Ayaneo Slide review: Jack of all trades

Rebecca Hills-Duty
Ayaneo Slide keyboard deployed

The Ayaneo Slide combines some retro design choices with modern functionality in an attempt to create something stylish and practical. Does it succeed?

At the moment it seems that not a week goes by without Ayaneo announcing another product launch on its preferred platform IndieGoGo. The current product lineup is based on taking classic technology designs of the past, like the Mac Classic or Nintendo NES, and crafting a product that is useful in the modern day. This strategy certainly worked for the Ayaneo Retro Mini PC AM01, will it work out for the Ayaneo Slide?

Ayaneo still has an uphill battle, as the market is currently littered with high-end portable gaming devices. The king of them all is obviously the Steam Deck OLED, though the Nintendo Switch also ranks highly. Devices like the Asus ROG Ally and MSI Claw are also seeking a piece of the pie, and have big companies backing up their marketing budget.

With all this in mind, what can the Ayeno Slide offer?

Key specs

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840U
  • Graphics: Radeon 780M
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 2TB
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • I/O: 2 x USB-C, MicroSD slot
  • Features: Slide-out screen, built-in keyboard
  • Weight: 653g
  • Price: $959


Ayaneo has leaned into the retro style with the Ayaneo Slide. It comes packaged in what looks like a giant recordable VHS tape box. It’s extremely stylish, nostalgic and funny. The inner compartment even looks like a VHS tape with ‘handwritten’ labels. This type of attention to detail is Ayaneo’s forte, and it makes you excited for the product inside.

Ayaneo Slide packaging

The Slide is available in two main colorways, Sunrise White and Bright Black. The Bright Black model is the one we have for review. The Slide is noticeably smaller than the Steam Deck, but the weight is similar, which can make it hard on your wrists during an extended session of use.

It comes with the standard four face buttons, as well as two asymmetrical analog sticks, a D-pad, and options buttons on the front. The top houses a large exhaust fan as well as the Power button and volume rocker button. On the top at either side are shoulder bumpers and triggers to provide the full range of inputs for modern gaming.

Most of the buttons feel great, and the little circle lights around the analog sticks are a great touch. The rear triggers feel a little stiff at first, but this will likely get better with use. Best of all, the analog sticks come equipped with Hall Effect sensors, so you never need to worry about stick drift.

Curiously, the Slide has two USB-C ports, and the device can be charged via either port. Similar to other Ayaneo devices, however, the Slide is picky about what amount of Watts it will accept, so it is best to use the included Ayaneo charger, as most standard USB-C power bricks won’t work.

The big headline feature of this handheld is the backlit miniature keyboard that is tucked away under the screen. It is an impressively complete keyboard and provides a big quality-of-life improvement for things like logging in, or for games that have community chat features. The tiny keyboard takes a while to get used to, but it is surprisingly easy to adapt to. Especially if you ever had one of those old slide-out Android keyboard phones like the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.


The Ayaneo Slide has a six-inch full HD display with a refresh rate of 60Hz. It might feel a bit small to some, and does suffer a bit when compared to something like the Steam Deck OLED, but it still offers great quality with excellent color accuracy. It was never hard to be immersed when playing on the Slide.

Ayaneo Slide

The screen is on a cleverly engineered slide mechanism that moves the entire screen out of the way when you are using the keyboard. It also snaps into place smoothly and with a very satisfying click. It all feels well-built, but only time can tell how well the sliding mechanism will hold up under extended use.

The display also acts as a touch screen, which makes the somewhat cumbersome touchpads used on the Steam Deck unnecessary, and makes the device feel a little bit more intuitive.

Performance and software

As with other Ayaneo devices, the Slide runs on Windows 11. This is actually one of the main drawbacks of the Slide. Windows 11 is just too slow and bloated of an OS to be really suited to a small handheld like the Slide. On a desktop PC or laptop, it’s easy enough to tweak your Windows experience to minimize the more annoying Microsoft quirks, but this is much less easy on the Slide.

That said, the use of Windows means it is relatively easy to download game libraries from Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG, or pretty much anywhere else. The AyaSpace software launcher is designed to collate all these libraries into a single location for you to access your games, but Ayaspace remains somewhat clunky and unintuitive, especially compared to the SteamOS interface. There are even times that AyaSpace can spout things in Chinese, indicating that some further work needs to be done on this software to make it world-class.

Ayaneo Slide packaging

The Slide ran most games I could throw at it with no issues. Retro gaming emulation was simple since this is a Windows device. It handled a few rounds of Crazy Taxi just fine and had no problems with fast-paced shoot-em-ups like R-Type either.

Modern games were just as much of a pleasure, as the Slide managed the rich environments and vast numbers of particle effects in Path of Exile without complaint, and even succeeded in loading Cyberpunk 2077, on low settings, but it was stable. The device uses the same configuration we’ve seen dozens of times at this point, in the Ayaneo 2S, Kun, Air 1S, and the Ryzen Z1 handhelds.

Battery life

When using the Steam Deck, my only major complaint is the battery life. Playing something like Monster Hunter: World or Path of Exile gets me just over three hours of playtime on a Steam Deck. On the Ayaneo Slide, however, I was getting much more than that. It helps that the Slide offers a lot of options to help extend battery life, including screen brightness and energy-saving profiles.

It does tend to get a bit warm when under heavy load, but no more so than the Switch does, and the fans are fairly quiet when running at full tilt.

Should you buy it?

The fascinating thing about the Ayaneo Slide is that it might make a decent alternative to a gaming laptop.

It has enough power to support a lot of modern gaming and emulation, Windows 11, and a built-in keyboard for productivity and it is small and light enough to fit into a large pocket or small bag.
It is a versatile device that can be used for several functions. The only two small drawbacks are the slightly ropey AyaSpace software and the bloated nature of Windows 11.

If you want a portable device that can fulfill many functions for a reasonable price, the Ayaneo Slide is an option worth considering.

Verdict: 4/5

The Ayaneo Slide is a great little device with some brilliant features that is only let down by some slightly under-baked software. It is not flawless, but it has enough versatility to do a lot of things well, though not perfectly. It ends up making its mark, and actually standing out from the wealth of handhelds on offer from rival companies.

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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