Sunday, March 26, 2023
HomeTechnologyThe Ayaneo Geek Is the Closest Factor We Should a Steam Deck...

The Ayaneo Geek Is the Closest Factor We Should a Steam Deck Professional

Handheld gaming PCs have been round for longer than their latest growth may point out, even when the Steam Deck blew the doorways off of the market by making a mannequin that the common individual may really afford. Whereas Valve could lay declare to being the “greatest worth” transportable PC with its loss-leadingly low worth, in case you’re out there for consolation, sheer efficiency, or the performance of getting Home windows proper out of the field, there are many extra succesful Steam Deck options obtainable to these with greater budgets. It’s on this area the place Ayaneo has historically operated, providing full-fledged Home windows gaming PCs with high-performance elements and prompt compatibility throughout Steam and each different launcher’s full library.

Premium is type of the course it’s a must to go in in case you don’t additionally personal some type of retailer that allows you to subsidize low value merchandise for the mass market. To fanatics, Ayaneo’s typically 4 determine gadgets have been mouthwatering, however even a boutique producer can’t ignore the Steam Deck perpetually. Valve is now the elephant within the nook of each handheld PC producer’s room.

Launching alongside the flagship Ayaneo 2, the Ayaneo Geek (obtainable on IndieGoGo) maintains a premium standing however is the primary of the corporate’s full energy handhelds to not less than get inside spitting distance of the Steam Deck’s worth (there’s the Ayaneo Air, but it surely’s supposed for much less demanding video games than the Deck). It options extra in frequent with the Ayaneo 2 than it doesn’t, together with its wonderful Corridor Impact joysticks and a strong AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor. But it surely begins $150 cheaper than the Ayaneo 2, at $849. That can nonetheless set you again greater than even the most costly Steam Deck ($640). However in case you’re simply seeking to spend lower than $1,000 for a real Home windows gaming PC that’s extra highly effective than the Deck and isn’t a lot greater than a Nintendo Swap OLED, it’s a fantastic alternative, particularly in comparison with gaming laptops. Lastly, we have now a “funds” boutique Steam Deck competitor. Or, if it helps to think about it this manner, a considerably inexpensive “Steam Deck Professional.”

A succesful AMD Ryzen 6800U handheld gaming PC

Regardless of its Nintendo Swap-like design, the Ayaneo Geek is a full-fledged gaming PC and has the specs to match. Probably the most inexpensive mannequin comes with 16GB of DDR5 reminiscence clocked to a speedy 6,400MHz and features a 512GB NVME SSD. The SSD will be upgraded to 1TB or 2TB for one more $150 and $250, respectively. The highest tier mannequin is at present priced at $1,199 and contains 32GB of reminiscence and a 2TB SSD, but when all you want is storage, the Geek additionally helps MicroSD playing cards for a less expensive different (albeit at a slower 300 MB/s velocity). The Geek can also be obtainable with 800p or 1200p screens, even when that is barely unclear on the present IndieGoGo marketing campaign.

As the budget counterpart to the pricier Ayaneo 2, the Geek is remarkably similar and really just feels like a slightly pared down version of the flagship model. You’re getting the same fast Ryzen 7 6800U processor, so gaming performance is the same between both models. It uses the same outstanding Hall Effect triggers and joysticks, which feel great and are immune to joystick drift. Both units have bright 7-inch touchscreen displays. Their layouts and control schemes are the same, though the Ayaneo 2 offers more customization options for the buttons and triggers. They’re nearly identical in shape, size, and weight. Both offer a 50.25 wHr battery.

There are a handful of variations, however they’re general small and really feel like honest scale-backs for the cheaper price. The largest distinction is that the Ayaneo 2 options an edge-to-edge show whereas the Geek has skinny bezels on all sides. There are different smaller variations, too. The Geek has a single gyroscope for movement aiming whereas the Ayaneo 2 has two. The Geek has a linear vibration motor as a substitute of the two’s HD motor, which Ayaneo says is equivalent to the one within the Nintendo Swap. The Geek additionally ships with a PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD as a substitute of the newer PCIe 4.0 drive that comes with the Ayaneo 2, although the influence on load instances is sufficiently small that you could be not even discover. The flagship mannequin additionally comes with a full glass entrance whereas the Geek simply has a glass display.

