Handheld gaming hardware is getting interesting. Nintendo has largely dominated the space for decades, first with its Game Boy devices and more recently with its Switch line of consoles. But as more people have taken to gaming on their phones we’ve also seen a rise in vsmartphones designed for gamers.

Meanwhile another trend has been picking up steam: handheld gaming computers. Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck is arguably the most exciting handheld gaming PC set to ship this year due to its affordable starting price and Valve’s expertise in gaming software. But the Steam Deck is hardly the only game in town. So let’s take a look at how five current-gen handheld gaming PCs stack up against one another.

Handheld gaming PCs
Clockwise from top left: Valve Steam Deck, GPD Win 3, OneGx1 Pro, Aya Neo, GPD Win Max 2021

Chinese device maker GPD has been shipping handheld Windows computers designed for gaming since 2016. But over the years the company has picked up a number of competitors including One Netbook, Aya, and now Valve.

Here’s an overview of key specs for the latest models from each of those companies:

Valve Steam DeckGPD Win Max 2021ONEXPLAYERAYA NeoGPD Win 3One Gx1 Pro
Display
  • 7 inches
  • 1280 x 800 pixels
  • LCD
  • 400 nits
  • Touchscreen
  • 8 inches
  • 1280 x 800 pixel
  • LCD
  • 500 nits
  • 90% DCI-P3 color gamut
  • Touchscreen
  • 8.4 inches
  • 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • IPS LCD
  • 100% sRGB color gamut
  • Touchscreen
  • 7 inches
  • 1280 x 800 pixels
  • IPS LCD
  • Touchscreen
  • 5.5 inches
  • 1280 x 720 pixels
  • IPS LCD
  • 84% NTSC color gamut
  • Touchscreen
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • Slides up to reveal keyboard
  • 7 inches
  • 1920 x 1200 pixels
  • IPS LCD
  • Touchscreen
  • Pen support
CPUAMD Zen 2

  • 4-cores / 8-threads
  • 2.4 GHz to 3.5 GHz
  • Up to 448 GFlops FP32
  • 4-15 watts
  • Core i7-1195G7
  • Ryzen 7 4800U
  • Core i7-1195G7
  • Core i7-1185G7
  • Core i7-1165G7
  • Core i5-1135G7
  • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U (standard)
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4800U (Pro)
  • Intel Core i5-1135G7 Intel Core i7-1195G7
  • 15W to 28W TDP
Intel Core i7-1160G7
GPUAMD RDNA 2

  • 8 comput eunits
  • 1 GHz to 1.66 GHz
  • Up to 1.6 TFlops FP32
  • Intel Iris Xe 96 eu (Intel)
  • Radeon Vega 8 (AMD)
  • Intel Iris Xe 96 eu (i7)
  • Intel Iris Xe 80 eu (i5)
Radeon Vega 6
  • Intel Iris Xe 96 eu (i7)
  • Intel Iris Xe 80 eu (i5)
Intel Iris Xe 96 eu
RAM16GB LPDDR5-550016GB LPDDR4x-426616GB LPDDR4x
Dual channel
16GB LPDDR4x-426616GB LPDDR4x-426616GB LPDDR4x-4266
Storage
  • 64GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)
  • 256GB NVMe SSD (M.2 2230 PCIe Gen 3 x4)
  • 512GB NVMe SSD (M.2 2230 PCie Gen 3 x4)
  • microSDXC card reader
  • 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • microSDXC card reader
  • 512GB
  • 1TB
  • 2TB
  • microSDXC card reader
  • M.2 2280
  • PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMe SSD
  • 512GB
  • 1TB
  • 1TB M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe SSD
  • microSDXC card reader (supports A2 cards with 160MB/s speeds)
M.2 2242  SSD

