The AYANEO Retro Mini PC Looks Perfect for Emulation

AYANEO has revealed the Retro Mini PC AM01 and AM02, tiny PCs with an old-school Mac or NES aesthetic. 

Two versions of the consoles will be available. The AM01 takes its cues from the world of Apple with the Mac computer, while the AM02 is geared towards those who grew up playing on the NES.

Both consoles come equipped with the 64-bit Windows 11 Home Edition as the operating system, and according to our friends over at RetroDodo, will make use of the AMD Ryzen 7 5700U and the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U for the CPU and graphics, though it’s not clear which version will use which chip.

Promo image of the AM01, or Mac-style Retro Mini PC model alongside a white keyboard with a small NES cartridge in front.

The possible inclusion of the AMD Ryzen 7 5700U is an interesting choice. For modern AAA gaming, the AYANEO Retro Mini PC won’t be able to keep up with the latest games. From my understanding, games like Elden Ring will struggle to ever hit a constant 30 frames per second, while games like Fortnite and League of Legends will be playable, but won’t look great due to needing to drop the resolution down to as low as 720p.

The more power-heavy programs like Davinci Resolve or Photoshop (used for video and image editing respectively), will also struggle to run on that chip.  The Ryzen 3 3200U, meanwhile, is even slower than the Ryzen 7 5700U.

Before anyone starts panicking, let’s take a breath. The Retro Mini PC isn’t being sold as a high-end gaming device. Instead, think of it more like a media or emulation box. For older systems, both Ryzen chips will do a good job. PS3, Xbox 360, and Switch emulation may be pushing it. But for things like SNES, Genesis, Dreamcast, and N64, the Retro Mini PC should make short work. The same goes for general PC apps. For surfing the Internet, watching movies, or even writing, those chips are more than enough. 

I’m visualizing the Retro Mini PC as a device more for the Raspberry Pi crowd rather than for the usual AYANEO consumers. If you want high-end gaming, AYANEO already has the Pocket Air and a bunch of different Windows 11 handhelds for that. This is something new. 

Close up promo shot of the AM02 model, or the NES version, showing the front and back of the device. The LCD screen read the time at 9:20.

AYANEO hasn’t officially stated what ports are on the AM01 and AMO02, but judging from the images released, it looks like the AM01 features four USB ports, an HDMI out, a DV port, and an ethernet socket. As for the AM02, that’s a little harder to tell due to there being fewer images available to view. Again, from the images, I’d put money on three USBs, two ethernet ports, an HDMI out, and a DV port. The AM02 also houses a rather stylish LCD screen on the front of the device. 

Price information is yet to be revealed, but to stay up to date with any new announcements, you can sign up for updates over on the AYANEO Indigogo page.

Wesley Copeland
Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming, tech, and toys journalist with over 10 years of experience writing online. Originally starting in video games before specializing in tech and toys, you can find his bylines at IGN, VG24/7, Kotaku, Tech Radar, Games Radar, PC Gamer, Heavy, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.