There are clear high quality of life enhancements that include the costlier mannequin, however the Geek actually doesn’t really feel like a lot of a step down in any respect, particularly in case you’re evaluating it to the Steam Deck. I’ve used each extensively and essentially the most noticeable distinction is the display, which you shortly get used to and received’t discover in any respect in case you don’t have each fashions facet by facet. When you’ve got the cash for the Ayaneo 2, it delivers the higher expertise over all, however the Geek is the uncommon tech buy that doesn’t really feel such as you’re making an enormous sacrifice by choosing the cheaper mannequin.

Just like the Nintendo Swap and a gaming laptop computer had a child

The Ayaneo Geek is what would occur if the Nintendo Swap and a gaming laptop computer had a child. The Geek is a contact bigger than the Swap OLED however has a really comparable format. The Geek adopts a way more curved design than Nintendo’s console, nonetheless. It has an ovular face and deep, curved grips that Ayaneo says are based mostly on a child’s sleeping place. The controllers are additionally non-removable, so that you’ll want to carry the Geek in your arms except you plug in peripherals and a docking station.

Regardless of the similarities to a Swap with default joycons, the Geek is way nicer to really use. The grips are thick and contoured, tapering towards the highest to information your fingers towards the triggers. The sticks are greater, smoother, and have extra throw. The triggers have a deep, controller-like pull. The buttons are snappy and extra crisp than the Steam Deck’s. Like every handheld, the whole lot nonetheless feels barely compressed: the proper joystick particularly feels only a hair too low for even my medium-sized arms. Even so, I might take the Ayaneo Geek over both the Swap or Steam Deck any day of the week on the subject of consolation and ease of use. Even when the Geek is ever so barely heavier than the Steam Deck, at 680 grams vs the Deck’s 669.

The Ayaneo Geek from top down

Photograph: Chris Coke / Gizmodo

Ayaneo has outfitted the Geek with an array of additional buttons to navigate Home windows and entry its totally different choices. There are View and Menu buttons under the D-pad on the left (mimicking an Xbox controller, and customarily fulfilling the identical function as Begin and Choose on extra old-school gadgets). Two extra further buttons are positioned under the proper joystick. One will be mapped to a customized command whereas the opposite, the Aya button, will be clicked to entry a fast settings adjustment menu or held to attract up the total AYASpace settings software program suite. There are bumpers and triggers on the highest, in addition to a pair of shoulder buttons that may be tied to customized instructions, like elevating the on-screen keyboard or Job Supervisor.

This isn’t a full laptop computer, so I/O is proscribed. There are three USB Sort-C ports whole right here: two on prime and one on backside, and every can be utilized for energy or knowledge. There are two USB Sort-C to Sort-A adapters within the field for connecting peripherals, however you’ll want a docking station to attach the Geek to an exterior monitor in case you plan to make use of it as a full PC. There’s additionally an influence button with an built-in fingerprint reader for biometric login, a quantity rocker, headphone jack, and a MicroSD card slot for expandable storage.

Corridor Impact analog sticks and snappy buttons

Just like the Ayaneo 2, the Ayaneo Subsequent, and the Ayaneo Air earlier than it, the Ayaneo Geek makes use of Corridor Impact triggers and joysticks. Because the axiom goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t repair it, and this design is something however damaged. Reasonably than utilizing mechanical potentiometers for its triggers and joysticks, the Geek makes use of magnetic sensors to detect motion. The dearth of mechanical put on and tear all however eliminates the prospect for joystick drift and makes these inputs among the smoothest you’ll discover on any gaming controller. With the proper software program tuning, you may even customise your deadzones (the components of a joystick that your controller doesn’t learn, in order to keep away from small random actions).