  • 512GB
  • 1TB
Ports
  • 1 x USB-C (with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt Mode for 8K/60 Hz or 4K/120 Hz video out)
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (Intel) or USB 4 (AMD)
  • HDMI 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 2 x USB4 (40 Gbps)
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 1 x
  • 3.5mm audio
3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 4
  • 1 x USB Type-A
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 2 x USB 4
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 1 x micro HDMI
Game controllers
  • 2 x analog sticks with capacitive touch
  • A, B,  X,  Y buttons
  • D-pad
  • L & R analog triggers
  • L & R bumpers
  • 4 x assignable grip buttons
  • 2 x 32.5mm square trackpads with haptic feedback
  • 6-Axis gyroscrope
  • 2 x Analog sticks
  • 1 x D-Pad
  • X, Y, A, B buttons
  • 4 shoulder buttons
  • 2 x Analog sticks
  • 1 x D-Pad
  • X, Y, A, B buttons
  • 4 shoulder buttons (including 2 linear triggers)
  • 2 x Analog sticks (press down for L3/R3)
  • Analog L2/R2 triggers
  • D-Pad
  • X, Y, A, B keys
  • Dual vibration motors
  • 6-axis Gyroscope & accelerometer
  • 2 x Analog sticks (press down for L3/R3)
  • Analog L2/R2 triggers
  • D-Pad
  • X, Y, A, B keys
  • Dual vibration motors
Detachable

  • 2 x Analog sticks (clickable L3/R3)
  • D-Pad
  • X, Y, A, B buttons
  • 4 shoulder buttons
  • Battery powered
  • Wireless
Other buttons & switches
  • Volume Up
  • Volume Down
  • View
  • Menu
  • Volume up
  • Volume down
  • Mouse mode switch
  • Volume up
  • Volume down
  • Mute
  • Desktop/Home
  • Keyboard
  • Turbo
  • Start
  • Back
  • Volume Up
  • Volume Down
  • Windows navigation buttons
  • Volume up
  • Volume down
  • Mouse mode switch
  • 2 x programmable buttons (rear)
  • Volume Up
  • Volume Down
  • Back, Home, Start, and Power (on controllers)
KeyboardVirtual
  • 75 backlit keys
  • Multitouch trackpad
VirtualVirtual
  • Capacitive touch
  • Backlit
  • Hidden behind screen
  • RGB backlit keys
  • Optical touch sensor
Battery & charging
  • 40Wh battery
  • 45W USB Type-C PD 3.0 charger
  • 57 Wh battery
  • 65W Gallium Nitride USB-C charger
  • 59 Wh battery
  • 65W (20V/3.25A) GaN USB-C charger
  • 47 Whr battery
  • 65 W fast charging
  • 44 Wh battery
  • 65W power adapter
  • 44.4 Wh battery
  • 60W USB-C charger
WirelessWiFi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
  • WiFi 6
  • Bluetooth 5Gigabit Ethernet
  • WiFi 6
  • Bluetooth 5
  • WiFi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • WiFi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • WiFi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Optional 4G or 5G
Audio
  • Stereo front-facing speakers
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Stereo downward-facing speakers)
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Stereo front-facing speakers
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm audio
  • Stereo downward-facing speakers
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Speaker
  • 3.5mm audio
SecurityNo biometric securityNo biometric securityFingerprint reader in power buttonNo biometric securityFingerprint readerNo biometric security
Webcam & micMic onlyMic onlyMic onlyNoneMic onlyMic only
OSSteam OS (Arch Linux with KDE Plasma)Windows 10 HomeWindows 10 HomeWindows 10Windows 10 HomeWindows 10 Home
Dimensions298mm x 117mm x 49mm
11.7″ x 4.6″ x 1.9″
205mm x 140mm x 24.5mm (8.1″ x 5.5″ x 1″)280 x 128 x 25mm
11″ x 5″ x 1″
255mm x 106mm x 20mm
10″ x 4.2″ x 0.8″
198mm x 92mm x 27mm
7.8″ x 3.6″ x 1.1″
173mm x 136mm x 21mm
6.8″ x 5.4″ x 0.8″
Weight669 grams
1.5 pounds
800 grams
1.8 pounds
825 grams
1.82 pounds
650 grams
1.4 pounds
560 grams
1.23 pounds
623 grams
1.4 pounds
Docking Station
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x USB Type-C power input
  • 1 x USB-C out to Steam Deck
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
  • 2 x USB 2.0
NoneNone
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 3 x USB Type-C
  • 2 x USB Type-A
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 1 x microSD
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10 Gbps)
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (10 Gbps)
None
Price
  • $399 (64GB eMMC)
  • $529 (256GB NVMe)
  • $649 (512GB NVMe)
Crowdfunding:

