I wouldn’t trade my $400 Steam Deck for this $1,300 Ayaneo 2
I keep hearing that the Ayaneo 2 is effectively a Steam Deck Pro. It comes with Windows instead of Linux for compatibility with more games. The company’s product page is a love letter to geeks like me.
Plus, Valve’s handheld wishes it looked this good. But after two weeks of trying to replace my Steam Deck with the Ayaneo 2, I’m going to be blunt: price is not the problem.
Second, the Ayaneo 2 is absolutely more powerful than the Steam Deck.
Again, that’s at 22 watts; some of the Steam Deck vs. Aya Neo videos you see on the internet push the TDP as high as 33W, draining the battery even faster and making the fan noisier. I simply can’t trust the Ayaneo 2 to do that.
And those are just the issues we might be able to chalk up to Windows and general platform stability. It lets you map useful Windows commands to shortcut buttons, like summoning the virtual keyboard or Task Manager or even taking a screenshot.
The only options for joystick sensitivity are 50 percent, 100 percent, or 150 percent, none of which felt like a normal Xbox or PS5 joystick without extra tweaking in Steam or in a game.
I also do like the Ayaneo 2’s fan, which is both relatively quiet and effective at ejecting heat — but it doesn’t seem to stop the system from producing an actually painful-to-touch hotspot you can feel through the upper-right-hand corner of the display.
In practice, that means “it scans my finger very quickly and repeatedly before I’ve properly planted it and then kicks me to the PIN screen instead.” I’ve asked the company about a few issues, but I’m afraid it got ...
...lost in translation: when I asked about the gyroscope, a rep who goes by Crystal replied, “At present, the operation method of the gyroscope is the same as Switch, which is operated left and right through D-pad.”
I can’t vouch for the quality of that screen, but I can tell you my Ayaneo 2’s screen came with oversaturated colors and — unlike the Deck — doesn’t get dim enough to use comfortably in a dark room.
The Chinese company has launched nine handheld gaming PCs in two years, with more already announced and on the way. But I can’t think of a single type of person who should buy this particular one.
Every smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. In addition, there are a bunch of optional things to agree to.
Agree to Continue: Ayaneo 2
That’s three mandatory agreements and a variety of optional ones.