The first Steam Deck killer has arrived: AYANEO Next 2 revealed

The AYANEO Next 2 on an orane backgroundAYANEO / Dexerto

The AYANEO Next 2 has just been revealed, but will it prove to be more powerful than Valve’s incredibly popular Steam Deck? Boasting features like a dedicated GPU, this premium device is shaping up to be a stunner, but it’s likely to come at a dear price.

AYANEO is known for making some of the highest quality handheld PC consoles outside of Valve’s Steam Deck. Today, AYANEO CEO Arthur Zhang revealed the brand-new AYANEO Next 2, a follow-up to their previous handheld gaming console. The sheer amount of tech packed into this package is remarkable, but it’s likely that you’ll have to pay a pretty penny to own one.

The front and back of the AYANEO Next 2, showcasing back paddlesAYANEO
Back paddles, touchpads and high-quality sticks make the AYANEO Next 2 look incredibly promising.

The newly-announced AYANEO Next 2 appears to be the first device of its kind to feature a dedicated GPU. You have the choice of picking an Intel Arc Alchemist GPU, or an AMD Radeon 6000-series card. However, details are still light on exactly what specification of card they will be including. Regardless, paired with either an Intel 12th-generation CPU, or Zen 3-based CPU. This potent combination of specs makes the Ayaneo Next 2 rival the specifications of the Steam Deck blow-for-blow, and with a dedicated GPU in tow, it might even surpass the Steam Deck as the most powerful handheld PC console on the market currently.

The design is meant to be upgradable, with a detachable and upgradeable GPU unit, however the details on how this actually functions are scarce. Considering Ayaneo’s reputation for bringing quality handhelds to market, we’re a bit worried about this. It’d be silly to announce this as a discrete GPU handheld if it ended up meaning that you have to place the system on some kind of dock. Unless their engineering wizards have managed to find a way to solder a GPU like the RX 6400 or other mobile chip to the system that happens to be better than AMD’s 680U integrated graphics.

This also calls battery life into concern. The AYANEO Next 2 seems noticeably larger than its older sibling. Perhaps this is due to its aforementioned modularity. The design also takes notes from the Steam Deck, with AYANEO adding touchpads to either side of the system. However, it’s unclear if it also adds capacitive thumbsticks, like the Steam Deck.

Crucially, there is no announced price, and details on the system are still light. Though, we’d expect this to retail for above $1500 USD, if the pricing of their previous systems is anything to go by.

Is the AYANEO Next 2 better than the Steam Deck?

In terms of components, the AYANEO Next 2 looks better on paper than the Steam Deck. However, you also have to take price into consideration. AYANEO is not able to subsidize the cost of its hardware like Valve, and as a result it’s likely that the AYANEO Next 2 will be much more expensive. Though, for those looking for the best handheld gaming experience around, you may want to take a look at this device. The added control options likely mean that the console will be able to work with many games that are Deck Verified. Though AYANEO has not yet announced if it will be running SteamOS 3.0, which is the same operating system that the Steam Deck currently runs on.

 

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