Retail:

  • $1250
$1399 and up

I’ve also had a chance to review a few of the devices above, so if you want more details, check out the Liliputing reviews of the ONEXPLAYER, GPD Win 3, and OneGx1 and GPD Win Max (those last two are previous-gen devices with identical hardware to the OneGx1 Pro and GPD Win 2021, respectively, but they have less powerful processors).

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31 Comments

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  1. Valve’s going to be taking away a lot of customers from everyone else.

    I guess the pocket sized and/or physical keyboard devices could carve out a niche within this niche for those who’re willing to take the risk of buying from these other small companies. Although, that’ll probably be smaller than the companies’ pre-Steam Deck sales numbers.

  2. The table only needs 2 columns:
    1. Made by Valve.
    2. Made by companies you may or may even heard of.

  3. With Valve entering the market, the current 3 players really need to do a lot more to differentiate themselves to just keep their current sales numbers. Let alone grow.

    I recently got the OneGx1 Pro 4G over the other devices (prior to the Steam Deck being announced) due to the keyboard and 4G to justify the price and risks of buying from One Netbook (just as bad as GPD) by having a dual purpose UMPC (no accessories needed) and gaming handheld. However, my next gaming device will be the Steam Deck. I pre-ordered it yesterday and it’ll probably arrive around the time I plan on replacing my OneGx1.

    1. Yeah, the candy bar form factors are in major trouble. The ones with a physical keyboard (I’m not including the Win 3) may appeal to some but that might be enough to go against the draw of the “Valve” name.

      I wouldn’t be surprised Valve significantly eats into these other companies’ sales next year (even this year with people deciding to hold off) in their native market and/or regions the Steam Deck isn’t officially available yet via unofficial resales.

      AYA, One Netbook and GPD probably are and should be very very worried and re-think their entire strategy.

      1. What is there to rethink ? GPD Win 3 is still the smallest and most portable, Xplayer has the biggest screen with highest resolution and they both support eGPU, Wifi 6 and offer larger storage. They already have their advantages.

        They will lose sales no doubt and will have to have more aggressive pricing, but they can fill in a niche just with those few things. They don’t make new devices every 5-6 years like console manufacturers, they will have something better next year already and might even win the performance crown back.

        1. All minor points compared to GPD and One Netbook being shit companies especially compared to Valve.

          1. Yeah, people forget that the most reputable company of these Changstar two-bit operations is GPD and they recently leaked 100 customer emails and refused to exchange the devices they put the wrong Wi-Fi card in and instead offered either a partial refund or gold customers to solder it themselves and risk violating warranty. Don’t forget that these Chinese companies most often require people to pay for return shipping to China for repairs from manufacturing defects covered under warranty. I have heard the horror stories of people having to wait months just for a replacement device while it is slow-boated back from China at the lowest and cheapest surface mail shipping service. Unless they bring quality domestic warranty support to the regions they sell to, they can kiss what little market share they had goodbye.

        2. I hope these companies diversified while they had the chance, otherwise…they won’t see another iteration unless they’re already late in the development cycle. Valve just lobbed a grenade into this sector, the only other hand console that will be left standing is the switch, but even that isn’t attractive at this point. Too many limitations…and rules. Fine for the pre-teen masses, but anyone with a modicum of knowledge will opt for a Steam Deck. For the same reason I still have my PSP 1000. All other brands can…well, they can shutter their doors for all I care…especially the chinese knock offs, their prices keep climbing and climbing when they have little to no value on offer.

