Ayaneo 2S evaluation: Steam Deck rival is all vitality, no panache

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Breaking News ayaneo 2s evaluation moveable notebook computer 1 2

“The Ayaneo 2S’ spectacular vitality is no longer always truly enough to clarify its excessive ticket tag and hacked together aspects.”


  • High quality fabricate

  • Good veil

  • Handiest at school performance


  • Heart-broken speakers

  • Brief battery existence

  • Sloppy custom tools

  • Uncompetitive pricing

The Ayaneo 2S reveals fair appropriate how worthy our expectations for tech can change in only a 365 days. When the Steam Deck launched last February, it felt like a total revelation. The moveable PC changed into a sport changer in the most literal expend of the term, letting gamers revel in excessive-terminate PC games on the hasten. The system had its magnificent part of problems, from UI bugs to uncomfortable battery existence, but its virtually uncontested order available in the market earned Valve a form of flexibility.

The moveable PC market has stepped forward without notice since then. Now we own already got a “Steam Deck killer” in the invent of the Asus ROG Ally and plenty of of third-occasion companies are striking out their very gain opponents with incremental vitality gains. The Ayaneo 2S finds itself in that deluge of tech, but the context of its launch fully modifications what’s anticipated of it. Being in a order to play games on the hasten isn’t enough anymore. There’s a level of polish that’s now anticipated in step with the bar the Steam Deck has plot — and the Ayaneo 2S fair appropriate isn’t gigantic enough to accelerate anymore.

The Ayaneo 2S has a lot going for it on tale of sturdy specs, a excessive-quality fabricate, and a veil that locations the Steam Deck to disgrace. Unfortunately, it’s missing a form of long-established quality-of-existence issues that we’ve already advance to query from a instrument like this in only over a 365 days. With a excessive ticket point that’s far over superior opponents, it’s incredibly sophisticated to judge a scenario the build it’s a most well-preferred moveable PC option.

Breaking News Create and comfort

Though that you just can well no longer know the title Ayaneo, the young company is no stranger to the moveable PC tech market. Genuinely, it’s in general an elder. It save out multiple Steam Deck-like devices in the previous three years, with each and each gradually bettering on the last. It’s a miniature overwhelming and and not using a doubt hurts its gain ticket proposition as it continually looks like there’s an even bigger version of any given instrument magnificent spherical the corner, but the upside is that Ayaneo is aware of the becoming blueprint to invent a handheld at this point.

Breaking News An Ayaneo 2S runs Baldur's Gate 3.
Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

That’s mirrored in the system’s excessive-quality fabricate, which is made of at ease and shining gloomy (or white) plastic. It’s a worthy smoother and cleaner-wanting system than the Steam Deck, truly preserving the question of a top fee product without being too flashy — save for some RGB lights under its joysticks. It’s also a smaller system. The handheld is 10.4 by 4.1 by 0.8 inches, which does invent it extra compact than a Steam Deck. Though it’s practically as heavy as one too (667 grams), which makes it truly feel surprisingly dense in the hands. It may in point of fact truly feel a miniature like preserving a brick in order of an ergonomic part of tech.

That stated, it’s no longer lower than happy to withhold. The at ease plastic feels good on the hands and there’s some little curvature going down on the support that lets my fingers leisure naturally. There are no longer any textured grips to express of, which would possibly usually invent me danger it’s going to lumber out of my hands, but that’s extra me being passe to the Steam Deck’s fabricate.

Ayaneo packed a lot in right here to invent sure that it may probably well maybe stand out among worthy bigger hardware manufacturers.

Button quality is a spotlight right here too. Whereas it doesn’t feature the Steam Deck’s trackpads (a basic omission that I’ll circle support to), I even own few complaints about the authentic controller layout right here. Buttons are reactive without feeling too clicky, each and each joysticks expend a sturdy fabricate intended to lower down on drift, and two additional buttons next to the tip bumpers give me a miniature extra customization to play with. That’s all rounded out by menu buttons on each and each facet, with the ones on the magnificent giving easy entry to Ayaneo’s custom interface. None of right here is groundbreaking, nonetheless it’s a system that looks like it’s built to withstand position on and hunch — which is exclusively brooding about that the 2S doesn’t advance with a case.

There are a form of extra aspects packed in too. Most usefully, the 2S comes equipped with three USB4 Form-C ports and a to hand microSD slot. It has two six-axis gyroscopes for motion-managed gaming, a fingerprint unlocking vitality button, a noise-canceling twin microphone, and some key customization choices for joystick unnecessary zones, gyroscopic controls, and additional. Ayaneo packed a lot in right here to invent sure that it may probably well maybe stand out among worthy bigger hardware manufacturers and that does hasten a prolonged manner.

