The Steam Deck has been highly anticipated as a handheld gaming device, but one of its major drawbacks is its battery life. However, competitors have been unable to surpass or even match the Steam Deck’s battery performance. That is until now. Ayaneo, a company known for its handheld gaming PCs, has introduced the Ayaneo Kun, a larger and heavier device with a 75 watt-hour battery pack that claims to last nearly three and a quarter hours at 15W TDP. This is almost double the battery life of the Steam Deck at the same power consumption. Although it’s important to note that the battery life claim was not captured during gameplay.
Ayaneo has finally unveiled the full features, price, expected ship window, and crowdfunding details for the Ayaneo Kun. The handheld boasts an impressive spec sheet, starting with a large 8.4-inch, 2560 x 1600, 500-nit, 90 percent DCI-P3 color IPS screen. Comparing it to the Steam Deck, Ayaneo seems to have listened to feedback about ergonomics and button layout preferences and incorporated them into the Kun. The device features bigger grips, dual touchpads with four buttons each, quad back buttons, beefier triggers, and even a kickstand reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch. Additionally, it includes a front-facing camera for face login and streaming, Hall Effect joysticks and triggers to prevent drift, HD linear motors for rumble, and an optional 4G module for cellular connectivity.
Under the hood, the Ayaneo Kun houses the AMD Ryzen 7840U chip, the same chip found in many boutique PC gaming handhelds. However, Ayaneo claims that its massive cooling system allows the APU to reach a turbo mode of 54 watts, significantly higher than the 30-watt turbo of the Asus ROG Ally. Although the company admits that using the device at 54W isn’t recommended for daily use, it does offer a noticeable boost in frame rates in certain games. The Ayaneo Kun also offers a full-length M.2 2280 SSD slot, allowing for up to 8TB of internal storage, in contrast to the 2TB limit of the Steam Deck and other competitors.
In terms of pricing, the Ayaneo Kun starts at $1,209 for 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, with prices going up to $1,949 for 64GB of RAM and a 4TB SSD. Early bird prices start around $200 less.
Before considering the Ayaneo Kun, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Firstly, Windows compatibility can be a major issue with Steam Deck competitors. While many games are available on Windows, the operating system is not optimized for handheld gaming PCs. This can lead to various annoyances that the Steam Deck has already addressed. Additionally, crowdfunding ventures can be unpredictable, with many projects failing to deliver on their promises. It’s crucial to exercise caution and research the legitimacy and track record of the company before committing to a crowdfunding campaign. Watching reviews from experienced reviewers can also provide valuable insights. Furthermore, Ayaneo has a reputation for quickly moving onto new projects before addressing the concerns of existing customers. Their software, while improving, still requires work and may not be well-localized for English speakers.
In conclusion, Ayaneo’s latest offering, the Ayaneo Kun, seems to be the strongest contender against the Steam Deck in terms of battery life and specifications. With its larger screen, improved ergonomics, and expanded features, it offers a compelling alternative for handheld gaming enthusiasts. However, potential buyers should consider the potential drawbacks associated with Windows compatibility, crowdfunding risks, and Ayaneo’s track record before making a final decision.