Ayaneo Retro Mini PC AM01 review: Punching above its weight

Rebecca Hills-Duty
Ayaneo Retro Mini PC AM01 with box

Ayaneo’s latest project combines a retro aesthetic with powerful modern components packed into a small but mighty shell.

For many gamers, the first time they came across Ayaneo was when it emerged as a rival to Valve in the handheld gaming space, launching several devices such as the Ayaneo Kun to compete in that space. Now the company is eyeing up the mini PC market and aiming to take a slice of that market as well with a tiny computer called the Retro Mini PC AM01.

Key Specs

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U
  • GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 8
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Price: Starts at $150 – $459 (reviewed)
  • Where to buy: IndieGoGo


There is no graceful way to say this: the Ayaneo Retro Mini PC AM01 is adorable. It borrows from the look of the old Mac Classic for its aesthetic, putting into an even smaller package that can tuck away into pretty much any bit of space – such as under or even behind a monitor.

It would be a bit of a shame to hide this lovely bit of design, however. The ‘screen’ on the shell is purely for aesthetics and is non-functional, but Ayaneo has helpfully provided a range of stickers for users to personalize the device however they wish. There are even some cute little magnetic decorations to put on the front to modify it to match your personal style.

Ayaneo Retro Mini PC AM01

There’s impressive attention to detail in the whole package, such as the power button being placed where the eject switch for a floppy disk would be on a Mac Classic or the way the myriad number of ports are neatly laid out to not interfere with each other if they are all in use.


The number of ports is huge, with not just an HDMI and power jack, but also an Ethernet port, DisplayPort, several USB ports, and even a headphone jack on the front. This means that the AM01 is quite a versatile device, able to adapt to being a mini workstation, retro emulator, or even media server depending on what is most useful.

The inclusion of the stickers and magnetic decorations is a very nice touch as well, as it lets you give your AM01 a bit more personality, to make it distinctly your own.

On the IndieGoGo page, there are several options available that let users customize the internals, ranging from a super-basic model – that exists only to let tinkerers have a toy to play with that they can install and customize – through to the higher-spec Ryzen 7 versions. Many of these come with Windows 11 pre-installed. We received the high-spec model for testing.

Windows 11 is probably the only real weakness the AM01 has, as it seems excessive for most of the functions you’ll be performing on the AM01. There is an overlay called AYASpace, but it is not a significant presence on a desktop machine like this one. Ayaspace allows you to customize the TDP and framerate of gaming titles, but this is more useful on their battery-powered handheld machines, rather than a standalone mini PC.


With ‘Retro’ right there in the name, and some reasonable specs, you’d expect that the AM01 would be a good device for emulation. Luckily, you would be correct. I first loaded up some Genesis and SNES games, just to ease into it. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Super Mario World worked flawlessly, upscaled to a nice 1080p with no dropped frames or lag to speak of. The 8 and 16-bit era was no challenge at all for the AM01.

Ayaneo Retro Mini PC AM01 ports

Time to crank up the heat, so I delve into the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 library. Chu Chu Rocket and Soul Calibur were also as smooth as butter and looked and felt great. The PS2 has long been a bit more of a challenge for many emulation devices, but even demanding titles like Shadow of the Colossus was no problem whatsoever. Clearly, the AM01 makes a fantastic emulation machine, beating many popular alternatives such as the Raspberry Pi in terms of performance and capability.

I was not expecting that the AM01 would handle more modern PC games as gracefully. To my surprise, however, there were no issues at all with Bioshock: Infinite. Despite the lack of a dedicated graphics card, everything worked fine.

Next up, I decided to try Cyberpunk 2077. Mostly just to see what would happen. I was not expecting the AM01 to handle it, but thought it would be interesting to see how far it got. To my shock, it loaded. It was on minimum settings and required some tweaking to the camera and display options to make it work, but it did work, though at a lower 30fps framerate which did dip a bit at times.

By now, I am convinced the AM01 was built by actual wizards.

Should you buy it?

If you are in need of a small PC to use as a media server, emulation device, or even for some low-tier PC gaming, the Ayaneo Retro Mini PC AM01 is a solid option. It draws on Ayaneo’s talents in the hardware field to create a remarkable machine that is capable of filling many niches, and looks awesome while doing so.

The only real problem with it is that Windows 11 is far too clunky and bloated an OS for the PC. A more lightweight OS would be a much better fit. I know that I’ll be installing Linux on this little machine to really unleash its true potential.

Verdict: 5/5

The AM01 is an amazing device that punches way, way above its weight class in terms of performance, and offers a superb Classic Mac aesthetic for retro lovers everywhere. It helps that thanks to its beefy specifications, you can also get fantastic gaming performance out of the little box, without breaking the bank.

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About The Author

Rebecca is a Tech Writer at Dexerto, specializing in PC components, VR, AMD, Nvidia and Intel. She has previously written for UploadVR and The Escapist, hosts a weekly show on RadioSEGA and has an obsession with retro gaming. Get in touch at rebecca.hillsduty@dexerto.com