Breaking News Uncover and sound

Though I admire my Steam Deck, I attain own one gigantic assert with it: its frightening veil. Even when it changed into on my own on the tip, I may well maybe never obtain over how washed-out games question on it next to my Nintendo Switch OLED. With the Ayaneo 2S, its shortcomings are worthy extra apparent. That’s because Ayaneo’s most modern system has a transparent, vivid veil that does every sport I’ve performed on it to this point justice.

The 7-lag bezel-much less IPS veil is the system’s ace in the outlet, providing gamers with a 1920 x 1200 resolution that locations the Steam Deck’s 720p veil to disgrace. Colours critically pop out on it, one thing that changed into apparent as I performed Baldur’s Gate 3 on it. The purple and purple landscapes featured in its earliest hours critically stood out, letting me soak in its shining art fabricate. On the assorted terminate of the spectrum, a 1200:1 distinction ratio made The Banished Vault’s blacks even deeper, letting me additional sink into its outer condominium eeriness. For that reason on my own, there’s of endeavor I may well maybe truly desire the expend of my 2S over my Steam Deck at times.

Breaking News An Ayaneo 2S sits on a purple desk.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

There’s a caveat to all this, even supposing. The veil’s refresh fee is locked to 60Hz and not using a manner to modify it. That’s no longer a deal breaker for me in my view, as I don’t want worthy extra from a miniature veil, but those that like tinkering with their displays may well maybe be let down by the dearth of flexibility.

The one space I’m a miniature extra underwhelmed by is its speakers. Whereas the sound quality is completely magnificent, the most volume in all equity low. I’ve had moments playing on my sofa the build I’ve had to acquire away some earbuds fair appropriate to hear dialogue extra clearly — and I stumbled on some problems there too. I currently can’t obtain wired headphones to work on my instrument when plugged in. I’m unclear if that’s fair appropriate a bug with my instrument or a wider assert, but the true fact that I’m even 2nd-guessing that speaks to my standards for the instrument. Happily, its Bluetooth 5.2 strengthen potential I will join a wi-fi headset with ease.

Breaking News Efficiency and battery

The precise blueprint of the Ayaneo 2S is its superior performance over its top opponents and it delivers the build it counts — even supposing no longer without some necessary concessions. When it comes to vitality, the 2S packs an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U and a Radeon 780M. That’s an incredibly spectacular pairing for a instrument like this in the meantime and the outcomes express for themselves. The proven truth that I’m in a order to elope a gigantic, value-new sport like Baldur’s Gate 3 speaks to that vitality. Varied heavy hitters like Wonder’s Spider-Man Remastered question good on the instrument sooner than tweaking settings, keeping an spectacular amount of detail.

Breaking News A graph compares sport performance on the Ayaneo 2S.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Our performance assessments made it sure that the 2S is a necessary jump over the Steam Deck. Running on its balanced setting in 720p, PS5 shooter Returnal hits 35 frames per 2nd on the 2S vs. the Steam Deck’s 24 (each and each in low settings). When favoring performance in settings, Horizon Zero Morning time truly passes the 60fps designate, striking it sooner than the Steam Deck, which caps out closer to 50.

Breaking News A graph compares Ayaneo 2S and Steam Deck performance.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The 2S comes out on top in a fight in opposition to the newer Asus ROG Ally too, even supposing it’s a miniature closer. One more 1080p balanced check confirmed the 2S hitting a median of 34 fps in Loss of life Light 2: Put Human, a basic amplify over the Ally’s 26 fps. The ROG Ally packs AMD’s Ryzen Z1 Vulgar, which in general a rebranded version of the hardware right through the 2S. It will, on paper, match the Ayaneo instrument. Asus has been tweaking the performance of the ROG Ally consistently since launch, so it’ll also obtain to the level of the 2S at last. For now, it takes a transparent backseat, perhaps resulting from the true fact the ROG Ally doesn’t obtain virtually as hot as the 2S.

Breaking News A graph compares the Ayaneo 2S with the Asus ROG Ally.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Does that every person sound too fair to be appropriate? It isn’t, but there are two foremost catches. For one, the 2S can originate to truly feel like a baked potato after an hour of play. Ayaneo’s net page makes a huge deal of the 2S’ “3+1 heat dissipation structure” and its excessive-pressure turbo cooling fan, but those aspects don’t attain enough to cease the system from reaching some at times touching on temperatures.

