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Before the Steam Deck, several brands released handheld gaming PCs in a portable, small form factor. However, it took Valve and the release of their portable to really bring plenty of eyeballs to this growing market and move it from a niche subsection of the PC gaming community to something attracting a much bigger audience.

Of course, this doesn't mean that the Steam Deck is the only option you should consider when shopping for a handheld gaming PC in 2023, even if it is the most popular option right now. In some cases, depending on your needs, another device might even be a better choice than Valve's solution.

So, here's a roundup of the most exciting alternatives and Steam Deck competitors currently on the market or to be launched very shortly.

🎮 The best alternatives to the Steam Deck

Asus ROG Ally

Announced on April 1st, the Asus ROG Ally is considered to be one of the first serious competitors to the Steam Deck. The device was released on June 13th, and we reviewed it here on overkill. It comes with a custom chip by AMD, the Z1 Extreme, which outperforms the Steam Deck on nearly all metrics (except the very low wattages, where the Steam Deck still prevails). Thanks to Windows 11, it comes with native Game Pass support, and support for certain online games unplayable on Steam Deck (e.g. Fortnite, Call of Duty, Destiny 2). Though all this power comes at a cost, the battery life is worse compared to the Steam Deck.

It costs $699 for the higher-end version. You can read our review here.

The AYANEO 2 in black.


The AYANEO 2s is the successor to the AYANEO 2 that we covered several times here on overkill. The AYANEO 2s compared to its predecessor updates the internals while keeping the same external shell.

It still comes with a screen with a 1920x1200 resolution, hall-sensing joysticks and trigger buttons, and can be configured with up to 32 GB RAM and an internal drive of up to two terabytes. But the AYANEO 2s comes with the much more powerful AMD 7840U, upgrades the cooling system, and enhances the trigger buttons amongst other changes.

You can read our review, and preorder the AYANEO 2s on Indiegogo.

The GPD Win 4 with its sliding keyboard.


The GPD Win 4 is the second serious Steam Deck contender that also uses the aforementioned AMD 6800U chip.

But unlike the AYANEO 2 and most handheld PCs, the WIN 4 has a built-in sliding physical keyboard with a complete QWERTY layout.

Like the AYANEO 2, it can also be configured with up to 32 GB of RAM and two terabytes of internal storage.

It sports a 1920x1080 resolution screen and has an optional 4G LTE module for mobile connectivity. It is also the first third-party device to natively support SteamOS (but it can also come with Windows installed).

It also boasts one of the more exciting designs, as it takes clear inspiration from the Sony PSP and PS Vita, two devices I love.

Meanwhile, the release date and the price for the GPD WIN 4 are available with the device starting at $799 for 16 GB of memory and 512 GB of storage. The preorder campaign launched in Mid December of 2022.

The AYANEO Geek in Crystal Purple.

AYANEO Geek 1s

The AYANEO Geek 1s is the cheaper alternative to the AYANEO 2s, starting at a slightly lower $849 price point but still boasting the same 7840U chip and up to 32 GB of RAM and two terabytes of storage.

Unlike the AYANEO 2s, the starting configuration of the Geek comes with an 800p screen, like the one used in the Steam Deck, and it uses lower specced internals — like a simpler vibration motor design and only one gyroscope compared to the AYANEO 2s's two gyroscopes. Just like its bigger brother, the Geek will also ship with Windows.

Ayn Loki

AYN Loki Max

The AYN Loki Max is a new entry by handheld manufacturer AYN. It's their first foray into Windows-based devices, as their previous handheld used Android (mentioned below). It started shipping to the first reviewers and uses the AMD 6800U, comes with Windows, and uses a 1920x1080 screen.

Several versions of the AYN Loki exist, going from a cheaper Loki Mini to the big Loki Max. The Loki Max is the one we recommend for its internals, and it will start at $775.

The AYN Odin in Clear Purple.

AYN Odin

The AYN Odin is the first Android-based device on this list. It's also one of the cheapest options, starting at around $200 for the AYN Odin Lite.

As it is based on Android, it serves a different purpose than the previously mentioned devices and positions itself more as an emulation and streaming handheld.

So, if you want to play your Steam games on its 1080p screen, you have to use Steam Remote Play and stream them from your gaming PC, as you won't be able to run them natively.

The Retroid Pocket 3+ in Indigo.


The Retroid Pocket 3+ is the cheapest device on this list and an even more affordable alternative to the AYN Odin above. The Pocket 3+ also runs Android and is thus also best used as an emulation and streaming platform.

Tests from the community reveal that it can emulate devices up to the Gamecube, although it struggles with the PlayStation 3. (to be checked, I might misremember this).

The device starts at $149 and comes with a 720p screen, 4GB of RAM and up to 128 gigabytes of internal storage. It is the only device to ship with a built-in Micro HDMI port.

The Nintendo Switch OLED.

Nintendo Switch OLED

The Nintendo Switch OLED is the odd one in this list, as, unlike every other device, it uses a closed system, is based on much older hardware, and is the only platform with exclusive first-party titles. Also, it's not a PC. But it's the Nintendo Switch and doesn't need much introduction.

This is one way to go if you want to play Nintendo exclusives without the need to emulate them or if you want access to an extensive library of indie titles. Our survey data earlier this year revealed that most people who use a Steam Deck also own a Switch.

The BackBone One PlayStation Edition.

Your Smartphone

Technically, your smartphone is also an alternative to the Steam Deck, especially if you combine it with a handheld grip like the BackBone One (which we use) or the Razer Kishi v2.

Thanks to their respective app stores, Android phones and iPhones boast a vast library of games, streaming services and emulation apps (thanks to specific workarounds, even on iPhone).

Of course, since it's the one you already have in your pocket, it comes with the lowest upfront cost.

As you can see, there are many alternatives to the Steam Deck, some even more powerful than Valve's handheld, while others serve a different need.

The devices we would personally choose are the Asus ROG Ally, the AYANEO 2 and the GPD WIN 4. Although the last two are at a higher price than the Steam Deck, these are the most complete alternatives currently in development.

But devices like the AYN Odin and the Retroid Pocket 3+, technically even a smartphone, feel more like complementary devices that could live alongside a Steam Deck in your backpack.

Which Steam Deck model should you get and is it worth it
There are three models of Valve’s Steam Deck to choose from, with varying price points and features. We take a look at which you should consider getting.
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