The Steam Deck certainly isn't the first handheld PC on the market - see the GPD Win Max, Aya Neo and Onexplayer for examples. But it may well be the first to almost break the internet. While demand has been high, does that automatically make it the best option out there? We'll run through some of the other key players in the market so you can see how they compare. Will Valve's new handheld end up on the floor? Or is the hype matched by the hardware?
Is it better than GPD Win Max?
The GPD Win Max is regarded by some as the world's best in the somewhat niche field of 'tiny gaming PC'. It has a gamepad and a keyboard, and looks like a miniature laptop. It was also designed specifically with gaming in mind. Some of the key features are as follows:
- Runs AAA games at 60Hz on 'medium' setting
- Uses an Intel 10th gen i5-1035G7 processor
- Also has Intel 11th gen Iris Plus 940 graphics (claims performance is close to NVIDIA GeForce Mx250)
- Dual channel 16GB RAM
- 512GB storage
- The price at launch was £645.
Steam Deck vs Aya Neo
The Aya Neo looks far more like Valve's handheld than a traditional computer, but the specs are pretty punchy:
- AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 6 cores
- AMD Radeon Graphics
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB and 1TB SSD
- While currently showing as sold out on the indiegogo website, it shows a price of £746
What about Onexplayer?
And finally, the Onexplayer. Once again, this is another gaming computer with some impressive credentials:
- M.2 2280 PCIe SSD up to 2TB
- 16GB Dual channel RAM
- Iris Xe Graphics
- Options of i5-1135G7, i7-1165G7 and i7-1185G7 processor
- 2560x1600 resolution on an 8.4" display
- The cheapest version is currently showing on indiegogo at £731. The top spec model is an eye-watering £1096.
So how does Steam Deck stack up?
We know that this device has some fairly strong stats of its own:
- AMD Zen 2 CPU
- Radeon RDNA 2 GPU
- 16GB RAM
- 64GB, 256GB and 516GB storage (the higher storage options are SSD, 64GB is eMMC)
- Prices are between £349 and £569 depending on the model you choose
So how do the four devices really compare? They all have strong fundamentals. The Steam Deck is the most affordable, and having access to the Steam library right off the bat might just tip the balance in their favour. Unlike the other three, Steam Deck is supported by Valve, a far bigger company than the other three, which have all had to use crowdfunding to get themselves into production.
But does that necessarily make one better or worse than another? As always, so much of this comes down to personal preference. Valve's handheld was so in demand the website couldn't keep up with traffic. The Onexplayer raised over $1 million in funding in a day, such was the support for it. So do your research, work out which one has the features that best suit you, and make your decision.