The Ayaneo Geek's hall effect analog stick

Photograph: Chris Coke / Gizmodo

Whereas the entire Geek’s inputs are smaller than what you’ll discover on a traditional controller, they nonetheless really feel nearer than you may anticipate. The added throw on the triggers and joysticks, whereas not as deep as on an Xbox or PlayStation controller, really feel a lot nearer than you may anticipate and are noticeably deeper than on the Steam Deck. The triggers particularly really feel at dwelling in my console-acquainted arms, but all the higher for his or her added smoothness. The sticks have a bit extra of a studying curve attributable to their diminished top and are much less correct than a full-size controller due to it. Utilizing the built-in gyro helps to fine-tune aiming; nonetheless, the Geek requires putting in an applet to allow movement controls whereas the Ayaneo 2 has them inbuilt from the beginning.

The face buttons are snappy and tactile. There’s no mushiness to them in any respect, which is nice for button heavy video games like platformers. The D-pad is a bit much less crisp, with a slight wiggle to the cross, but it surely labored for an informal like me, even in combating video games. Every is an enormous enchancment from the Steam Deck’s considerably mushy inputs, nonetheless, and all in all, make the Ayaneo Geek surprisingly nice to recreation on.

A vivid and colourful display that begs for OLED

The Geek’s 7-inch display is vivid and colourful. Despite the fact that it lacks the edge-to-edge protection of the Ayaneo 2, it nonetheless feels pretty giant because of its 16:10 side ratio. Ayaneo quotes a peak brightness of 400 nits, and I’ve found a number of instances that it’s vivid sufficient to play in direct daylight. It doesn’t assist superior options like HDR assist or gaming at 120Hz, however for many video games, these are non-issues. And actually, would you anticipate both from a handheld designed to be value pleasant?

Time Spy on the Ayaneo Geek

Photograph: Chris Coke / Gizmodo

No, and neither would you anticipate an OLED display, however the Geek begs for it. The colours are wealthy and blacks are tremendous, however after seeing how a lot better OLED can look on the Ayaneo Air, the Geek isn’t fairly as spectacular with out it. Distinction ranges are typical for an LCD display, with blacks being extra of a deep grey, however the wealthy distinction and inky blacks of the Air would have pushed this to a different stage.

The display helps contact enter, and it general works properly. The display is responsive and registers presses reliably. The largest problem is tapping on-screen components that may simply be, properly, tiny. The Geek packs a full, desktop model of Home windows 11. Even with Home windows scaling turned on, selecting objects in drop down menus or navigating settings inside functions will be troublesome. AYASpace, the Geek’s configuration software program, solves this by permitting you to manage a digital mouse cursor utilizing the joysticks. It doesn’t substitute utilizing an precise mouse, however works surprisingly properly when contact doesn’t reduce it.

Trying to use a drop down menu on the Ayaneo Geek

Photograph: Chris Coke / Gizmodo

The display is accessible in 800p or 1200p choices, but it surely’s not value paying further for the 1200p display, even when 800p will web you an identical decision because the less expensive Steam Deck. Whereas the added decision may sound nice on paper, it has a big influence on gaming efficiency and doesn’t supply a significant benefit in visible high quality. In actual fact, that decision bump is especially solely seen in nonetheless photos–keep in mind, the display right here is simply 7 inches. Until you’re taking part in older video games or indies, it’s higher to go away the display at 800p and revel in the next FPS with extra responsive gameplay.

AYASpace is the Ayaneo Geek’s spine

AYASpace is the Geek’s predominant configuration app and the spine to utilizing it as an precise laptop. The software program, known as up utilizing the devoted AYA button under the proper joystick, acts as a central hub for your entire configuration choices, and you too can use it as a recreation launcher. Inside, you may set your TDP (the ability restrict for the system’s processor), fan velocity, button shortcuts, and extra. It’s additionally the place you’ll go to obtain and apply firmware updates as they’re launched over time.


