Best Handheld Gaming PC

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The gaming industry has witnessed a transformative shift with the advent of the Nintendo Switch, which redefined the possibilities of portable gaming. However, the true game-changer in the handheld gaming arena came in the form of the Steam Deck, a revolutionary handheld gaming PC that took the concept to an entirely new level. The Steam Deck’s incorporation of an advanced NVIDIA Tegra chipset sparked a flurry of speculation, leading many to wonder whether AMD would follow suit with a similar offering tailored for PC gaming. The result? A remarkable wave of handheld gaming PCs equipped with Zen CPUs and RDNA GPUs, spearheaded by the astounding Steam Deck.

The allure of these portable powerhouses lies in their ability to liberate gamers, granting them the freedom to play PC games from virtually anywhere. Whether you’re indulging in the intense combat of Street Fighter VI or immersing yourself in the dystopian future of Cyberpunk 2077, the gaming experience is no longer bound to a stationary setup. In contrast to the Steam Deck, which predominantly features Linux, most other handheld gaming PCs boast a full version of Windows 11. This pivotal shift has opened the doors to an expansive library of games across various launchers, from the Epic Games Store to Battle.net, further enriching the gaming possibilities on these devices.

When on the hunt for the perfect handheld gaming PC, potential buyers must delve beyond the realms of CPU and GPU considerations. Aspects such as RAM capacity, storage options, controller input types, and software overlays significantly impact the overall performance and user experience on these handhelds. Despite their undeniable allure and innovation, it is important to note that these devices often come with a hefty price tag, justified by the sheer power packed behind their compact frames.

In conclusion, the gaming landscape has been forever transformed by the rise of handheld gaming PCs, especially exemplified by the groundbreaking Steam Deck. With the convergence of cutting-edge technologies, these devices have broken the chains of gaming limitations, providing gamers with a newfound freedom to explore virtual worlds from anywhere, at any time. However, potential buyers must be prepared to invest not only in their passion for gaming but also in the immense capabilities these handhelds offer. As the market continues to evolve, it is exciting to anticipate what further innovations and possibilities lie ahead for the world of handheld gaming.

Steam Deck

1. Valve Steam Deck

The best handheld gaming PC

Popularizing the handheld gaming PC revolution, the Valve Steam Deck doesn’t actually come with Windows installed. Instead, it uses Valve’s custom SteamOS, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have games that work on it. Thanks to the API Proton, the Steam Deck supports dozens of games optimized for the portable from Cyberpunk 2077 to Forza Horizon 5.

There are ways to get Windows running on the seven-inch display portable by booting directly from the USB-C port. Beyond that are three storage options with one of the best input controls available for any portable gaming handheld.

ROG Ally

2. Asus ROG Ally

The best Windows handheld gaming PC

Coming in two flavors, the Asus ROG Ally has 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. When it comes to visual specs, the portable Windows 11 gaming handheld has a 7-inch FHD LCD touchscreen with a 120Hz refresh rate. At the base $599 price, you get a 6-core AMD Zen 4 matched alongside an AMD RDNA 3 with 6 compute units. For $100 more, users can get the Z1 Extreme edition featuring an 8-core AMD Zen 4 and AMD RDNA 3 with 12 compute units. For added security, the handheld also features a fingerprint scanner on the power button.

GPD Win 4

3. GPD Win 4

The best handheld gaming PC with a keyboard

More like a mini laptop than gaming handheld, the Goodlife623 GPD Win 4 looks almost like Sony’s PSVita until you look beneath the surface. The portable has a AMD Ryzen 7 CPU and AMD Radeon R5 GPU. All of that is hiding behind a 6-inch 1080p screen. One of the highlight features of the GPD Win 4 is a sliding Windows keyboard, which makes using the desktop operating system a breeze on the go.

There are three versions available including a base configuration with 16GB RAM and 1TB of SSD storage going up as high as $1,599 for 32GB and 2TB of SSD storage.

Ayaneo Air

4. Ayaneo Air

The most portable handheld gaming PC

One of the smallest handheld gaming PCs available, the AYANEO Air Pro has a 5.5-inch OLED FHD screen. Performance-wise, you should be able to get quite a bit of horsepower of the 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 CPU and AMD Radeon GPU. A little under two inches thin, the AYANEO Air also weighs 2.6lbs. With 512GB SSD storage, there’s also room to expand via Micro SD slot. Though it may lack the sheer power of many portable Windows handhelds on the list, the formfactor alone may be worth the price of admission.

GPD Win Max 2

5. GPD Win Max 2

The best convertible handheld gaming PC

Taking a different approach to the Goodlife623 GPD Win 4, the GPD Win Max 2 has a large 10-inch screen and full keyboard that feels more like a significantly smaller netbook. On top of the keyboard are traditional gaming controls including dual analog sticks, D-pad and face buttons. When it comes to specs, the Win Max 2 comes packed with an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, AMD Radeon 6800M, 16GB RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. Perfect for creators and graphic designers, the touchscreen also supports active pens too.

Ayaneo Geek

6. Ayaneo Geek

The best handheld gaming PC for media

If you want the sleek form factor of the AYANEO Air but with slightly more power and functionality, you should consider the Geek. It has a 8-core AMD Zen 3 CPU, an AMD RDNA 2 GPU, and 16GB RAM. There are also two SSD storage versions available: 512GB and 1TB, and all configurations feature a 7-inch display with a 1280X800 resolution, haptic feedback and gyroscope controls.

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