iFixit published a dual teardown of Valve’s Steam Deck OLED and the Lenovo Legion Go today, giving a nice, detailed look inside both handhelds with all of the site’s usual meticulous detail. This being iFixit, the focus is on the consoles’ repairability, and it gave both high marks — a 9 / 10 for the Steam Deck OLED and 8 / 10 for the Lenovo Legion.
The article has a nice summary of the process, but we recommend watching the video for the full effect and some nice close-up shots of the components. It’s also a great way to see how things come apart if you’re interested in doing this yourself.
Valve has said it made it easier to carry out DIY fixes for the Steam Deck OLED, and iFixit agrees — as did we in our review. Lenovo has made plenty of noise about repairability itself. I’m not the most experienced at taking apart electronics, but I think I could easily replace almost anything on either of these consoles.
One small detail to note here is the metal frame and screw posts of the new Steam Deck. Valve having chosen metal over plastic this time around means the threads are a lot less likely to strip when you’re putting the back cover back on. It looks from the picture above as though the second revision of the LCD Steam Deck also got that improvement.
The Legion Go uses pull tabs for battery removal. Pull tabs! That means no heat gun, and no pry tools. (The Steam Deck OLED still uses glue, though less than before.) iFixit also pointed out that the Legion Go uses Hall effect sensors, so stick drift shouldn’t be the problem it is for other consoles (like the Nintendo Switch). Valve’s sticks use potentiometers instead, which are more vulnerable to drift.
iFixit concluded that the Steam Deck OLED is a little more repairable than the Legion Go despite its glued-in battery. But both consoles look well-designed and relatively pleasant to repair, and who doesn’t like seeing how companies pack so much power inside such cramped spaces? As iFixit said as it closed out the video teardown, “It’s a great time to be a mobile gamer.”