The largest caveat is its low battery existence. The system’s 50.25Wh battery drains rapid when playing the forms of greater-terminate games that invent the 2S intelligent. When working my system in balanced mode, I’m lucky to acquire 90 minutes out of Baldur’s Gate 3 on medium graphics settings. With fewer choices to optimize performance than a Steam Deck (there’s an 11W Energy Saving mode that would also additionally be toggled on swiftly), I don’t own as worthy flexibility to squeeze extra juice out of it. It’s a instrument I’m extra at chance of play at home whereas plugged in than one thing I’d lift on the hasten.

Soundless, there’s no denying that the vitality on gift right here’s a feat in the recent moveable panorama. Ought to you’re simply purchasing for the most succesful handheld out magnificent now and are willing to pay top dollar for an incremental enhance, Ayaneo is the vogue to hasten.

Breaking News Customized interface

Up to now, the whole lot I’ve stated assessments off a form of boxes even with foremost trade-offs. High quality fabricate? A huge veil? Extra vitality than a Steam Deck? Downsides like rapid battery existence appear to counterbalance the instrument and invent it a aggressive option in the moveable PC market. Where it truly loses its order, even supposing, is in its miniature print — or its lack of them, extra accurately.

Merely save, the Ayaneo 2S is nice a Windows OS slapped right into a handheld. Ought to you boot it up, you’re fair appropriate powering up a computer that you just withhold watch over with a touchscreen and gamepad. That’s never a truly intuitive fabricate for a instrument like this, and an absence of trackpads makes navigating your complete extra disturbing. The touchscreen is responsive enough and I haven’t encountered as many unpredictable problems as I soundless attain with the Steam Deck, but I’m soundless in general fiddling to click on miniature home windows with my fingers.

The Ayaspace app is downright unnecessary out of doors of some very long-established customization choices.

That’s one space the build I’m reminded of why the Steam Deck is such a phenomenon. It’s built with its miniature veil in mind, as SteamOS is an unbelievable handheld interface that’s easy to fiddle spherical with. It’s telling that the appropriate manner to expend the instrument is by enabling Steam’s Gargantuan Utter Mode. And that’s critically preferable to the expend of the Ayaneo custom interface integrated on the instrument, which is — to be blunt — downright frightening.

When opening the Ayaspace app, you’re brought to a veil that displays lately performed games and a brief assistant menu for some on-the-float tweaking. After a miniature of fiddling, it straight changed into sure that the app hasn’t been optimized worthy for English users. Anytime I click on on a sport to query its profile, I obtain a field that inexplicably says “Sport time: Took a investigate cross-check.” Varied menus haven’t been translated at all. After I jump into the Assistant tab, I’m handled to a central widget that hasn’t been localized to English. Varied menus feature phrases and not using a spacing between them and letters wrapping awkwardly wrapping onto a 2nd line. It straight looks like I’m the expend of a bootleg instrument in order of a excessive-terminate one.

Breaking News The Ayaspace app appears to be like to be on veil on a Ayaneo 2S.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The interface itself doesn’t fare considerably better in phrases of functionality. After I jump right into a sport profile, I even own the blueprint in which so to add custom configurations. That option is buggy to the purpose that I will’t truly figure out how it’s supposed to work. In most cases I click on the button so to add a brand new configuration and nothing occurs. Varied times I birth it, fair appropriate for the interface to freeze up. At one point, I opened the option and the window bugged out, fearful your complete app. I had to conclude out of it to reset it support to its honest size. And after I finally did obtain into that menu, I couldn’t truly attain anything else in it. Frankly, the Ayaspace app is downright unnecessary out of doors of some very long-established customization choices.

I’d narrate that “you obtain what you pay for” right here, but that’s exactly the difficulty: the Ayaneo 2S isn’t cheap. The 512GB mannequin with 32GB of RAM will ticket you a whopping $1,300, a jaw-losing amount next to the comparable Asus ROG Ally’s $700 ticket (and for its top-tier mannequin, too). You’d be paying virtually double the associated price for an incremental vitality enhance on a system that’s at chance of be surpassed in mere months — perhaps by the ever-bettering Ayaneo itself. On top of that, you’re getting a system moderately devoid of customization aspects and an utterly unusable UI. You’re and not using a doubt fair appropriate buying a dear manner to elope Windows 11 on a gaming handheld.

Had the Ayaneo 2S launched sooner than the Steam Deck, I’m sure it may probably well maybe own wowed me. I’d probably write off its issues as early tech quirks as I did with Valve’s system. That flexibility is all but gone in 2023 when there are simply more affordable, cleaner devices on the market. Ayaneo has the vitality it wishes to invent a huge handheld instrument. It’s fair appropriate sorely missing panache.

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