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.
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.