This Nifty Steam Deck Docking Station Makes It Easy To Add M.2 Storage To The Handheld Gaming PC
Accessory maker JSAUX has previously released a pair of reasonably popular docks for Valve's Steam Deck handheld, but it's not stopping there. Its latest release has all the usual ports and an extra trick up its sleeve. The new HB0604 docking station includes an M.2 slot for an extra chunk of super-fast storage to beef up your docked Deck.
The Steam Deck has its own internal storage, of course, but it's not exactly expansive. The base model has just 64GB of space, and it's using the sluggish eMMC standard. The faster NVMe drives are available in 256 and 512GB variants. With some games crossing 100GB, even the largest Steam Deck could be hurting for storage before you know it. And swapping in a larger drive is risky, according to Valve.
The HB0604 has a comfy little padded shelf on which to place the Steam Deck. A built-in USB-C cable snakes up to plug into the console's top-mounted port, juicing up your handheld at the maximum 45W. The cable can charge other devices beyond what the Steam Deck is capable of at up to 100W. That cable also powers the rear-facing dock ports, including a USB-C port, two USB-A 3.1 ports, and an HDMI. The video out supports 4K at 60Hz or 2K at 120Hz. There's also an Ethernet port on the side, though not the most convenient placement.
The top is where things get interesting—lift up the cover and there's a standard M.2 card slot. It should fit any M.2 2280 form factor card. It supports PCIe Gen 3 with four lanes, up to 8GT/s (gigatransfers per second). This should be more than fast enough to play any content that works with the Steam Deck.
JSAUX will sell the HB0604 for $129, but the first 100 buyers on release day (September 7th) will be able to pick one up for $99. It doesn't come with an M.2, but JSAUX says it will offer optional bundle deals if you want to add a 1TB or 2TB drive at the time of purchase.
While the device is designed for the Steam Deck, the nice thing about USB-C is that it's essentially universal. If you have an Android phone or an iPad with USB-C, you can plug that device in just as you would a Steam Deck. Those gadgets are easier to get than the Steam Deck, too. Valve is currently taking orders for the next round of units, which will ship between October and December 2022.