Ayaneo Air: A Moveable and Aesthetic Different to the Steam Deck

Indiegogo staffers are placing crowdfunded merchandise to the take a look at in our new sequence of product evaluations. On this version, our very personal Affiliate Director of Content material and Social Media supplies a evaluate of Ayaneo Air, a brand new extremely skinny OLED gaming handheld that everybody’s speaking about. Does it dwell as much as the hype? Learn on as we put it to the take a look at!

I like to journey, and after I do, my philosophy is to journey mild with only a single carry-on and backpack. So I’m all the time looking out for devices which are transportable, light-weight, and may maintain quite a lot of media. For bringing some good books with me on trip, I’ve my Amazon Kindle Oasis. For catching up on my favourite exhibits and movies, I’ve my iPhone 13 Professional Max. For all my favourite video games, I often take my gaming laptop computer, but when I run out of house in my bag, I find yourself simply leaving it (and all my favourite video games) behind at dwelling. Whereas I do have a helpful Nintendo Swap, I’m restricted to only enjoying video games which are made for the Nintendo platform. So when the workforce at Ayaneo requested me if I needed to take a look at a prototype of their new gaming handheld Ayaneo Air, I couldn’t move up the possibility to provide it a attempt! I additionally needed to do a side-by-side comparability of the Ayaneo Air with different well-liked gaming handhelds, so I invited my brothers over to assist me evaluate as they’re each avid avid gamers, who personal a Steam Deck and Nintendo Swap.

Unboxing the Ayaneo Air

Unboxing the Ayaneo Air was a delightfully thrilling expertise. It jogged my memory of unboxing a brand new Apple product. The workforce at Ayaneo was considerate about the way in which they packaged the system, designing a complete expertise from begin to end. From the second you carry the lid off the field…

You’ll come nose to nose with a basic black inlay card like this…

So what comes within the field?

Upon unboxing, I discovered all of the elements to be very well-packed in a type becoming foam. I just like the frustration-free packaging and as somebody who cares about sustainability, it appears that evidently solely minimal single use plastic packaging was used.

The field comes with a plug and an AC adapter (CE marked/UL listed), which turns out to be useful for journey. It additionally comes with two USB-C to USB-A dongles, a handbook with Home windows OS directions within the form of the system.

Lifting the handbook lastly reveals the much-anticipated Ayaneo Air!

It appears I bought the Aurora White shade! The opposite out there colours are Polar Black and Sakura Pink. One other factor to notice is that the Ayaneo Air crowdfunding marketing campaign has different out there fashions, just like the Ayaneo Professional, which is available in Polar Black, Aurora White, and Vivid Silver. There are additionally different particular editions out there just like the B. Duck and Retro Energy.

First Take a look at the Ayaneo Air

A few first impressions stood out to essentially the most to me upon lifting the system out of the field. First was simply how light-weight and durable it feels. The grips and buttons at first contact really feel much more ergonomic than the Steam Deck.

Second was the design and aesthetic. As you possibly can see from the photographs I took beneath, the housing isn’t only a strong white. It has a twin gradient pink and inexperienced shade, which is really distinctive. I just like the artistry and look of it!

On the backside of the system, it has a micro SD cowl, a USB port, and headphone jacks. There are additionally downward firing stereo audio system on the backside. To match, the Steam Deck is entrance firing, and this attribute may very well be loads higher for some avid gamers.

On the prime of the system, it has one other USB port, quantity rocker, a vent for the cooling system, and On/Off buttons.

For a dimension comparability, right here’s what the Ayaneo Air seems to be like subsequent to the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Swap. As you possibly can see, the Ayaneo Air is loads smaller and extra transportable than the others. Whereas it has a bulkier depth than the Nintendo Swap, it’s fairly skinny at 18mm. I additionally discovered the Ayaneo Air’s buttons and grips to be much more ergonomic than the Swap. The buttons and joystick glow and lightweight up too, which is an fascinating addition. Although I ponder if the glowing joystick may add to battery drain. One other benefit it has over the Steam Deck? Different reviewers declare SteamOS will be placed on the Ayaneo Air, calling it a mini OLED Steam Deck.

And talking of OLED, the display screen is pure OLED goodness. I’m very excited to check this out with some video games.

So let’s transfer on to the setup…


Unboxing the Ayaneo Air was a enjoyable expertise as a result of this factor is really lovely in design and well-built.

The setup, nonetheless, was not a straightforward, easy one. Now this isn’t due to the way in which the system was constructed; slightly, I feel it’s due to Home windows. Now Home windows has quite a lot of benefits, however the draw back is its tedious setup. Upon connecting the system to wifi, I needed to sign up with a Microsoft account. (Professional-tip: you possibly can quickly block Web entry out of your router to sign up with an offline account.)

