaled to 4k, dragging the system performance down while in the menu. After the latest Beta and Preview updates, however, docking the Deck into a JSAUX Dock is almost great at any resolution. Games scale automatically, or based on the global resolution setting in the Deck itself.
The JSAUX Dock is not only an excellent stopgap, but it might be just as good as the real thing. I’ll have to wait until I get my hands on the official Steam Deck Dock, but for now, the JSAUX Steam Deck Dock does everything I wanted the OEM dock to do, and with its newer model releasing with an NVME slot, it feels like JSAUX is beating Valve at its own game.
A part of me wonders if the Steam Deck Dock is ready, but it’s the Steam Deck itself that is going through the necessary changes before the proper Steam Deck Dock is rolled out. That said, if you have a tiny bit of know-how, you can make the JSAUX Dock work for you.
You can check out the JSAUX Dock here.
A Jsaux Dock was sent to us for the purposes of this review.