Photograph: Chris Coke / Gizmodo

Tapping the AYA button additionally brings up a fast menu for once you need to make quick modifications or ship frequent instructions. It lets you change the efficiency settings, brightness, and quantity. You may assign 9 totally different shortcuts for issues like placing the system to sleep, enabling system-wide FSR upscaling, or pressure closing video games. It’s quick and dependable, and in case you occur to stop AYASpace accidentally, you’ll instantly miss it.

AYASpace continues to be in beta and it exhibits. It’s improved by leaps and bounds over the past 12 months, however there are nonetheless tough edges, with situations of damaged English, Chinese language solely descriptions in lots of applets, and a propensity to reset itself to Chinese language with software program updates. Regardless of that, it general works properly. For those who ought to occur to search out your self caught in Chinese language, you may change your language by clicking in your profile within the prime proper nook, then clicking on the hexagon with a touch icon by way of it within the subsequent menu. The subsequent display has language settings within the left-most choice of the center row.


Photograph: Chris Coke / Gizmodo

For those who shut AYASpace down, the Geek simply doesn’t work proper. Key features just like the mouse cursor or button shorts for the on-screen keyboard cease working, and people shortcuts are the important thing to the hand-held’s capability to perform as a pc. And not using a mouse and keyboard, they permit you carry out primary duties like urgent the Escape key to again out of menus. Whereas it’s technically doable to run the Ayaneo with out AYASpace, I wouldn’t advocate it. It’s painful.

Overlook your work laptop computer? The Ayaneo Geek has you lined.

One of many wonderful issues concerning the Ayaneo Geek is considered one of its most blatant: this can be a real Home windows gaming PC in a handheld type issue. There’s no Linux. No compatibility layer just like the Steam Deck’s Proton. You should utilize the entire apps and instruments you’d usually use in your desktop or laptop computer with a fraction of the footprint.

And regardless that it’s small, The Geek is mighty. The Ryzen 7 6800U is a really quick, very succesful processor, and it’s backed by 16GB of high-speed reminiscence. The Geek has sufficient horsepower to run absolutely anything an fanatic PC person may need: productiveness apps, inventive apps, web sites and streaming companies: the works. It’s a high-performing little laptop.

Reddit on the Ayaneo Geek

Photograph: Chris Coke / Gizmodo

To really use it on this manner requires some add-ons, except you need to hunt and peck your manner by way of its onscreen keyboard and small display. You’ll want to purchase peripherals, in addition to a monitor in case you don’t have already got one. Then you definately’ll want a docking station to attach the whole lot and energy the gadget. But it surely’s doable. With the Geek, I wrote a number of articles throughout Google Docs and Microsoft Phrase, edited photographs and movies with Adobe, and even plugged in a USB mic to report some tune concepts in Reaper, my digital audio workstation.

I additionally put it to the take a look at with our suite of benchmarks. It scored 5,126 in PCMark 10, which is a strong 500 factors greater than the HP Dragonfly Folio Elite we reviewed in January. In Geekbench 5, it scored 1,341 for single-core efficiency and 6,483 for multi-core, which falls in need of most of the gaming laptops we’ve reviewed over the past 12 months, and is center of the pack for productiveness PCs. However given its considerably extra inexpensive worth than a lot of these notebooks, the Geek’s efficiency actually is fairly spectacular.

For inventive apps, the Geek maintains its center of the street posture. In Cinebench, it scored 1,338 for single core rendering and eight,845 for multi-core, far exceeding the Dragonfly with all of its cores engaged however falling barely brief in single-core speeds. In Blender, the Geek rendered a BMW in 4 minutes and 29 seconds, placing it proper in between the Apple MacBook Professional 13 and MacBook Professional 14. And not using a devoted graphics card like most gaming laptops have, its processor has to tug double-duty. It’s not the quickest, however can definitely get the job performed if you wish to use it as a full-fledged PC.

