There’s no doubt that the Nintendo Switch changed the idea of what portable gaming could be, but the Steam Deck, the best handheld gaming PC, has taken it to a whole new level. With an NVIDIA Tegra chipset, it would make sense for AMD to develop something similar for PC gaming. This has led to a handheld gaming PC revolution with Zen CPUs and RDNA GPUs, starting with the incredible Steam Deck.
Table of Contents
TL;DR – These are the best handheld gaming PCs
The ability to play PC games from anywhere means players can play everything from Street Fighter VI to Cyberpunk 2077. Aside from the Steam Deck, most handheld games run a full version of Windows 11 rather than Linux. This also opened up the ability to play various launchers from the Epic Games Store to Battle.net. For those looking for options, here is a list of some handheld gaming PCs to consider.
When looking for the right handheld gaming PC, there’s more to consider besides the CPU and GPU. Other specs like RAM, storage, controller input type, and software overlays play a big part in these handhelds. And by and large, these devices are expensive due to the amount of power packed into the portable devices.
The best handheld gaming PC
The Valve Steam deck that popularized the handheld gaming PC revolution doesn’t actually come with Windows installed. Valve’s custom SteamOS is used instead. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any games that work on it. Thanks to the Proton API, the Steam Deck supports dozens of games optimized for portable devices, from Cyberpunk 2077 to Forza Horizon 5.
There are ways to get Windows running on the seven-inch portable display by booting directly from the USB-C port. Additionally, there are three storage options with one of the best input controls available for a portable gaming handheld.
The best Windows handheld gaming PC
The Asus ROG Ally comes in two flavors and packs 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. In terms of visual specs, the Windows 11 portable gaming handheld features a 7-inch FHD LCD touchscreen with a 120Hz refresh rate. The base price of $599 gets you a 6-core AMD Zen 4, paired with an AMD RDNA 3 with 6 compute units. For $100 more, users can get the Z1 Extreme Edition with an 8-core AMD Zen 4 and AMD RDNA 3 with 12 compute units. For added security, the handheld also has a fingerprint scanner on the power button.
The best handheld gaming PC with keyboard
The Goodlife623 GPD Win 4 looks more like a mini laptop than a gaming handheld, and almost looks like Sony’s PSVita right down to the surface. The wearable device features an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU and an AMD Radeon R5 GPU. It’s all hidden behind a 6-inch 1080p screen. One of the highlight features of the GPD Win 4 is a sliding Windows keyboard that makes using the desktop operating system on the go a breeze.
There are three versions available, including a base configuration with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage that goes up to $1,599 for 32GB and 2TB of SSD storage.
The most mobile handheld gaming PC
As one of the smallest handheld gaming PCs available, the AYANEO Air Pro features a 5.5-inch OLED FHD screen. In terms of performance, you should be able to squeeze out quite a bit of power with the 6-core AMD Ryzen 5 CPU and AMD Radeon GPU. The AYANEO Air is a little less than two inches thin and also weighs 2.6 pounds. With 512GB of SSD storage, there’s also room for expansion via the micro SD slot. While it may lack the performance of many portable Windows handhelds on the list, the form factor alone may be worth the price of admission.
The best convertible handheld gaming PC
The GPD Win Max 2 takes a different approach to the Goodlife623 GPD Win 4, featuring a large 10-inch screen and full keyboard that feels more like a significantly smaller netbook. Traditional gaming controls are found at the top of the keyboard, including two analog sticks, a D-Pad, and face buttons. In terms of specs, the Win Max 2 comes with an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, an AMD Radeon 6800M, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. The touchscreen is ideal for creatives and graphic designers and also supports active pens.
The best handheld gaming PC for media
If you want the sleek form factor of the AYANEO Air but with a little more power and functionality, consider the Geek. It features an 8-core AMD Zen 3 CPU, AMD RDNA 2 GPU and 16GB of RAM. Two SSD storage versions are also available: 512 GB and 1 TB. All configurations feature a 7-inch display with 1280 x 800 resolution, haptic feedback, and gyroscope control.