So did you get the Steam Deck between its launch and right now? If so, good for you! If not, there are plenty of Steam Deck alternatives out there to pick from.
For many, an alternative is a way to go right now. The Steam Deck has been sadly out of reach for many since it was released in February 2022. Shortages never help, of course, especially considering the current situations across the world today. Whatever the case may be, the Steam Deck is still a hot commodity in the subsequent months from its release and will be impossible to get if you are not on the reserve list.
Thankfully, the marketplace is now a crowded one, with tons of alternatives to the Steam Deck available. Of course, you have the Nintendo Switch, but what about the more unique choices out there that try to make the PC experience portable? Well, let’s look at some of the alternative systems out there. Some are already released, and others are still coming soon, but each of these can be a viable Steam Deck alternative in their own little ways.
Steam Deck Alternative - Anbernic Win 600
The Anbernic Win 600 is a system that is not out yet, but it certainly has a lot of promise. Anbernic is well known for handheld releases that focus heavily on emulation, such as the RG351V, and the Win 600 is its first foray into a more PC-specific handheld market. While the Win 600 currently has no release date, some pundits speculate it to be out later this year. As of right now, we don’t know much about the system.
Specs-wise, Anbernic has been tight-lipped, though we know for sure the system will have built-in ventilation, USB Type-A and C ports, and support for both Windows 10 and Linux-based Steam OS.
Steam Deck Alternative - AYANEO NEXT
The Steam Deck has the marquee team of Valve behind it, but it wasn’t the first PC handheld out of the gate. A lot of machines make that claim to fame, but the honor ultimately goes to the AYANEO. Formed in 2020, AYANEO released its first handled machine in 2021. Since then, AYANEO has gone through several releases in quick succession, with the current version being the AYANEO NEXT, which is currently more easily available than the Steam Deck.
The biggest hurdle is the very steep price of over $1,300 for the system, which is likely a major stumbling block for anyone who is looking to buy the machine. What does the AYANEO NEXT offer though for the asking price? Well, the biggest selling point is the ability to use Windows 10 on the system with no trouble, something the Steam Deck cannot do by default.
It has a sleeker design, allowing it to be more portable than the Steam Deck, and finally, it sports a solid 1TB SSD and an AMD Ryzen 7 5825U CPU. It is not as powerful as the Steam Deck, but it provides a pretty close approximation. It should also be noted there is a slightly stronger, and much more expensive version of the AYANEO NEXT, called the AYANEO NEXT Pro, which doubles the TB for the SSD and has 32GB of RAM. It’s also over $1,600.
Steam Deck Alternative - AYN Odin Pro
The AYN Odin is an oddball on this list because it's actually not a PC handheld like the Steam Deck, but rather an Android-based handheld. What it uses based on the Steam Deck is mostly its design and function; just instead it is an ARM-form-based Android device that has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage on the Pro model. And like many alternatives, you have a Lite and Base model as well to pick from if the Pro is too much for you.
So yes, it is much weaker than the Steam Deck. So why even consider it? Well, the price is incredibly low, even lower than the base Steam Deck, with prices ranging below $400 on the company's Indiegogo page. There is also an optional dock accessory that allows you to connect to your TV, complete with multiple inputs, including for some reason GameCube and Nintendo 64 controller ports.
AYN also notes that the Odin Pro does support Windows on ARM, though it is an Android device that does have some limitations. Still, the AYN Odin is a very affordable alternative that may not be able to play high-end games but is perfect for some of your low-end options.
Steam Deck Alternative - GPD Win 3
The GPD Win 3 is a system that has a lot more comparisons to the Nintendo Switch than the Steam Deck, but it is also comparatively smaller and slighter than the Steam Deck. One of the best features of the Win 3 is the built-in keyboard, which will certainly be a boon for some.
Outside of the keyboard, the power of the GPD is comparable to most other systems. Its processor is an Intel Core i5-1135G7 / Core i7 -1195G7 with 16GB of RAM. You will have 1TB of storage as well. Graphically it can’t compare to most games on the higher end, but it still can run most recent releases on low or medium settings with a smooth 30 frames per second. The 720p screen also compensates for this a bit too, making the GPD Win 3 a solid choice for those not looking for pure power.
Steam Deck Alternative - Lenovo LAVIE MINI PC
Lenovo and NEC plan to release the LAVIE MINI PC, a handheld PC machine meant to compete with the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch simultaneously. First announced in January 2021, the LAVIE MINI is still not on store shelves, but if it does release soon it is certainly one to look out for. Because it is currently a prototype, the specs of the LAVIE MINI PC are not officially released by Lenovo, and therefore pricing and a lot of the info below are subject to change.
What we do know is that the LAVIE MINI is expected to include a 256GB NVMe SSD, an 11th Gen Intel processor, and 16GB of RAM along with a 1920 x 1200 resolution on an 8-inch touchscreen. This would make the LAVIE MINI a powerful machine when released, if it does contain these specs.
The only other notable thing about the LAVIE MINI is that it is not the only LAVIE machine that has been announced, with the Lenovo LAVIE Pro Mobile, a notebook with the price of $1,699.99, also revealed alongside the LAVIE MINI. It is clear Lenovo is really pushing hard to get into the handheld systems market, and they have the power and name recognition to do well if they play their cards right.
Steam Deck Alternative - ONEXPLAYER
Price: Starts at $799
The ONEXPLAYER is one of several systems (of the same name) by Chinese-based company One-Netbook available. The perks for the ONEXPLAYER are quickly evident; with a 16GB of RAM, a Ryzen 7 4800U CPU, and an AMD Radeon Graphics Card. The display is high resolution and has enough power to play most modern games with relative ease. Its biggest flaw is its size; the screen and resolution is perhaps too bulky for portability at the end of the day, with an 8.4" high-resolution touch screen.
One of the best things about the ONEXPLAYER line is the versatility of what is available. The above price and tech specs above are just for one of the models available. One-Netbook offers two mini versions of the ONEXPLAYER, and an even more powerful premium version, with a Ryzen 5800U CPU. You also have the original OnexPlayer with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor.
You can also customize your pickup by getting an attachable keyboard if you prefer it over a standard touch screen or joystick. Ultimately, the ONEXPLAYER is arguably the most cost-effective alternative to a Steam Deck without sacrificing too much power.
Steam Deck Alternative - OneGx1 Pro
Price - Starting at $1329.05
One-Netbook has a ton of ONEXPLAYER systems, but another standout is their OneGx1 Pro. Basically, it's a less powerful ONEXPLAYER but with a built-in keyboard, supporting a 7" screen, 16 GB of RAM, and up to 512 GB of memory. The processing power is on the weaker side for sure, with an Intel Core i5-1035G1 to play around with, but what sets the OneGx1 Pro apart is that it's more than a dedicated handheld.
The OneGx1Pro is basically a mini gaming laptop or notebook device, which has enough power to play most games. It also comes with controller attachments that connect like Nintendo Joy-Con controllers to the side of the keyboard, making its status as a dedicated gaming machine even more concrete. Though weaker, the fact that it is an all-in-one package that does support Windows 10 is a nice addition and maybe a fair alternative to the standard ONEXPLAYER model. Oh, and the OneGx1 Pro is also just one version of the handheld, as you have a mini and regular option available to you as well.
So there are seven major alternatives to the Steam Deck for you. Of course, one of the best alternatives is still the Nintendo Switch, but it feels like cheating to include it on this list. In the end, any one of the systems above can be a worthy purchase if you are willing to shell out the cash for it.