My OLED TV has ruined Steam Deck OLED for me — here’s why

LG G3 OLED TV vs Steam Deck OLED
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

“Ruined” might be a smidge on the strong side, but there’s no question that over the last few weeks, I’ve barely touched my Steam Deck OLED. And I absolutely blame my gaming PC for that. 

A couple of weeks back I wrote about how I’ve started to play my PC on my living room OLED. Spoiler: it’s been a revelation. Playing the best PC games on one of the best OLED TVs on the planet has been brilliant. It’s allowed me to enjoy fresh playthroughs of Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2 in full-on “couch potato” mode in glorious full-fat 4K

I simply switch on my 77-inch LG G3 OLED, plonk my little Logitech MX Keys Mini wireless keyboard and Logitech MX Master 3 mouse on the end of my L-shaped sofa, I pair my DualSense Edge with my PC over Bluetooth, I enter Steam Big Picture mode, and I’m off to the races.  

Logitech MX Keys Mini Wireless Keyboard: was $99 now $89 @Amazon

Logitech MX Keys Mini Wireless Keyboard: was $99 now $89 @Amazon
This awesome little wireless keyboard is currently $10 off at Amazon. The main reason I love my MX Keys mini so much is the fact it's so portable. I frequently go between using it in my home office and on my living room coffee table, and it's a breeze to pair with multiple devices over Bluetooth. Its keys are satisfyingly snappy, while I also appreciate its ambient light sensor and adjustable backlighting. 

The caveat being my rig weighs more than a pot-bellied pig who’s fed a diet of nothing but fried chicken and fudge sundaes. Every time I have to scoop up my Nvidia RTX 4090-powered PC and stagger all of 25 feet with it to my living room, I legitimately fear my spine will snap. But hey, I’m willing to throw the dice on a major back injury when it lets me play the best Steam games on an astonishing OLED TV with a Micro Array Lens (MLA) panel that can hit over 1,300 nits of peak HDR brightness. 

I’ve tested some of the best gaming monitors throughout recent years, and honestly, not one of them comes close to producing the picture quality the LG G3 is capable of delivering. 

The byproduct of this G3 love-in? I’ve stopped using my Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 for gaming — and I only bought the damn thing last Black Friday. I do still use it for my job, though, as the 32:9 aspect ratio makes it a dream work monitor. And the other big casualty, as the headline alludes to, is my poor Steam Deck OLED. which has been getting very little affection from my pasty digits. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still think Valve’s updated portable PC is a sensational gaming device. I love pretty much everything about it. That unbelievably crisp little HDR screen, the fact I can play some of my favorite PC games ever at 90 frames per second, and those slimmed down bezels compared to the LCD Steam Deck make it a must-buy upgrade if you’re a fan of Valve’s OG handheld. 

(Red) Dead on the money

Red Dead Redemption 2 on LG G3 OLED

(Image credit: Future)

But c’mon, when I can play Red Dead Redemption 2 at 4K/ 120 fps with every single setting maxed out and barely drop a frame thanks to my RTX 4090 and AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D (hot damn, what a gaming CPU), experiencing Rockstar’s Western classic at 720p (and if I’m lucky) 30 frames a second at low settings just can’t compete.

The added bonus of playing my PC through my living room TV is I get the chance to hear my favorite games in incredibly immersive fashion through my Sonos surround sound setup, which consists of a Sonos Arc, two Sonos Subs and a pair of Sonos Era 300 speakers — we rank those as the best Sonos speakers you can currently buy in 2024. 

The added bonus of playing my PC through my living room TV? I get to hear my favorite games through my Sonos surround sound setup.

Ganted, my booming subs might have gotten me into the odd angry altercation with my upstairs neighbors. Sorry, residents of flat 6. I apologize to your and your battered eardrums.

Again, Steam Deck OLED packs in surprisingly powerful, well-rounded speakers, but they can hardly compete with the setup above.

As my Deck OLED guilt rises, I’ve started to force myself into scenarios where playing it for short bursts makes sense. Recently, I’ve started playing Forza Horizon 4 on it during my lunch breaks and my beloved hometown of Edinburgh looks sensational on Valve’s incredible screen.

Fright Night

Alien: Isolation on Steam Deck OLED

No, I don't know why I bought a case for my Steam Deck OLED with serious Starfield vibes, either. I don't even like Starfield! (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I’ve also booted up what must be (at least) my fifth playthrough of Alien: Isolation in bed over the past few days in perhaps unwisely nerve-shredding sessions before I head off to the land of Nod. Yeah, that’s probably not the best idea, ist it?

The Creative Assembly’s horror masterpiece is stunning on Steam Deck OLED. With minor tweaks, you can run it at 90 frames per second at high settings, making it both fluid and frightening in equal measure. It’s the perfect example of what Valve’s device does best: It lets you relive classics from the Xbox One and PS4 generation at high quality levels.

In the meantime, I’ll try to do a better job of splitting my gaming time between my PC and Valve’s OLED beauty. 

You never know, the latter may get lucky, and I’ll tear my quads the next time I pick up my monolith of a PC. Then me and my Steam Deck OLED can’t get properly reacquainted in a hospital bed.

More from Tom's Guide

Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal. 

  • dulcinea22
    Haha awesome!

    I have the same Sonos setup too in a condo in the US. I have a neighbor both upstairs and downstairs. The upstairs neighbor is a DJ and makes a lot of noise, so we cancel each other out. I'm wondering how much noise I'm outputting to my downstairs neighbor!

    What sub settings do you use, if you don't mind me asking? I used to be at -3 with a single sub but am at -6 with my dual sub setup. I do have my second sub right next to me on the couch which I think helps let me go further down!
  • yonisanu
    Surely a near enough ultimate setup is always going to to ruin a for-convenience setup to some degree. It sounds like your pockets are deep enough for a custom OLED handheld workaround though 🤙
  • SirVolpe
    That's like saying you're 4090 desktop ruined the OLED steam deck. It's not competing against it.

    and this feels more like an article to drop a bunch of affiliate links
  • TesseractOrion
    SirVolpe said:
    That's like saying you're 4090 desktop ruined the OLED steam deck. It's not competing against it.

    and this feels more like an article to drop a bunch of affiliate links
    Yup, it's a dumb click bait article, not to mention just a chance to show off the size of his new TV lol 😆