AYANEO Next Lite handheld PC offers weak specs and custom SteamOS

Someone playing Forza on an AYANEO Next Lite handheld
Credit: AYANEO

Someone playing Forza on an AYANEO Next Lite handheld
Credit: AYANEO

A few days after the exciting reveal of the AYANEO Next Lite, a budget-friendly handheld gaming PC, the specs have finally been revealed... and it's not great, to say the least.

Don't get us wrong, the AYANEO Next Lite's announcement will certainly be good for some players. Especially considering the fact it uses the shell of the AYANEO Next, making it slightly smaller than Steam Deck's bulky size, but the components inside aren't anything to be excited about.

We weren't expecting the best graphics cards to be installed within it, especially with AYANEO releasing it for gamers on a budget. However, the three models, two of which feature a Ryzen 5 4500U and one that uses a Ryzen 7 4800U, are disappointing. This means it's using Vega graphics, a step down from Steam Deck and other rivals' RDNA graphics.

If you had to pick one of the models, the only one that we'd suggest picking up is the $399 4800U model which offers 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. However, at that price point, it's the same price as the Steam Deck 256GB model, which we'd argue is better value for money, thanks to the incredible SteamOS, making it one of the best gaming handhelds available.

We reported a few days ago that AYANEO's latest handheld would be using SteamOS too, but we were wrong... technically. The Next Lite is actually using a community-developed SteamOS clone called HoloISO, which uses 99% of the SteamOS code, but turns it into a generic installation available on different platforms.

We'd argue it would be best to wait for reviews before pre-ordering the AYANEO Next Lite. HoloISO isn't managed by Valve or AYANEO itself, and while we're sure the community is consistently updating the OS, there could be major issues down the line and the OS may stop receiving updates. Fortunately, you can install Windows OS onto the handheld after it arrives, but you'd have to purchase Windows first.

Hopefully, the AYANEO Next Lite performs better than expected at a budget-friendly price. However, until we (or other people) can test the product, we'd stick on the side of caution.

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