Whether it’s thanks to the popularity of the Nintendo Switch or just a resurgence in portable gaming overall, handheld consoles are once again having their time in the limelight. Now, perhaps more than ever, both die-hard and casual gamers alike have the opportunity to pick up a console and play whenever, wherever.
Helping drive customers into this revived field are two big names that have long held a place in the gaming space as Logitech unveiled its first gaming console with the Logitech G Cloud. Similarly, Valve, owner of the uber-popular Steam store, released its first handheld console with the Steam Deck.
Let’s look at both of these popular handheld gaming consoles and see which one is right for you.
Logitech G Cloud vs. Steam Deck: A Side-by-Side Comparison
|Logitech G Cloud||Steam Deck|
|Release Date||October 2022||February 2022|
|Price||$349 (often on sale for $299)||$399/$529/$649|
|Dimensions||10.11 x 4.61 x 1.30 inches||11.73 x 4.61 x 1.93 inches|
|Display||Touch 7” 1280 x 800 IPS LCD (16:10 aspect ratio)||Touch 7” 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD (16:9 aspect ratio)|
|Brightness||450 nits||400 nits|
|Weight||1.02 pounds||1.47 pounds|
|Expansion||Supports SD, SDXC, and SDHC memory cards||microSD expansion slot|
|Wi-Fi/Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.1, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, 2×2 MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), 2×2 MIMO|
|Battery||23.1W lithium-ion, up to 12 hours on a single charge||40W lithium-ion battery, 2-8 hours depending on gameplay|
Logitech G Cloud: What is it?
While both the Logitech G Cloud and Steam Deck qualify as portable gaming handhelds, they are not quite the same thing.
Released in October 2022, Logitech surprised the gaming world by entering the handheld space with its cloud-based handheld. This is an important consideration with Logitech as this handheld is very much geared toward cloud gaming services like NVIDIA GeForce Now, Xbox Game Pass, or Steam Link. If you have a subscription to these services and have games available, you’re in good shape but that also means you need to be on a constant Wi-Fi connection available.
- Hundreds of AAA video game titles available
- Play games remotely with Xbox app
- 7-inch Full HD touchscreen
- Over 12 hours of battery life
- Immersive gaming experience on the go
Steam Deck: What is it?
Developed by Valve, the Steam Deck is something of a handheld PC that the company launched in February 2022. Whereas the Logitech G Cloud is more limited to playing games you already have available through cloud services, the Steam Deck has access to the entirety of the Steam store, though not every game is playable or supported.
Most notable about the Steam Deck is that it offers dual joysticks, four configurable rear buttons, and two haptic mouse pads, all of which combine to make the Steam Deck feel as if it’s infinitely customizable.
Logitech G Cloud vs. Steam Deck: What’s the Difference?
Right from the onset there’s no question that anyone looking at these two pieces of portable hardware will want to recognize the price difference. With just one model available, the Logitech G Cloud comes in at $349, though it frequently drops to $299 on sale. For that price, what you see is what you get, there are no upgrades, no special editions, or features that can be changed. It’s just one price and that’s actually a good thing as it eliminates any indecision. It’s also worth considering that the price is pretty much set across retailers so whether you pick it up from the Logitech store or through Amazon here, it’s still one price.
Pricing for the Steam Deck is handled differently, but that’s only because you have three models to choose from. At the base level, you have the entry piece of Steam Deck hardware which starts at $399. For that price, you just get a carrying case included and 64GB of storage. Jump up to the mid-level Steam Deck at $529 and you get the carrying case plus a faster hard drive with 256GB of storage. Finally, the top-tier Steam Deck comes in at $649 and offers the carrying case, the fastest storage with 512GB of memory plus a premium anti-glare etched glass screen.
Regardless of which portable handheld you choose, both of them need to have a good screen to make you want to give up the comfort of a larger television or monitor. Logitech gave the G Cloud a 7” touchscreen display running at 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution (16:9). Between the two devices, the Logitech screen feels crisper with the higher resolution all while offering a 60Hz refresh rate with 450 nits of brightness.
The Steam Deck is no slouch in the display department but given that Valve didn’t want a more powerful display draining battery, Steam Deck buyers receive a 7” 1280 x 800 (16:10) display. At 400 nits of brightness, it’s slightly less bright at the very high end when compared to the G Cloud but also offers the same 60Hz refresh rate.
Ultimately, Logitech’s display does offer a slight advantage to the Steam Deck because of the increased resolution but the flip side is that, with a larger resolution on a smaller display, some text might be difficult to read.
Whenever a new portable piece of gaming hardware is released, one question remains a question every single time. Unsurprisingly, the question is, how good is the battery life? Like the display question, the battery life section leans more in Logitech’s favor as its 23.1W battery is said to offer up to 12 hours of gaming. Of course, that number is dependent on a number of factors including but not limited to whether you use all your battery all at once or intermittently. The bottom line is that any battery numbers should be taken with a grain of salt since so many factors need to be considered.
With the Steam Deck, even if it offers a larger 40W battery, Valve is more practical on how long this battery will last and provides a pretty wide range. Ranging anywhere from two to eight hours of battery life before recharging is a huge question mark as to how long your battery life will last. Realistically, if you plan on playing the Steam Deck on road trips or while traveling then you need to consider a portable battery backup unit to avoid the battery shutting off right while you are in the middle of a big boss fight.