Spectacular gaming efficiency because of the AMD Ryzen 6800U

The place it actually issues—gaming—the Ayaneo Geek excels. Just like the Steam Deck, efficiency will rely in your graphics settings, decision, and the present TDP setting for the CPU. It’s a balancing act between battery life and CPU energy, however as soon as it’s dialed in (or in case you’re taking part in plugged into wall energy), it’s greater than just a little spectacular.

Despite the fact that it’s cheaper, the Ayaneo Geek sacrifices nothing in efficiency in comparison with the flagship Ayaneo 2. It makes use of the identical {hardware} to drive the expertise, so with equivalent settings, in-game body charges needs to be nearly the identical. Any scalebacks Ayaneo utilized between the fashions are purely high quality of life and don’t influence gaming efficiency.

Witcher 3 on the Ayaneo Geek

Photograph: Chris Coke / Gizmodo

There are 4 totally different energy modes to select from: Energy Saving (11W), Stability (15W), Recreation (22W), and Professional Mode (3W – 33W). Older video games and indies can typically be performed at 11 watts and typically a lot much less. Recreation mode is the perfect match for contemporary video games, although often drops battery life to lower than two hours in my testing. Stability mode strikes a center floor between the 2. With just a little tweaking, I discovered that quite a few indie video games, like Tremendous Meat Boy and Disco Elysium, may very well be performed with as little as 5 to seven watts, which tremendously enhances battery life. Apparently, cranking up energy settings to 33W doesn’t often supply the foremost efficiency improve you may anticipate. It often provides you lower than 10 further FPS whole and drops battery life to lower than an hour, although in case you’re taking part in plugged right into a wall outlet, it’s positively the best way to go, for peak efficiency.

I examined all kinds of video games for this evaluation and left the console in its Recreation preset to maintain issues standardized. I additionally set the video games to 800p for constant comparisons.

  • Forza 5 (Excessive) – 71 FPS
  • God of Battle (Inventory Settings) – 39 FPS
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Steam Deck Preset) – 63 FPS
  • Borderlands 3 (Extremely) – 32 FPS
  • A Plague Story (Low, FSR 2.0, Efficiency Mode) – 31 FPS
  • Rocket League (Excessive) – 133 FPS
  • The Witcher 3 (Excessive, FSR 2.0, Extremely Efficiency) – 43 FPS
  • Filth 5 (Medium) – 56 FPS
  • Elden Ring (Low) – 51 FPS

Taking part in at 800p, the Ayaneo Geek lets you flip up the settings on many new video games whereas nonetheless sustaining common body charges above 30 FPS. Some video games, like Elden Ring, are greatest locked to low settings for the improved responsiveness of upper body charges, however others, like Forza 5, have headroom to spare.

It’s troublesome to immediately evaluate the Steam Deck’s efficiency to the Ayaneo Geek’s, as Valve’s steady updates and loads of neighborhood assist means it’s at all times getting higher. However in our unique Steam Deck evaluation, we “simply barely breached the 30 fps threshold” in God of Battle. The AMD Ryzen 6800U is utilizing a newer processor technology than the Steam Deck’s customized AMD APU, so typically, you’re more likely to see barely improved efficiency throughout the board on the Geek.

Whereas PC gaming handhelds used to demand that video games be set to their lowest doable settings, that age is usually behind us. The vast majority of video games I examined had been capable of be pushed to medium and even excessive settings. Even when it’s a must to flip issues down (it’s often greatest to customise your settings and go for a mixture that appears greatest to you), components like decrease high quality textures are much less noticeable because of the smaller display. Options like FidelityFX Tremendous Decision (FSR), AMD’s methodology of upscaling photos to enhance efficiency, are additionally changing into extra frequent and can help you run much more graphically demanding video games whereas nonetheless hitting playable body charges. The Geek even has a built-in FSR choice that can be utilized on many video games that don’t assist it natively, although the outcomes can differ from nice to distractingly blurry.

