Steam Deck alternatives keep coming, with new announcements this week from AOKZOE – touting their next portable A1which will be powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor – and long-term competitor to Valve AYANEO, which revealed a successor to your successful ‘Next’ portable PC.
The interesting part is that the Next II will use a dedicated graphics card, unlike its predecessor (which ran on AMD APUs with integrated graphics). There are AMD and Intel versions; the former will run on a Ryzen 6000 CPU with a Radeon RX 6000 GPU, while the latter will feature a 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake processor and an unspecified Arc graphics card – VideoCardz speculated that this will be a compact ACM-G11 GPU, like the Arc A350M or A370M.
This makes the AYANEO Next II the first gaming portable PC to use a dedicated GPU – a huge step forward for the format that could question the validity of future products running on iGPUs. The Next II is also much closer in terms of design than original steam deck than AYANEO’s previous efforts, with a pair of square touchpads flanking the screen in addition to the usual console button layout.
Opinion: Steam Deck-like are the right place for Intel Arc A3
Between repeated delays and the lackluster initial performance from Intel Arc GPUs, Arc’s future seems a little uncertain lately. The desktop version of the low-end Arc A380 was recently launched in China with very little fanfare, and doesn’t look so impressive. With solid and affordable offerings elsewhere, the budget A3 part of the Intel Arc lineup is going to struggle.
The Arc A350M and A370M that may appear in the AYANEO Next II are fairly simple boards that are prone to problems in gaming laptops. But portable PCs like the Steam Deck and its many imitators don’t necessarily need the same level of grunt as a laptop designed for gaming.
With low power consumption and good thermal performance, Intel A3 GPUs can be an excellent choice for any manufacturer looking to explore Valve’s coveted laptop. Sure, the performance doesn’t compare to other dedicated GPUs, but when the competition is all running on integrated graphics, Intel has a definite chance to impress.
Still, it will be tough for Intel to compete with AMD as Team Red has been active in the GPU game for much longer and more recently has also been pushing for superior gaming performance from its CPUs. AYANEO has not confirmed which Radeon GPU will appear in Next II; if it’s the RX 6400 lackluster, Intel’s chances look good. If the Hong Kong-based manufacturer can squeeze an RX 6500 XT or better into its new laptop, though, Intel could be in for an uphill battle.