Handhelds

Ayaneo is Making Handheld Gaming PCs Affordable — But With Some Major Drawbacks

You might be better off getting an entry-level Steam Deck instead.

Ayaneo Next Lite in black, white, or blue
Ayaneo

Ayaneo has been steadily pumping out gaming handhelds lately, but often with a premium price tag attached to it. Recently, however, it’s started to offer devices on the more affordable side, including the newly introduced Next Lite that competes directly with the Steam Deck with its pre-installed, unofficial version of SteamOS.

Ayaneo is starting the Next Lite at $299. That’s $100 less than the current entry-level Steam Deck, and still cheaper than the discontinued Steam Deck with 64GB of storage and an LCD display for $349.

The Ayaneo Next Lite comes in three configurations, which start at $299 and top out at $399.

Ayaneo

Not quite SteamOS

It’s important to point out that Ayaneo will be using a third-party version of SteamOS, called HoloISO. Since it’s not native or official, there’s a chance the Next Lite won’t run as smoothly as a Steam Deck would, but Ayaneo says you can go with Windows if you prefer.

To get the Next Lite to its price point Ayaneo had to make some sacrifices with performance. The Next Lite will come with two processor options: the AMD Ryzen 5 4500 U or the AMD Ryzen 7 4800U. Both of these processors were released several years ago and may not offer any better performance than the entry-level Steam Deck and its custom AMD chips.

Ayaneo’s Next Lite does beat out the most affordable Steam Deck on battery though, thanks to a 47Wh battery. It’s not as much as the recently announced OLED refresh that has a 50Wh battery, but the Next Lite should offer decent battery life. To round out the package, Ayaneo included Hall effect joysticks and triggers, as well as a custom copper cooling system.

It might not perform as well as the Steam Deck, but Ayaneo knows how to design a pretty-looking handheld.

Ayaneo

Ringing in the New Year

The Next Lite will come in either jet black, pastel blue, or bright white, starting at $299 for the base model that comes with the AMD Ryzen 5 4500 U, 16GB of memory, and 128GB of storage. You can bump that up to 512GB of storage for $349, or also upgrade the processor to an AMD Ryzen 7 4800 U for $399.

Ayaneo says the Next Lite will be available for purchase by the end of the month and will start shipping before Chinese New Year, which is scheduled for February 10 this year.

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