  4. I’m reading the Steam Deck has an M.2 2230 slot for the SSD. I guess Valve isn’t saying it’s “officially” user replaceable since there’s no easy access panel. So the SSD is technically as replaceable as the other handhelds.

    1. I’ve read that too. Makes me wish I pre-ordered the 64 GB model and install an SSD later myself. Oh well. At least I got a December 2021 expected date.

      1. I’m in the same boat. I snagged a 256GB model at 10:05 before I read about the socketed 2230 SSD. Stings quite a bit, but no way I’m switching now.

    2. I reserved the 64GB model on that assumption but haven’t read any official-ish sources stating it’s on an M.2 connector. Where did you see it?

      1. Oh it now says it’s M.2 2230 socketed but not intended to be user replaceable on the official tech specs page. That’s new and my gamble paid off!

  5. I’m glad I didn’t back the Win 3 on IGG. What a mess. So many issues and GPD mostly ignoring or even making fun of customers with issues.

    Now, I’ve pre-ordered the Steam Deck. Supposedly still a December 2021 expected date when I log in. I’ve read some are seeing Q1 or Q2 2022. I wonder how many people pre-ordered so far.

      1. The valve index would like words with you…especially after they price dropped it and it sold out immediately.

        1. Who cares about being “sold out”, price drops, successful or index? Cavemans be rocking with outdated hardware. Looking at the price it’s going out for, looks to me it’s going to be just another poor man’s tech. LMAO!

      2. I don’t care if it was “successful”, I’m very happy with my Steam Controllers.

        I do think there’s a decent chance these won’t be around in a couple of years, but I’d love to get one for each of my kids at a 75%-off fire sale!

  6. GPD Win Max is probably my last from GPD, moving forward it’s this one. Hoping it will be more successful than Steamlink/Steam Machines, one thing guaranteed it will not be another scamz.

  7. I have the One Gx1 Pro 4G because it has a keyboard and 4G. Although, I pre-ordered the Steam Deck for a gaming only device.

  8. The specs are close enough such that which company is behind the device is the primary deciding factor for me. In other words, I pre-ordered the Steam Deck today.

    GPD and One Netbook are in my rear view mirror. AYA didn’t even get a chance (although their decent transparency and support may garner a dedicated following).

  9. If Valve is trying to launch a new “class” of device, their pricing here seems like it might kill the companies with any experience or inclination to launch devices in the same class.

    1. Deck has enough flaws that other companies can take advantage off: low resolution screen, huge size with unnecessary controls, no eGPU support, no keyboard or kick stand, no hotkeys on front, no Wifi 6, no fingerprint reader, no camera, limited storage options, no Windows, etc…

  10. While I have form factor/spec/IO issues with the Steam Deck, being backed by Valve is ultimately my reason for choosing it.

    I pre-ordered the Deck this morning. The money that was originally for the Win Max 2021 will now go to Valve. That’s at least one sale GPD has lost because of the Deck.

  11. The Steam Deck is the device that will get my money. Mostly on the basis of available warranty, but also on the basis of value.

    The only concerns I have for the Steam Deck so far are:

    The Type-C port is on the top of the device, which appears to require their dock to connect to with a cord that wraps around the device? I think this port location was a mistake, I think it’s going to result in damaged connectors from the weight of cords and accessories.
    An additional USB Type-A connector would have been really nice (people are definitely going to want to connect the occasional USB accessory, and a dongle hanging out of the top of the device sounds annoying.

  12. For me, just being from Valve trumps over most of the specs and form factor comparisons.

    My experience with GPD and One Netbook is that issues happen more often than bigger companies and their post-sales support varies from non-existent to horrible. Even if the rate of issues are the same with Valve, they’d have much better warranty support.