The Steam Deck has literally changed the way that I play games, and I can’t recommend it enough to fellow adult gamers. Many Steam Deck owners are looking for ways to enhance their gaming experience and make the most out of this powerful little machine. Enter the JSAUX M.2 HB0604 Steam Deck Dock, a third-party dock designed to provide a seamless docking and enhanced storage for the Steam Deck.
Is this JSAUX Steam Deck dock worth the premium over Valve’s official dock?
JSAUX Steam Deck Dock Overview and Key Features
The JSAUX M.2 HB0604 Steam Deck dock is specifically designed for the Steam Deck, providing a convenient way to dock your Steam Deck for a more traditional gaming experience on a larger screen.
The JSAUX Steam Deck dock includes an M.2 slot for expandable storage, allowing you to add an SSD for faster game transfers and increased storage capacity. I have the 1TB version and it has been great to be able to install every game I could realistically want to play on it, ready to play when I dock my Deck.
Here are some of the key features of the JSAUX M.2 HB0604 Steam Deck dock:
- 2x USB Type-A 3. ports
- HDMI 2.1 port supporting 4K at 60Hz or 1440p at 120Hz
- M.2 slot for expandable storage
- Ethernet port
- Solid aluminum construction with rubber grips and feet for stability
With these features, the JSAUX M.2 Steam Deck Dock not only expands the Steam Deck’s functionality but is clearly designed to go one step further than Valve’s official dock.
What’s In the Box?
The JSAUX Steam Deck dock comes well-packaged. Inside the box is a message from JSAUX.
In the box there is the dock, NVMe SSD and another charger (rather than having to use the plug that comes with the dock).
All in all, everything is well-packaged and it is great to have a spare charger. Many cheaper docks expect you to use the plug that came with the dock, so it is a nice touch.
Design and Build Quality
The JSAUX Steam Deck dock is built with a solid aluminum construction, making it both durable and attractive. The tribal markings on the top of the dock may not appeal to everyone, but they help set this dock apart from its competition. I personally think that the design looks pretty awesome, and the markings are not easily visible when using it with a Steam Deck anyway for those who hate them.
The rubber grips and feet on the bottom of the dock provide stability and prevent slipping on various surfaces. The same rubber features in the slot for the dock, holding the Steam Deck securely in place.
Ultimately, the dock is well-designed and built to last. It looks and feels like a premium product.
Connectivity and Ports
The JSAUX M.2 Steam Deck Dock comes equipped with an array of ports that match or exceed the specifications of the official Valve dock. The dock includes a 1Gbps Ethernet port for faster, more stable internet connections, as well as two USB Type-A 3.2 ports for connecting additional peripherals.
The HDMI 2.1 port on the dock supports 4K resolutions at 60Hz or 1440p at 120Hz, making it somewhat future-proof and compatible with various display setups. While the Steam Deck itself may not be capable of outputting 4K resolutions at high frame rates, it is nice to have the option, particularly when playing older games, though it would be nice to have the option to push for 4K at 120hz. That’s probably me being greedy, though – the Deck isn’t able to hit that level in any title I’ve personally played.
I’ve also enjoyed using it in desktop mode on my 4K monitor, which might appeal to gamers who wish to use their Steam Deck for work, school and other productivity tasks.
SSD Compatibility and Performance
The standout feature of the JSAUX M.2 Steam Deck Dock is its M.2 slot, which allows for expandable storage using PCIe 3.0 SSDs. This means that you can significantly increase your storage capacity and enjoy faster game transfers compared to using a microSD card.
The dock is available in several package options, including a base model without an SSD, a 1TB SSD bundle, and a 2TB SSD bundle. I have the 1TB option. I can’t comment on the speeds other than to say it was much faster than my ageing PC’s SSD and significantly faster than MicroSD cards.
After using the dock’s SSD as additional storage for the Steam Deck in SteamOS, I actually formatted it then installed Windows on it. I now have the integrated 512GB Steam Deck storage for games that play nicely with SteamOS, and Windows for everything else plus the programs that I use on a daily basis for work. Having this flexibility is to the credit of Valve for not restricting the functionality of the Steam Deck, and it is awesome that JSAUX’s Steam Deck dock essentially turns my Steam Deck into a Windows PC.
…I accept that that last sentence will have made a few Steam Deck owners throw up in their mouths. I apologise.
Ease of Use and Setup
Setting up the JSAUX M.2 Steam Deck Dock is as simple as it gets. It is literally plug-and-play.
Slot the Steam Deck into the dock, connect the USB-C connector, plug in the monitor cable, any dongles you want to use, and your power cable and you’re good to go.
Just remember to close any game that you are playing off of the SSD before unplugging it.
It really is that simple. I have loved hooking it up to my living room TV to play Steam Deck games with my kids with Bluetooth controllers, and also hooking it up to my home office monitor during breaks. It takes the Steam Deck from being “just” an awesome handheld to being a great desktop PC and even a games console.
How Does the JSAUX M.2 Steam Deck Dock Compare to the Steam Deck Dock?
The JSAUX M.2 Steam Deck Dock sets a high standard for third-party docks with its expandable storage feature, improved HDMI spec, and overall solid build quality. I really can’t stress enough how great the metal construction feels compared to some of the cheaper Steam Deck docks I have lying around.
Valve’s official Steam Deck is the most obvious competitor for JSAUX’s dock. Valve’s dock costs £79 and benefits from being “official” – for some, the comfort of having an official accessory is the most important thing.
The JSAUX M.2 Steam Deck dock can be found on sale for £93.49, but carries a usual RRP of £109.99. That makes it significantly more expensive than Valve’s offering. This increase in price may put some gamers off, as those on lower budgets may be inclined to pick up a cheap Steam Deck dock, while those with more money to spend may choose to look no further than the official dock.
If you have the money for the JSAUX M.2 Steam Deck dock, I’d recommend it over Valve’s official dock if you feel that you would benefit from the flexibility of adding high-capacity SSD storage without opening up your deck. It feels like a quality product and has worked flawlessly for me.
The JSAUX M.2 HB0604 Steam Deck Dock is an excellent accessory for Steam Deck users who want to enhance their gaming experience with expanded storage and improved connectivity options. While it does come at a premium price compared to some alternatives, including the official Steam Deck dock, the dock’s features and overall quality make it a worthwhile investment.