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Ayaneo 2 vs Steam Deck (2023): Which Handheld Gaming PC Should You Get?

Portable handheld gaming PCs are nothing new, but that didn’t stop the Steam Deck from “reblazing” a trail for its kind. Unsurprisingly, many manufacturers have followed suit, and among those that are hot on its heels is the Ayaneo 2. At their core, both devices aim to offer PC gaming on-the-go, but they do so in slightly different ways.

Long story short, the Steam Deck strikes a nice balance between price and performance, whereas the Ayaneo 2 is sort of a beefier, specced-up take of a handheld PC, which commands a premium price. Of course, there’s more to it than that.

Ayaneo 2 vs Steam Deck Comparison Chart

ModelAyaneo 2Steam Deck
 Ayaneo 2 vs Steam DeckAyaneo 2 vs Steam Deck
PriceCheck Price at Ayaneo.comCheck Price at Steampowered.com
Display7-inch LCD touchscreen, 1920 x 10807-inch LCD touchscreen, 1280 x 800
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 7 6800U, Zen3 architectureCustom AMD chip, Zen2 architecture
RAM16GB, 32GB16GB
Storage512GB, 1TB or 2TB SSD64GB eMMC or 256GB or 512GB SSD
Ports3 x USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot1 x USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot
Operating SystemAyaneo OSSteamOS
Dimensions10.41” x 4.15” x 0.84”11.7” x 4.6” x 1.9”
Weight1.49 lbs1.47 lbs

Build and Screen

The Ayaneo 2 has a sharper screen than the Steam Deck.

Ayaneo 2 vs Steam Deck Build and Screen
A look at the Ayaneo 2 Retro Power (in photo).

The Steam Deck and the Ayaneo 2 have similar designs, particularly their form factors. Both sport a pretty sizable 7-inch touchscreen LCD display, but the Ayaneo 2 has the edge with its bezel-less screen and 1920 x 1200 resolution. That’s as opposed to the Steam Deck’s relatively paltry 1280 x 800 resolution and chunky bezels.

Technically, the Ayaneo 2 is more portable too, measuring 10.41” x 4.15” x 0.84” and weighing 1.49 lbs. In contrast, the Steam Deck is larger and thicker at 11.7” x 4.6” x 1.9”, but it does weigh a bit less at 1.47 lbs—not that it matters much, though. 

In addition, the Ayaneo 2 comes in Starry Black and Sky White, as well as a cartoonish B.Duck variant and a Retro Power version, which is reminiscent of the Nintendo Famicom. Compared to that, the Steam Deck is a bit more boring and plain but not necessarily worse, as it’s available only in matte black.

Click here for our comparison between the AYN Odin and Steam Deck.

Controls

The Ayaneo 2 boasts magnetic Hall joysticks that should prevent things like drifting, but the Steam Deck does have two trackpads for easy navigation.

Ayaneo 2 vs Steam Deck Controls
The D-pad and ABXY buttons are located in the upper corners on each side of the Steam Deck (in photo).

As noted, the Steam Deck and Ayaneo 2 have a similar design. However, they have distinct button layouts. First off, the former keeps its D-pad and buttons in the upper-left and upper-right corners, respectively. Meanwhile, the latter offers something akin to the Nintendo Switch: a joystick and a D-pad on the left, and ABXY buttons plus a joystick on the right. Also, it’s worth mentioning that its power button has an integrated fingerprint reader, which is a nice touch.

Speaking of, the Ayaneo 2’s magnetic Hall joysticks are among its most significant advantages over the Steam Deck. Straight from the horse’s mouth, Ayaneo says the technology used here should prevent issues like drifting and even offer more accurate inputs. The same also goes for its shoulder triggers, and despite being non-mechanical, they have a satisfying snappiness to them. In its defense, the Steam Deck does have two built-in trackpads on each side. Thanks to that, navigating is a breeze on it, making for an intuitive experience overall.

Performance and Storage

Simply put, the Ayaneo 2 is a lot faster than the Steam Deck.

Ayaneo 2 vs Steam Deck Performance and Storage
The Steam Deck (in photo) running Stardew Valley.

As for raw power, the Ayaneo 2 has the advantage with its Ryzen 7 6800U chip that’s based on the Zen3+ architecture. Sure, the Steam Deck is no slouch either, owing to its custom processor manufactured in collaboration with AMD, but seeing as it’s built on the older Zen2 platform, it isn’t any surprise that there’s a notable difference in performance.

In the same vein, the Ayaneo 2 can be configured with 512GB, 1TB or 2TB of native SSD storage. On the other hand, the Steam Deck maxes out at 512GB SSD, with its middle option coming in at 256GB SSD. The odd part is, its entry-level model only has 64GB, and to add insult to injury, it’s only eMMC, which means it’s a whole deal slower than SSD.

Also, the Ayaneo 2 has three—count ‘em—USB-C ports, whereas the Steam Deck only has one. Both do have a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot for expandable storage.

Where the Steam Deck comes out on top is battery life. It’s promised to be good for two to eight hours on a single charge, and on average, it can go for about three hours depending on the game. In comparison, the Ayaneo 2 can only go for approximately two hours before it needs to be plugged in, which is more or less expected considering its faster performance and smaller size.

Price

With a more reasonable price tag, the Steam Deck offers a lot of bang for the buck.

The Steam Deck starts at $399, and that’s for the 64GB eMMC version, just to be clear. It’s followed by the 256GB SSD variant priced at $529, and it tops out at $649 for 512GB SSD of storage. 

As expected, the Ayaneo 2 has a higher price tag, starting at $1,099, which is almost double the cost as the most expensive option of the Steam Deck. The 2TB version paired with 32GB of RAM will set you back $1,499, and the priciest of all is the $1,549 Retro Power variant, which does come with 2TB of storage and 32GB of RAM, for the record.

Verdict

Specs-wise, the Ayaneo 2 may have the upper hand, but taking budget into account, the Steam Deck is the better option, not to mention that its performance is more than enough for most people.

In summary, the Ayaneo 2 and the Steam Deck are both excellent handheld gaming PCs, but they offer different experiences. The Ayaneo 2 is a more premium option with better performance, an arguably more elegant design and more functionality (read: more ports). However, it’s also much more expensive. The Steam Deck is a more affordable option that still offers solid performance and portability, and for most folks, it’s their best bet without breaking the bank. That said, the choice ultimately comes down to your budget and what features are most important to you.

FAQs

📌 Is there something better than the Steam Deck?

The Ayaneo 2 is technically better in a lot of ways than the Steam Deck with its more powerful processor, sharper screen, larger capacity and higher number of ports. However, it’s a lot more expensive and may be a bit of an overkill for some.

📌 What is the Steam Deck CPU comparable to?

The Steam Deck uses a custom AMD chip based on the Zen2 platform, and according to Valve, its performance should be roughly on par with the AMD Ryzen 3750.

📌 Is the Steam Deck high end?

The Steam Deck is high end in the sense that it’s capable of playing numerous AAA games. Considering it’s in a handheld package, it’s an impressive feat and a huge step forward for portable PC gaming.

📌 Is the Ayaneo 2 worth it?

The Ayaneo 2 houses a Ryzen 7 6800U built on the Zen3 architecture paired with either 16GB or 32GB of RAM, making for one heck of a portable PC powerhouse. In short, it can play most AAA titles.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.