Additionally, there are simply so many Home windows updates upon setup! It was slightly irritating, as a result of I used to be so excited to only play video games on the gorgeous Ayaneo Air straight away. For many who are used to enjoying on SteamOS (which hides the whole lot within the OS and simply exhibits a sport launcher), there could also be a steep studying curve with Home windows setup and driver updates.

For comparability, with the Steam Deck, SteamOS is an easy setup with video games preloaded. On the Nintendo Swap, it’s a straightforward plug and play expertise after you arrange or log in to your Nintendo account. Due to Home windows, organising the Ayaneo Air took a really very long time.

My advice to the workforce at Ayaneo is to have Direct-X preinstalled. It’s a gaming API for Home windows video games, and could be a pleasant to have for a future iteration.

Setup: Charging

Whereas I used to be ready for all of the Home windows updates (so many updates!) to finish, I made a decision to cost the system. Proper out of the field, the Ayaneo Air had a 30% cost. I discovered that charging it was a easy expertise. The system glows purple when it fees, and there are 2 ports, which suggests there may be much more flexibility to cost whereas in its case. (As for the tomtoc carrying case it comes with, I’ll get to that later in my evaluate.)

Gaming: Placing it to the Take a look at

Now first off, I need to level out that this will probably be a primary look, first impressions sort of evaluate. I do know that over time, I’ll uncover new issues to take pleasure in, like, or dislike the extra time I spend on it, enjoying all kinds of video games and having completely different sort of experiences. Possibly I can do one other evaluate 1 or 2 months any more my full Ayaneo Air expertise. However for now, I’m simply going to check with it just a few various video games that I like.

Sport #1: Witcher 3

I do know this photograph taken on my iPhone 13 Professional Max don’t do it justice, however the OLED display screen is a factor of magnificence. Pair that with the ultra-wide angle and the complete area of view, the sport seems to be so vibrant on each aspect. It makes for an immersive expertise, and heightens the story a lot extra. The one factor I observed that I didn’t like was that the textual content is a bit small on the display screen.

Sport #2: Yoku’s Island Specific

My brother urged I attempt enjoying this indie sport known as Yoku’s Island Specific. So we loaded it up on the Ayaneo Air and right here’s what it seems to be like…

With the OLED display screen, the colours had been good and vibrant. I watched as my brother performed, and in line with him, the controls — particularly the sensor on the Corridor impact joysticks — had been responsive.

Sport #3: Gato Roboto (indie sport)

I used to be curious how a black and white sport would carry out on the Ayaneo Air. We loaded up an older, indie sport known as Gato Roboto to place it to the take a look at.

As you possibly can see from the photographs, the excessive distinction B&W visible actually popped.

This sport could be very action-packed so it has quite a lot of vibration, and on the Ayaneo Air, we loved the haptic suggestions and management depth.

My brother and I took it outdoors in my yard simply to see the way it seems to be like enjoying beneath the solar. In spite of everything, it’s meant to be transportable sufficient to make use of even open air whereas on the go. And it didn’t disappoint! The graphics and visible expertise was simply as lovely.

Talking of being on the go, the Ayaneo Air comes with its very personal customized carrying and storage case by tomtoc. I like the colours that match the twin gradient shade of the Aurora White system.

The case appears to be product of a water-resistant materials, in case of any spills. It seems to be like the within materials can also be molded and flocked to guard the joystick and button of the system, holding them in place as you journey or in case you drop it or knocks round in your bag. l just like the YKK zipper which is easy, and the strap can also be adjustable. Apart from the helpful storage operate, it makes for an ideal journey accent.

There’s even slightly pocket to retailer stuff in.

With the Ayaneo Air in its tomtoc case, I’m able to go wherever with all my favourite video games!

Remaining Ideas: Who’s This For?

General, the {hardware} seems to be good. Mechanics seems to be good. The OLED display screen is a gamechanger, in addition to it dimension, weight, portability, and thinness. My solely suggestions is that Home windows might not be one of the best factor for this system, because the setup time and updates took so lengthy.

The Ayaneo Air is for the gamer who’s keen to sacrifice efficiency on the ever-popular Steam Deck for better portability. As a result of it’s so light-weight and ergonomic, this one is really for avid gamers on the go. It additionally comes with different media and productiveness options, which I disregarded on this evaluate however will revisit afterward, so it will probably act like a mini laptop computer.

This can be a good choice for avid gamers who don’t like the constraints of Nintendo as a closed system, as you get with the Nintendo Swap. Those that wish to play indie retro video games like Yoku’s Island Specific, Lifeless Cells, and Gato Roboto, and want to play them with enhanced and wealthy visuals, the Ayaneo Air could have the extremely extensive angle OLED display screen the place the graphics self-illuminated on all sides. When you’re searching for the next high quality efficiency than most retro handhelds available on the market, you’ll need to get this in your fingers.

The Ayaneo Air is a conveyable and aesthetic different to the Steam Deck.

Present your assist for the marketing campaign, and again it now on Indiegogo if you wish to get it earlier than it’s gone!

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