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6 Steam Deck Alternatives You Should Check Out

Steam Deck alternatives

While handheld gaming devices have been popular for many years now, the handheld PC market is relatively new. Valve wasn’t the first on the market with the Steam Deck, but was the first to make such a device available at a reasonable price.

Since then, more companies have decided to throw their hats into the ring, releasing their own handheld PCs suitable for gaming and a whole lot more. Those making handheld PCs before Valve have released new models, too, with perhaps more interest than ever before. But what are these Steam Deck alternatives, you might be wondering?

We’ve rounded up six of the best Steam Deck alternatives for you right here. Some are more powerful and therefore more expensive. Others have nifty features that make them stand out. And a couple are more ideal for streaming rather than playing games natively. In any case, if you’re in the market for a handheld PC device with which to play or stream games, you’ll find something on this list.

Lenovo Legion Go

Lenovo Legion Go

The latest handheld gaming device on the market is quite possibly the best alternative to Valve’s Steam Deck yet. The Lenovo Legion Go has the same AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor as the flagship ASUS ROG Ally which you’ll find below. It pairs this with a bigger 8.8″ screen, however, which has a native resolution of 2560×1600. Chances are you’ll have to make use of upscaling to play demanding games at a decent frame rate, then, but it’s not the end of the world.

Besides, the party trick of the Lenovo Legion Go is that you can detach its controllers much like the Joy-Cons of a Nintendo Switch, allowing you to get comfortable while your screen sits on a solid surface.

Along with support for an optional controller base that makes playing first-person shooters with the device even more intuitive, and a Micro SD card slot that makes it easy to upgrade your storage, the Lenovo Legion Go is highly recommended for those keen about gaming on the go. With its Windows based OS, it’s particularly good for those with hefty Steam libraries, or for those who subscribe to PC Game Pass.

Asus ROG Ally

Asus ROG Ally

The ASUS ROG Ally was the first real competitor to Valve’s Steam Deck, and it’s won over a legion of fans despite some issues. Equipped with a powerful AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, the ASUS ROG Ally can run most PC games and they look noticeably better than they do on Steam Deck.

With the ASUS ROG Ally being Windows-based, it’s easier to run a wide variety of games, too. It’s just a shame that the launch of the ASUS ROG Ally has been marred with a range of issues. The most troublesome of these finds the system’s Micro SD ceasing to operate due to overheating. In extreme cases the SD cards placed inside have died, too.

ASUS has taken steps to prevent this in the future, but you should be careful if buying a ROG Ally preowned. If buying new, make sure you update your firmware. Also to consider when buying an ASUS ROG Ally is that there’s a cheaper, less powerful version available. Avoid it – the money you save isn’t worth the drop in performance.

Ayaneo 2

Ayaneo 2

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Steam Deck and are made of money, why not consider the Ayaneo 2? Ayaneo has been making powerful handhelds for a while now, but the Ayaneo 2 is the company’s most powerful yet. Like the Lenovo Legion Go and the ASUS ROG Ally this is Windows-based device, meaning you can play a wide range of games without much fuss.

It doesn’t have an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, however, instead packing in a AMD Ryzen 7 6800u. These two processors trade blows, but most will agree that the Z1 Extreme takes the overall win. What’s really neat about the Ayaneo 2 is that you can customise it to a degree, choosing how much memory and storage space you’d like as well as its colour.

It’s just a shame it’s so expensive: it’s hard to recommend when the ASUS ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go are less than half its price. Other, cheaper, Ayaneo models are available, however, so it’s worth taking a look at the company’s store.

GPD Win 4

GPD Win 4

We really like the design of the GPD Win 4. It basically copies the look of the PlayStation Vita, but has a screen you can slide up to reveal a full keyboard. Like the Ayaneo 2 above, this is yet another Windows-based device that is available in a variety of configurations. Whichever you opt for is pretty powerful, but to be honest there’s not much between all four of the Windows-based devices on this list – they’re all capable of running most games you can throw as them to some degree.

It’s the compact size of the GPD Win 4 that really makes it attractive to us, and the fact that it has a full keyboard. And despite its size, you can still expect to get about two hours of playing time thanks to a powerful battery. Ultimately, this is one of our favourite Steam Deck alternatives.

Logitech G Cloud

Logitech G Cloud

Coming in at just £329.99, the Logitech G Cloud is the first device on this list that isn’t Windows-based. It’s also not particularly powerful, with a processor akin to one you’d find in a mobile phone. You can’t run your Steam library on this thing, then. At least not locally, anyway. But that’s the point: the Logitech G Cloud is meant as a streaming device.

Providing you just want to play your games where you have a good internet connection, the Logitech G Cloud could prove to be a good choice. After all, it’s quite inexpensive (comparatively), and has a battery life of up to 12 hours. When you can get a Steam Deck for not much more, though, it becomes a bit difficult to recommend. After all, you can stream games to that, too, with a little know-how.

Pimax Portal

Pimax Portal

There are many models of the Pimax Portal available, and like the Logitech G Cloud, none of them are Windows-based. So, if you want to play your PC games on it, you’ll have to Stream them. The Pimax Portal really excels when it comes to playing retro games, with a wide range of emulators available and a cheaper, lighter model available for those buying primarily for this reason. In fact, the Retro model of the Pimax Portal is the cheapest device on our list of Steam Deck Alternatives.

Whichever model you choose, however, all have a high-resolution screen, with most being 4K. The more expensive models are also set to have VR support in the future, although at this point we’re still not all that sure what it entails. And how could we forget; all but the Retro version of the Pimax Portal have detachable controllers, allowing you to get a little more comfortable while playing.

Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!