Size and Weight
As a device you will keep in your hands while playing, weight is an important consideration as you don’t want to get uncomfortable or tired. The Logitech G Cloud is definitely the lighter of the two options weighing in around 40% lighter than the Steam Deck at 1.02 pounds. While it might sound lightweight, it’s actually still pretty hefty for a handheld that’s sized 10.11 x 4.61 x 1.30 inches dimensionally. However, there seems to be no debate that the overall curvature of the Logitech is simply more comfortable to hold. Of course, comfort is subjective but the design itself looks as though it will provide a better contour to match the shape of your hand.
The Steam Deck is the bulkier of the two handhelds weighing in at 1.47 pounds or around the weight of a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Match that to larger dimensions of 11.73 x 4.61 x 1.93 inches and there’s no contest that the Steam Deck is larger. However, even if the Logitech G Cloud is subjectively the more comfortable of the two, that’s not to say that the Steam Deck is uncomfortable. Far from it as the Steam Deck is quite comfortable to hold, though you will fatigue faster because of its increased weight.
Without getting too much into the technicals, performance is the key factor that will help decide which portable gaming handheld is the best one for you. All the battery life and comfort in the world won’t make up for the fact that the hardware may not be able to properly play the game library you’d like. To that end, the Logitech G Cloud offers lower-powered hardware with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor and Octa-core CPU up to 2.3GHz. As Logitech is heavily reliant on cloud streaming, most of the heavy processing for games is done server-side from the likes of NVIDIA or Microsoft so the hardware doesn’t require top-of-the-line power. For better or worse, the Logitech was designed to be a cloud gaming machine and not more than that.
On the other side of things, the Steam Deck is a PC wrapped in a gaming machine body. Powered by an AMD APU and with 16GB of RAM on board plus three choices of either EMMC or SSD hard drives, there’s far more potential here as far as performance. Instead of playing from the cloud, games are downloaded to the Steam Deck hardware so you do not need an internet connection except to initially download any game titles. Once a game is on board, performance varies and because of that, the Steam store does a fantastic job of identifying which games are playable as well as supported. So far, more than 7,000 games have been marked as one or the other for the Steam Deck. This amounts to a huge selection of games and it includes many AAA titles.
Speaking of games, there’s no question which device wins this round as the Steam Deck is miles ahead as far as selection. The Logitech G Cloud offers a number of different ways to play through GeForce Now or Xbox Game Pass but even if you include that its software is just an Android 11 overlay, you are still limited by game selection. Accounting for the Android game lineup isn’t quite why you buy a Logitech G Cloud as you can access those games and the Play Store from dozens of different devices. You also need a continuous subscription to both of the aforementioned services to keep using their games.
Valve, with all of its Steam store power, has made sure the Steam Deck is ultra-competitive as far as games and so far it’s producing results. There is a groundswell of energy behind looking at the best games playable on the Steam Deck and finding how to best optimize performance so they run well. That you have so many games to choose from and at a one-time cost makes the Steam Deck a big winner in the game selection category. Steam is the reigning champion of PC gaming downloads so there’s no question that more and more AAA, AA, and quality games will continue to be added for years to come.
Logitech G Cloud vs. Steam Deck: 5 Must-Know Facts
- The Logitech G Cloud requires an internet connection to play any of the cloud-based services it works with.
- The Steam Deck is already playable with more than 7,000 games with more added each day.
- The Steam Deck is more of a dedicated PC in a gaming wrapper as it has a desktop mode where you can connect to a monitor or TV and browse the web.
- The Logitech G Cloud is constantly going on sale so it’s best to wait until it’s $299 before picking one up.
- Games for the Steam Deck are a one-time purchase and can be played anywhere the Steam store can be accessed.
Logitech G Cloud vs. Steam Deck: Which One Should You Choose?
At the end of the day, the Steam Deck remains the best option for most people. Given its huge library of games, excellent hardware, ability to dock and connect to a monitor or TV, and the community of fans lining up behind it, it’s a hard handheld to pass up. If you’re okay with being limited to just games accessible via cloud services, the Logitech is a great handheld and very comfortable to use but it’s still more limited. For the price, the Steam Deck offers far more overall value and therefore the right portable gaming handheld to choose from.
Recent Technology Developments for the Logitech G Cloud and the Steam Deck
The fascinating world of gaming has gotten a lot more fascinating since February 2023. Here are some highlights of the recent technology developments:
Logitech G Cloud
- Service improvements: G Cloud service improvements include the increased number of supported games, improved streaming quality, and reduced latency.
- New subscription tier: Plans to launch a new subscription tier have been announced that will offer higher quality streaming and more features.
- Game support: Steam Deck added support for more games to give gamers additional options.
- Battery life: The battery life has been improved, which increases the length of game play.
- Software update: A software update was released that includes performance improvements and several bug fixes.
Possible Technology Developments for the Logitech G Cloud and the Steam Deck
Technology is constantly advancing. We don’t always know what technological developments companies are working on; however, here are some possible developments we may see in the next six to 18 months:
- Game library expansion: Support for more games and the addition of games into the game libraries would give gamers many more options.
- Network infrastructure: Updates to the network infrastructure would allow for faster and more reliable streaming.
- Hardware improvements: This could mean more powerful and efficient devices that are able to handle even the most demanding games.
- Software updates: This may include new features that make cloud gaming and handheld gaming more enjoyable and convenient.
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