There's a $299 Steam Deck rival that also runs SteamOS

Steam-powered Ayaneo Next Lite is more "cost effective" than rival gaming handhelds

Ayaneo Next Lite
(Image credit: Ayaneo)

Ayaneo has been extremely busy of late. The Chinese manufacturer has launched a swathe of gaming handhelds and other devices over the last few months, in different shapes and sizes.

Now it's announced a "budget" gaming handheld which, it claims, will be the first non-Valve handheld to run on SteamOS – albeit the third-party HoloISO equivalent.

The Ayaneo Next Lite will be a trimmed back version of the company's existing Next and Next Pro devices. It'll share similar build quality and "texture", while "lowering the entry barrier".

It'll be available from $299, so is cheaper than most rivals, including the Steam Deck. It puts it more in the Nintendo Switch bracket, in fact.

Ayaneo Next Lite

(Image credit: Ayaneo)

Ayaneo has also revealed some of the key specifications and features for its "value-for-money" machine.

It uses Next Grip ergonomic handles for comfort while playing, and comes with a 7-inch 800p IPS display, which keeps the cost down while offering a decent-sized playing field.

Perhaps most importantly, the Next Lite retains the Hall sensing joysticks and triggers of its older siblings for greater accuracy and zero stick drift.

Ayaneo Next Lite

(Image credit: Ayaneo)

Running the show will be either an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U or Ryzen 7 4800U processing unit, depending on the model, plus 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM. Storage options will be 128GB (for the Ryzen 5 model) and 512GB. That can be expanded further through swapping out the SSD (up to 8TB).

There will also be a mighty 47Wh battery inside for hours of playtime, plus X-axis linear motors. Connectivity will be provided through USB-C, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.

Ayaneo plans to release the Next Lite in three colourways – Pastel Blue, Bright White, and Jet Black. You can sign up for more information (including potential release date) from its official website.

Ayaneo Next Lite

(Image credit: Ayaneo)

As for the other devices Ayaneo has announced lately, the Flip KB and Flip DS – with the latter inspired by the Nintendo DS – should soon be available to order (likely before the Next Lite).

The clamshell devices could really shake up the sector, especially with the Flip KB including a full keyboard and fingertip mousepad, as well as the usual thumbstick controls.

We'll bring you more on those too, when the duo finally go on sale on Indiegogo.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.