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Steam Deck vs Aya Neo Pro (2022): Which Handheld Should You Buy?

From a price to performance standpoint, no handheld in the market can beat the Steam Deck. It has a reasonable price while boasting excellent performance, especially in the graphics department. However, one problem with the unit is availability. If you are one of the unlucky ones unable to get a unit, should you consider other handhelds such as the Aya Neo Pro 2021? In this article, we compare the Steam Deck and the Aya Neo Pro 2021 to find out if the latter is worth buying if you can’t get a hold of the former.

Steam Deck vs Aya Neo Pro Comparison Chart

ModelSteam DeckAya Neo Pro 2021
 
PriceCheck Price Check Price
Size and Weight11.73 x 4.61 x 1.93 inches
1.47lbs
10.4 x 4.17 x 0.79 inches
1.43lbs
CPU/GPUCustom AMD Zen 2 CPU
RDNA 2
AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
Radeon Vega 6
Screen7-inch IPS LCD
1280 x 800
7-inch IPS LCD
1280 x 800
ControlsABXY buttons
D-pad
L/R analog sticks with capacitive touch
L/R bumpers and analog triggers
4x grip buttons
2x trackpads
Gyro
ABXY buttons
D-pad
L/R analog sticks with capacitive touch
L/R bumpers and analog triggers
Gyro
Connectivity2.4GHz & 5GHz WiFi a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
WiFi 6
Bluetooth 5.2
Storage64GB eMMC
256GB NVMe
512GB NVMe
microSD card slot
1TB NVMe
microSD card slot
RAM16GB16GB
Ports1x USB-C 3.2 Gen2 (DP 1.4)
1x 3.5mm audio jack
3x USB-C 3.2 Gen2 (2x DP 1.4)
1x 3.5mm audio jack
Battery Life2 – 8 hours3 – 6 hours
ColorsBlackRetro Power, Dark Star, Light Moon

Design

Both the Steam Deck and Aya Neo Pro 2021 are portable, but the latter has the advantage due to its slightly more compact build.

The Steam Deck (left) is wider than the Aya Neo Pro (right), but they weigh almost the same.

The Steam Deck and Aya Neo Pro are handheld PCs that are on the bigger side, especially when compared to something like the AYN Odin or Nintendo Switch. At 11.73 x 4.61 x 1.93 inches, the Steam Deck is bigger than the Aya Neo Pro, which measures 10.4 x 4.17 x 0.79 inches. That said, they weigh almost the same, with both of them weighing just a little over 1.4lbs.

They have excellent ergonomics with curved grips at the back, so your hands will not cramp up while playing. They can be used for long periods of gaming without discomfort, but it will vary from person to person.

Display

They both have a 7-inch IPS LCD with a resolution of 1280 x 800. They also have a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz and are both touch-enabled. There’s no real difference with their screens.

Controls

One of the many advantages of the Steam Deck over other handheld PCs, including the Aya Neo Pro, is its excellent built-in controller. Aside from the standard face buttons, d-pad, thumbsticks and shoulder buttons, the Steam Deck comes with two trackpads with haptic feedback that offer precise mouse movements, and it also has four back buttons that can be remapped for convenience.

In contrast, the Aya Neo Pro only comes with the buttons that you’ll find on standard controllers such as the face buttons, d-pad, thumbsticks and shoulder buttons. It does have additional shortcut buttons for Xbox Game Bar, Windows Home, Task Manager, Escape and on-screen keyboard. But for gaming, the Steam Deck’s controls is better.

Games and Software

Running on SteamOS 3.0, the Steam Deck offers a more console-like experience than the Aya Neo Pro, which runs on Windows.

The Steam Deck (left) and Aya Neo Pro (right) are both excellent for on-the-go gaming, but they are admittedly a bit too big.

The Steam Deck runs on Steam OS 3.0, which is similar to Steam Big Picture mode on Windows. It offers a console-like and streamlined experience for your Steam Library. This is great if all your games are on Steam. But what if you have games on GOG or the Epic Games Store? You can access the games on those storefronts in various ways. First, you can install Windows on your Steam Deck and get access to all digital storefronts. However, if you don’t want to do that, you can also download and install the Heroic Games Launcher, which is an open-source application for Linux that you can use to launch Epic and GOG games.

Meanwhile, the Aya Neo Pro 2021 runs on Windows, and it’s not as smooth as the Steam Deck upon booting, especially without a physical mouse and keyboard. It will take some getting used to when you first boot up the system.

As a Windows PC, you can easily install all storefronts on the Aya Neo Pro 2021. You can install Steam and enable its Big Picture mode for a console-like experience, and you have easy access to other storefronts such as the Epic Games Store and GOG. There’s also the Aya Space, which is the company’s proprietary launcher that collects all your games in one space for an easier and more convenient user experience.

Performance

You’ll get better gaming performance with the Steam Deck than the Aya Neo Pro.

You can purchase a dock for both the Steam Deck (left) and Aya Neo Pro (right).

Powering the Steam Deck is a custom AMD Zen 2 4c/8t CPU with 8 RDNA 2 CUs. This combo is a bit weak in the CPU department, but the GPU can handle a lot of the newer games better than other handhelds out there, including the Aya Neo Pro 2021. Of course, it will struggle with the latest AAA games, but with a few adjustments, most will run at 30fps smoothly.

Meanwhile, the Aya Neo Pro 2021 is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 7 4800U, which is an 8c/16t mobile CPU with Radeon Vega 8 GPU. The CPU is more powerful than the custom Zen 2 CPU on the Steam Deck, but the GPU is considerably weaker. As gaming is more dependent on GPU than CPU, the Steam Deck can run games better. You can up the power consumption on the Aya Neo Pro 2021, and there’s a small performance gain, but ultimately, it’s not worth it to do so because battery life will suffer.

Speaking of battery life, the Steam Deck can run between 2 – 8 hours, while the Aya Neo Pro can last between 3 – 6 hours. For demanding games, the two offer mediocre battery performance, so if you are on the go, it’s recommended that you have a portable power supply handy.

Verdict

It’s recommended to wait for the Steam Deck since it offers better value and gaming performance than the Aya Neo Pro 2021.

Steam Deck

Better GPU and gaming performance

Aya Neo Pro 2021

Better CPU performance but overpriced

If you can be patient, the Steam Deck is the overall better deal. It’s cheaper, while still offering better gaming performance and overall user experience. The Aya Neo Pro, just like other handheld PCs, is massively overpriced without offering substantial upgrades over the Steam Deck.

FAQs

📌 Can I play Steam games on the Aya Neo Pro?

Yes, you can play Steam games on the Aya Neo Pro since it is basically a handheld Windows PC.

📌 Is the Steam Deck worth it?

Out of all the handheld PCs in the market, the Steam Deck offers the best price to performance, so yes, it is worth buying if you want to play games on the go.

📌 Is Steam Deck more powerful than Aya Neo Pro?

The Steam Deck has the better GPU while the Aya Neo Pro is equipped with a more powerful CPU. For gaming, the Steam Deck performs better.

📌 Can you install Windows on Steam Deck?

Yes, you can install Windows on the Steam Deck.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.