JSAUX wastes no time delivering a serviceable Steam Deck dock for users. The JSAUX M.2 Docking Station does wonderfully with mimicking the Nintendo Switch’s hybrid features. Thoughtful plug-and-play features also make using the dock incredibly seamless with any Steam Deck. But like many brand-new handheld owners, JSAUX hasn’t fully understood the limits of the Steam Deck to create a perfect dock. Users will still get a convenient solution that projects a home gaming experience on TVs despite plenty of hit-or-miss features.
The build quality feels sturdy and top-notch. For a third-party accessory, JSAUX’s dock nails the design of a durable and sleek solution that can be taken anywhere. It’s only slightly bigger than a wallet and has no trouble fitting in pockets and small bags. In fact, the JSAUX M.2 Docking Station’s portability makes it a worthy companion for hotels, gatherings and offices. With a portable monitor, users only need a few added peripherals for a PC space to-go.
Setting up the JSAUX M.2 Docking Station is surprisingly straightforward at first. A tiny manual lays out the types of ports the dock offers. Its USB-C port lets users plug in the Steam Deck’s provided charger for power. Like the Switch’s dock, JSAUX lets users charge and play before taking it outside. The M.2 Docking Station can even work entirely off the Steam Deck with varied battery life. It’s impressive to see JSAUX thoughtfully make a dock that can turn the Deck into a self-sufficient home console matching the likes of PS4 and Xbox.
The JSAUX M.2 Docking Station’s HDMI works beautifully to support a 4K screen at 60Hz. JSAUX pushes the Deck’s hardware past its smaller screen and into next-gen territory. In older games, including Modern Warfare 2 and Batman: Arkham Asylum, performance is stable above 60 frames. Newer games—already playable on the Deck—saw smoother gameplay that even matches previous-gen consoles. JSAUX’s dock does a great job of keeping the Deck running smooth on larger screens. Never once did the Deck overheat, crash or throttle performance when the dock is used with the wall charger.
“The JSAUX M.2 Docking Station’s HDMI works beautifully to support a 4K screen at 60Hz.”
Accessories are also easy to use with the JSAUX M.2 Docking Station. Two USB 3.1 ports are included for a mouse and keyboard combination. In some kind of optimization magic, these accessories work instantly. JSAUX and Valve’s console feel compatible without drivers out of the box, while users can plug and play with a combination of peripherals for that PC-like experience.
The USB-3.1 ports leave plenty of creative ways to use wireless keyboards, controllers and mice without input lag over bigger TVs. All of these cables are relegated to a single USB-C plug for the top of the Steam Deck. Here, switching from docked to portable mode is as easy as unplugging and lifting.
But even with some extra power in the dock, it wasn’t enough to get my Xbox wireless adapter working, while hit-or-miss features come with some frame drops over older games. At higher resolutions from 1080p, performance can also buckle up on occasions. It’s a surprising drawback given the Deck’s capability of playing older games. The JSAUX M.2 Docking Station struggles to keep up with scaling on Desktop Mode.
“The JSAUX M.2 Docking Station comes at an exciting time for new Steam Deck owners sprucing up their gaming sessions.”
The Linux operating system has a hard time adjusting to the dock with every plug-and-play. While users can find it frustrating to go into the settings more often than usual to find a display config that works best for them. Without the support of a wall charger, users will have an even worse time using the dock with performance lags and accessories draining the Deck’s power.
The JSAUX M.2 Docking Station only brings out the Deck’s nature as a PC as this accessory lets users do their taxes, work remotely with a browser and handle other simple productive tasks. I was blown away by the dock’s versatility when Desktop Mode is switched on. Here, the JSAUX M.2 Docking Station truly shines by taking advantage of the Linux desktop experience. While using the Steam Deck with a mouse and keyboard feels surreal next to a full gaming PC rig. JSAUX’s dock manages to come a long way for users away from their desktops by creating one without hassle.
CGMagazine was given the M.2 version of the Docking Station, which actually includes an optional NVME SSD drive inside the top cover. Users can easily replace, swap and upgrade storage without cracking open their Steam Decks. Here, more games can easily be installed exclusively on JSAUX’s dock. The storage feature works seamlessly without any additional setup.
The JSAUX M.2 Docking Station comes at an exciting time for new Steam Deck owners sprucing up their gaming sessions. The Deck is filled with endless ways of playing conveniently. JSAUX’s docking station gives players a new way to experience the Deck as a hybrid console. The transition from portable to docked is nowhere as seamless as the Nintendo Switch, but its high quality build elevates the extra horsepower Valve’s handheld packs as a fully capable home console.