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 Nintendo Switch line of consoles. But as more people have taken to gaming on their phones we’ve also seen a rise in smartphones designed for gamers.
Meanwhile another trend has been picking up steam: handheld gaming computers. Valve’s Steam Deck is arguably the most exciting handheld gaming PC to ship this year due to its affordable starting price, powerful AMD RDNA 2 graphics processor, 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. Update: The handheld gaming space has been growing rapidly and this page was getting difficult to keep up to date. So we’ve created a new page with a comparison of all the 2022/2023 handheld gaming PCs we could find in a sortable table.
Chinese device maker GPD has been shipping handheld Windows computers designed for gaming since 2016. The company’s latest models include the GPD Win 3 with an 11th-gen Intel Core “Tiger Lake” processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and a slide-out keyboard and the GPD Win 3 mini-laptop with a choice of Intel or AMD processors and a clamshell-style design, but built-in game controllers.
Over the years, the company has picked up a number of competitors though, including One Netbook, Aya and, most recently, Valve.
Here’s an overview of key specs for the most recent handheld PCs from each of those companies:
|Valve Steam Deck||GPD Win Max 2021||ONEXPLAYER||ONEXPLAYER Mini||AYA Neo||AYA Neo Next||GPD Win 3||One Gx1 Pro|
|CPU||AMD Zen 2||AMD Ryzen 7 5800U / 58258U||Intel Core i7-1160G7|
|GPU||AMD RDNA 2||Intel Iris Xe (96 eu)||Radeon Vega 6||Radeon Vega 8||Intel Iris Xe 96 eu|
|RAM||16GB LPDDR5-5500||16GB LPDDR4x-4266||16GB LPDDR4x|
|16GB LPDDR4x-4266||16GB LPDDR4x-4266||16GB LPDDR4x-4266|
32GB LPDDR4x-4266 (Pro)
|16GB LPDDR4x-4266||16GB LPDDR4x-4266|
|Storage||M.2 2242 SSD|
|Ports||1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt Mode for 8K/60 Hz or 4K/120 Hz video out)||3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C||2 x USB Type-C|
|Other buttons & switches|
Optional magnetic keyboard accessory
|Battery & charging||47 Whr battery|
|Security||No biometric security||No biometric security||Fingerprint reader in power button||No biometric security||No biometric security||Fingerprint reader in power button||Fingerprint reader||No biometric security|
|Webcam & mic||Mic only||Mic only||Mic only||None||None||None||Mic only||Mic only|
|OS||Steam OS (Arch Linux with KDE Plasma)||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Home||Windows 11||Windows 10||Windows 10||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions||298mm 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″
|262 x 108 x 23mm|
10.3″ x 4.3″ x 0.9″
|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″
|$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).
This article was originally published July 16, 2021 and last updated January 4, 2022.
Why are they so damn expensive? Gaming laptops with discrete graphics cost less.
The only reasonable priced thing here is Steam Deck.
All hands to deck!(c)
Oh my gaaawd..love those little power thingies! Can carry them everywhere like my mobile phone..🤗
Is One Netbook still producing the OneGx1 (ie. not just selling old stock)?
I really hope they make a new version fixing/upgrading from the first one when they can get the newer generation CPUs. I’m enjoying my OneGx1 Pro LTE both for gaming and UMPC activities.
I have a story with three GPD devices but I sold them, two had lot of issues.
The first GPD win 2, the screen flat cable died after two months, and one battery cell swollen.
The second one also GPD win 2 had a speaker phase issue and battery dies completely after 6 months.
The only GPD device I had with no issues was GPD microPC but others users complain for battery damaged, I better sold it.
Please don’t buy this Chinese devices is wasted money, don’t mind the brand. There are lot of people with same bad experience, the newer are the same. I don’t know about the Steam Deck, but in my opinion you don’t need it.
Is safer, more portable and cheaper to buy a Razer Kishi controller and use your phone to game, and if you are into AAA games go for a real for a gaming PC or a gaming laptop with no low fps compromises because the IGP of this tiny PCs will never compare to a real gaming discrete GPU.
I have a Kishi and honestly it’s the only reason I’m still not sure I’m going to buy my reserved Deck when my number comes up. I would have killed for a Deck even two years ago but ever since I got my Kishi I stream games to my phone (from PC, PS5, or XCloud) any time I would have used a handheld PC.
I had Win Max 2020, which I sold later, and Win Max 2021 (my current gaming device), none of them had any kind of problems except terrible early driver support for intel GPU
Sooo which one is the best one?! Been eyeing the ONEXPLAYER but I just seen the release for the Valve Stream Deck. Now I’m in between the 2 😖
How is there any contest? One of those systems is about 3x the price of the other, it’s like saying you can’t decide between a Toyota Camry and a Mercedes S-Class.
Its not about money obvi which still doesn’t answer the question for the general popp. who would be far from computer geeks. Which is the best was the question?! I just want to game on the go and kill time. So what was your point dexter. Thnx tho 😒
For general pop, while I don’t know much about the ONEXPLAYER, I would suggest the Steam Deck. It’ll come with SteamOS installed and should be very straightforward for finding and purchasing games, and also continuing your game on your gaming PC if you have one.
Do remember that if you reserve today, you likely won’t get your Deck for a year or more.
They’re all good enough, but I prefer clamshell design so I bought Win Max
you state gpd have released handhelds since 2016…GPD released the XD handheld in 2015
Windows handhelds. The XD runs Android.
Your specs show a type c AND a type a usb port on the steam deck. Is that a typo? Or is that new? Or a jedi mind trick to get valve to add another port?
Whoops. I think that was a misreading of the official Steam Deck specs when it was first announced. I’ve updated the comparison table to reflect that it actually has just one USB 3.2 Gen 2 type-C port!
OneXPlayer haved dual vibration motors.
And a type cover like Surface Type Cover.
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.
This was a waste of time
The table only needs 2 columns:
1. Made by Valve.
2. Made by companies you may or may even heard of.
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.
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.
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.
All minor points compared to GPD and One Netbook being shit companies especially compared to Valve.
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.
@Hifihedgehog Please do not confuse Hong Kong with China.
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.
all of them costs way more than valve.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
stop kidding yourself, valve has never made any successful hardware.
The valve index would like words with you…especially after they price dropped it and it sold out immediately.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
I bought the OneGx1 Pro in 2021. It’s been a little more than 1 year after I bought it and now the battery has swollen up and is wrecking the case.
Dealing with onexplayer’s customer service has been a nightmare. First they refused to recognize the warranty, then after they were forced to recognize it,
they refused to provide a shipping label back to their facility for warranty service. Amazon has been unhelpful in trying to mediate the issue, thought it was
purchased through the onexplayer storefront on Amazon. I would advise extreme caution in buying from onexplayer given my experience. YMMV. But those are my 2cents.
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