September 23rd 2013 1:10 pm

final rating

reviewed on
this review has been viewed 2151 times

Criteria Comments Rating
  • Ease of use No comments great!
  • Speed No comments great!
  • Configurability No comments good
  • Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.) No comments great!
  • Openness No comments great!
Detailed review
This is an amazingly focused version of Debian Linux for Steam fanatics. I loaded it from a USB flash drive in only 20 minutes on a custom built Intel Haswell box. It booted on the first try to Intel graphics. In Intel graphics mode I was able to break into the top 10 online scores on my favorite game. Then I added an Nvidia GTX 550 video card and a Soundblaster extreme both with zero effort. There is some misinformation going around that the Steam box is an expensive build. For around $300 I have mine playing smoothly on some very cool games.

Even in Feb 7 beta I found very few bugs. Updates and drivers poured in automatically and unlike Windows took very little time to install. The Web browser is the most unpolished part being a custom Valve job with no flash support. Give Gabe a ton of credit for making the OS Microsoft should have done. Valve is doing Steam OS right.