I’ve talked about it earlier than, but it surely bears repeating once more: the Geek is ready to assist any recreation that’s at present obtainable on Home windows. There’s no concern that video games will or received’t work like there may be on the Steam Deck. There are few efficiency anomalies that pop up in the midst of video games. The Darkish Photos Anthology: Man of Medan was unplayable on the Deck however excellent on the Geek. All of which means you’ll have an enormous library of video games to select from on day one and prompt compatibility for it sooner or later, so long as the Geek can bodily run it. No ready on Valve to certify video games are playable or for builders so as to add assist. It simply works.

The Ayaneo Geek has variable battery life, loud followers, disappointing audio system 

Whereas the Geek is clearly a really succesful gaming machine, its battery life is extraordinarily inconsistent. For those who’ve performed a conveyable gaming PC earlier than, you’re already acquainted with simply how variable battery life will be. The 50.25 wHr battery may final 4 hours or 40 minutes relying in your present TDP setting and the way demanding the sport you’re taking part in is.

The fan may also get fairly loud. For those who play on the 22-watt gaming preset, the Geek’s fan will be distractingly noisy. It produces as a lot noise as a typical gaming laptop computer, although stops in need of “jet engine” standing. However because you maintain the Geek nearer to your face and ears, its noise is extra noticeable throughout use. Operating it in Stability or Energy Saving modes quiets it down, however at a noticeable lower in efficiency in demanding video games.

The fan can have you reaching for headphones, however chances are you’ll be doing that anyway because of the Geek’s disappointing audio system. They get loud sufficient to listen to properly, however motion pictures and recreation audio lack physique and sound skinny. They’ll work in a pinch, however similar to a laptop computer, I wouldn’t advocate utilizing them when you’ve got a pair of headphones helpful.

Ayaneo Geek

Photograph: Chris Coke / Gizmodo

Do you have to purchase the Ayaneo Geek? 

The Ayaneo Geek is a formidable handheld gaming PC, particularly in comparison in opposition to the Ayaneo 2 and the Steam Deck. Whereas Ayaneo has scaled again sure options to hit the Geek’s worth, its gaming efficiency hasn’t suffered in any respect. It’s a top-tier handheld that appears sure to impress. For those who can afford it. And that’s the rub: regardless that the Ayaneo Geek has rather a lot to supply for lots lower than most of Ayaneo’s gadgets, for that very same $849, you would purchase two Steam Decks and have cash left over for video games.

That doesn’t imply the Ayaneo Geek isn’t value contemplating. It’s smaller and extra snug to make use of. It’s extra highly effective and performs higher in video games. Most significantly, it runs on Home windows as a substitute of Linux, so any recreation or app that runs on Home windows ought to work tremendous with none further tweaks vital (you may run Home windows on the Steam Deck, but it surely takes a bit of labor and doesn’t at all times web nice outcomes). Join it to a docking station and monitor and it could grow to be a real, full-featured laptop. Due to that, it’s extra becoming to think about the Geek prefer it’s a uniquely designed gaming laptop computer fairly than a easy recreation console, and in that mild, $849 can really begin to look fairly affordable.

Whether or not the Ayaneo Geek is sensible for you relies upon completely on how you propose to make use of it and simply how a lot you worth its consolation, optionally available upsells like that 1200p display, and pure gaming horsepower. It additionally depends upon how a lot you’re keen to cope with some small firm jank, as AYAspace is extra more likely to break than SteamOS. But it surely’s probably the greatest choices for getting only a bit greater than the best finish Steam Deck will get you whereas not spending greater than a pair hundred {dollars} further.

Need extra of Gizmodo’s shopper electronics picks? Try our guides to the greatest telephones, greatest laptops, greatest cameras, greatest televisions, and greatest tablets and eReaders. And if you wish to study concerning the subsequent huge factor, see our information to everything we all know concerning the iPhone 15.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments