We have been reviewing handhelds for well over 4 years now, mainly within the emulation niche, but with the adaptation and constant evolution of the best handheld gaming PC’s they’re getting closer and closer to low and mid range portable emulators.
So, we thought it was about time we got our hands dirty and moved from the best retro handhelds to the best handheld gaming PC’s, giving you an interesting perspective from someone who has reviewed and tested over 200 handhelds in his time.
There seems to be more and more new devices filling up the portable PC space, some great, some not so much, so we’re only listing the best of the best and why you should snag them if you’re on the market to play your PC games on the go.
Let’s jump into the best handheld gaming PC’s of 2022.
8. ANBERNIC Win600 (Coming Soon)
This is a handheld gaming PC that has yet to be released, but I wanted to feature it in this list because it could be a great “affordable” portable PC for those wanting to enter the niche without burning a hole in their pocket.
But like any handheld manufacturer, they’ve seen a huge demand for affordable handheld gaming PC’s and that’s exactly what ANBERNIC wants to produce even if we think it’s something they’ll find challenging.
ANBERNIC have struggled with their latest handhelds, and the rumour to jump into portable PC’s was a shock for many emulation gamers, especially when they failed to please their previous customers request with the RG552. But we’ll admit, ANBERNIC create some very well made products when they put their mind to it.
We believe they can create something great here, but they’ll need to price it competitively, so competitively in-fact that I think it will need to be far cheaper than the Steam Deck to succeed.
Rumours have it that the ANBERNIC Win600 will launch Summer of 2022 and cost anywhere from $300 – $800. We’ll update this section when there’s more news and some official specifications.
7. GPD Win 3
GPD have been in the handheld PC “game” for far longer than many on this list, they may not have the best credibility from fellow customers of the GPD XD but there’s no denying that they are moving the niche forward and constantly developing new products to keep us entertained.
Their best handheld gaming PC’s are their most innovative, one being the GPD Win 3 which was released back in 2021. This handheld features a full qwerty keyboard under the slide up display, two analogue sticks, shoulder buttons, a 2.8GHz i7 CPU and a large 5.5″ HD display.
Some would say the QWERTY keyboard is a bit useless and shouldn’t feature in the best handheld gaming PC’s but the GPD Win 3 targets both gamers and those who want to work on the go.
It comes with a dock, just like the Nintendo Switch allowing you to dock it to a HD display, connect up your Wifi and wireless mouse to get work done between slaying noobs.
It packs some power and works well with the touch screen, but some may be put off with the high price tag of $799 – $899, especially when there’s many on this list that are cheaper.
If you’re looking for both business and pleasure in a handheld gaming PC, then this one might be for you.
The ONEXPLAYER came out before the Steam Deck, and many avid handheld gamers wanted to dive into what was deemed “the most powerful portable pc on the market”, and it pleasantly surprised the PC market with its incredible build quality and internal specs.
The ONEXPlayer features a 4.2GHZ Ryzen 4800U CPU, an 8 Core AMD Radeon GPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB Storage and a 8.4″ IPS Display (2560 x 1600), making it an absolute powerhouse and allowing you to play games in Full HD at crispy frame-rates without any problems at all.
We’ve tested the ONEXPLAYER and can confirm it doesn’t disappoint, but what I noticed the most was how comfortable it was to play on, yes it’s fairly heavy but most handheld gaming PC’s on this list are.
The buttons are perfectly placed, the analogue sticks are sensitive and sturdy enough for fast paced games like shoot em ups to be easy to grip, and the shoulder buttons we’re incredibly nice to play on, with big buttons and nice feedback to them.
Plus the giant 8.4″ screen consumes all of your attention! To me it felt like a huge screen was placed between a Xbox controller, and because it felt so familiar it was easy to play on straight out of the box.
The fans do make some noise, so tinkering with the CPU power on the fly was needed, but that said, it’s one of the best handheld gaming PC’s on the market if you’re looking for something that looks good, feels familiar and performs very well.
But let me remind you, it’s heavy and fairly large, so the next handheld may tickle your fancy.
5. ONEXPLAYER Mini
If the ONEXPLAYER was a little too big for you then their newer model known as the ONEXPLAYER Mini may be of interest to you.
The ONEXPLAYER Mini boasts a 7″ IPS Display (1920 x 1200), clocks 4.4GHz of speed, and runs on AMD’s cutting-edge AMD Zen 3. Not only that it has 16GB RAM, up to 2TB of storage and a slightly smaller design making it more comfortable and on par with the same size as a Steam Deck.
It’s still big, but not as heavy and a little more ergonomic. It has kept the comfortability as they have used the same buttons and shoulder buttons, but just in a slightly more compact layout compared to its bigger ONEXPLAYER AMD brother.
It still packs a bloody big punch too, allowing you to get up to 60FPS from AAA games on this device. Take a look at this if you’re like the look of ONEXPLAYER’s and want something that costs a little less than the larger version.
4. AYA Neo
AYA Neo is a company that is attempting to be the “Apple” of handheld gaming PC’s. They have sleek marketing, a very modern looking device and a CEO that likes to keep active across social media by building in public.
The AYA Neo is their biggest and most popular portable PC and was released in 2021 on Indiegogo and completely smashed its goal and secured over £1,000,000 in backing. The great thing is that they delivered on their promise and many gamers are playing on this handheld still to this day.
After this successful launch AYA built a reputation for themselves and are putting their foot down to build a business that competes with ONEXPLAYER and Steam within this highly active niche.
The AYA NEO was so popular due to the marketing and the fact that it was one of the first to be a crowdfunded handheld gaming PC for the community.
The AYA NEO features a AMD 2.3GHZ 4500U CPU, 1.5GHZ AMD Radeon GPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB of storage and a large 7″ IPS display (1200 x 800).
It also comes in a Pro version should you want more power, but the price increases with that, many are using this device purely for emulation, as AYA have released a “retro” edition with a Gameboy DMG colour way.
It’s very similar to the ONEXPLAYER’s output, but it has a sharper, more modern look with backlit buttons and slightly larger bezels, why you would get this over a ONEXPLAYER comes down to aesthetics.
It packs a lot of power and can play most AAA games very smoothly, just take into consideration the battery life only lasts a few hours when playing heavy games. The same goes for all handheld gaming PC’s on this list.
We’re in this time where these devices are fairly new to the market, so innovation is constant but because its new the battery life isn’t superb, maybe we’ll get there in a few years.
3. AYA Neo Next
Another AYA product? Yes, but this one is their latest, and most powerful handheld gaming PC known as the AYA Neo Next.
It looks like a more modern Nintendo Switch but packs far more power, and is technically the most powerful handheld gaming PC on this list.
It features a AMD Ryzen 7 5825U CPU, AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU, 16GB RAM, 2TB storage and a 7″ IPS display (1280 x 800).
That on paper is impressive, and one of the first times it has been implimented into a handheld device. AYA have done an incredible job with putting as much power and as much of the latest tech into such a small device.
This is far smaller than that of the ONEXPLAYER and the Steam Deck, in fact it’s similar size to that of a Nintendo Switch, but with far better ergonomics and no drifting.
If you’re a minimalist or are looking for the most powerful handheld gaming PC on the market as of now, then the AYA Neo Next is the iPhone of smartphones. It’s sleek, it’s portable, the company will support you through the whole process and it performs like nothing we’ve ever tested.
It’s a beast.
2. AYN Odin
A handheld that you probably wasn’t expecting to see on this list is the AYN Odin, a new handheld that was fully backed on Indiegogo within a couple of weeks, but rather targets emulator enthusiasts rather than PC gamers.
However, recently it has the ability to side load Windows due to the touch-screen and connected controls, but why it’s on the list comes down to power per dollar ratio.
The AYN Odin costs just $199a and packs enough power that it can emulate the best Gamecube games on the go without any trouble.
For those wanting to load up Windows on it, it still performs very well. It’s a handheld that you’d buy to play your older PC games, certainly not your newer AAA games due to the power it needs to run them well.
The AYN Odin features a 2.0GHz Dimensity D1000G CPU, a ARM Mali-G57 GPU and RG4B RAM with a 6″ 1080p IPS Display. Not the best on the list, but damn impressive when you consider the small price tag.
It also feels great in the hand, with superb controls, great battery life and cool LED’s around the handheld that you can turn on an off like Iron-Man.
If you’re looking to start dabbling in handheld gaming PC’s the AYN Odin maybe for you, but we will inform you that loading Windows on it maybe difficult for some as it comes pre-loaded with Android, not Windows.
Read our full review here: AYN Odin Handheld Review
1. Steam Deck
It wouldn’t be a best handheld gaming PC’s list without the holy grail that is the Steam Deck. If anyone can build a powerhouse portable PC it’s the team behind Steam.
The Steam Deck starts at $399 and is being dripped out to customers throughout the year after their mass influx of pre-orders and again… chip shortages and shipping delays.
It’s a way to play all of your Steam games on the go in a fluid natural form that brings the best of Steam to your hands wherever you are whenever you want.
It’s big, it’s chunky but it packs a punch and the design layout even though it looks weird, kinda works.
The Steam Deck features a 4-core AMD Zen 2 CPU, an 8-core AMD RDNA GPU with 1GB video memory, 16GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage and a 7″ 60HZ IPS display (1280 x 800).
But where it works is the fluidity between your games, and how all of the PC games work on a handheld device. Originally this would have been impossible, but today’s tech has made it a reality and playing MMORPG games on a handheld device has never felt so good.
We’ll admit some games do need more tweaking to become fully Steam Deck friendly, but as the days go by more and more games are becoming natural on this device.
This is the go too, and we can’t wait to see how this handheld adapts and evolves over time.
A 29 year old fella that’s had a Gameboy addiction ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and created a YouTube channel with 240,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.