6 More Powerful Steam Deck Alternatives in 2023

Learn more about which gaming handhelds are more powerful than the Steam Deck and which are worth picking up instead.

As someone who’s written about the Steam Deck a lot, I can’t say enough good things about it. For gaming, emulation, and even writing this very guide on, it’s the best and most affordable gaming handheld out there. 

But its one downside is it’s just not quite powerful enough. Even more so when the market is flooded with so many Steam Deck alternatives. 

If you’re looking to upgrade to something more powerful so you can run the latest AAA games with ease, read on to find out which of the more powerful Steam Deck alternatives are worth checking out.

Buy with confidence: RetroResolve doesn’t use affiliate links. Everything we recommend is based on our own testing and experience.

6. AOKZOE A1 Pro

The purple OnexPlayer 2 Pro on a purple and pink gradient background.

  • Capable of a lot of surprising feats.
  • Rounded bumpers won’t be for everyone.
  • Massive 65 watt hour battery.
  • Not as bright as the Steam Deck.
  • 8-inch screen.
  • Analog sticks don’t feel as premium.

On paper, the AOKZOE A1 Pro shouldn’t be able to pull off some of the feats it can. It’s a very similar spec to the ASUS ROG Ally and the AYANEO 2S, but in action, things change. When I reviewed Cyberpunk 2077 on the ROG Ally, I was aiming for 40 to 45 frames per second, which is a perfectly serviceable amount given it’s a handheld. 

But if you whack everything down to low on the AOKZOE A1 Pro, you can pull around 80 frames per second. That shouldn’t be possible yet somehow it is thanks to the designers at AOKZOE.

AOKZOE also doesn’t want to fall into the same trap as the AYANEOs and ASUSes of this world. Gone is the industry standard 40 watt hour battery, and in its place a meatier 65 watt hour battery. That’s a little over 50 percent more juice to play with. 

The screen itself is not as bright as the Steam Deck’s – 350 nits to the Deck’s 400 nits – but the difference isn’t a sticking point. It won’t beam as much, but most will end up lowering the brightness to save battery power anyway. As I say, it’s not anywhere near as big of an issue as it sounds. 

Specs worth knowing – CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840U. | GPU: AMD Radeon 780M | Screen Size: Eight inches. | RAM: 16GB to 64GB LPDDR5. | Storage: 1TB to 2TB SSD.| Price: $1359/£859. 

Available from: The Aokzoe A1 online store or Droix.

5. GPD Win 4

The black GPD Win 4 with the screen pushed over the keyboard on a on a purple and pink gradient background.

  • Built-in keyboard.
  • Much thicker than the PS Vita it’s inspired by.
  • Looks like a PS Vita.
  • The 45.62-watt-hour battery is an improvement, but not enough.
  • Smaller form factor.
  • Text will be harder to read.

If you’re after a real alternative to the Steam Deck, the GPD Win 4 is more PS Vita than Steam Deck. Its smaller form factor means it’s much easier to hold as well compared to the larger Steam Deck, although it is a true chonky boi. It’s deceptively thick. 

It is less powerful than the ROG Ally and the AYANEO 2S, but it makes up for it with the aforementioned smaller design and a slightly larger 45-watt-hour battery. Is that enough to be a factor? I’d wager no. The extra five-watt-hours are a nice bonus, but it’s still not nearly enough for a device with this kind of power. Battery-wise, we’re looking at an extra 10 to 20 minutes of playtime compared to the Ally and 2S. Nice, but not enough. 

It’s also worth noting that the form factor also works against it. It’s stylish and looks great, but the smaller six-inch screen size means everything is going to feel small compared to other devices. For text, that could be the difference between being able to read it easily and it being a jagged mush of letters. 

For emulation, I can’t recommend the GPD Win 4 enough. If you loved the PS Vita or you want an easy way to navigate Windows with a built-in keyboard (something no other handhelds on this guide have), the GPD Win 4 is well worth considering for that alone. It’s actually portable, and that makes it one of the best handhelds out there.

Specs worth knowing – CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 6800U. | GPU: AMD Radeon 680M | Screen Size: Eight inches. | RAM: 16GB to 32GB LPDDR5. | Storage: 1TB to 2TB SSD.| Price: $699 to $1299/£546 to £1015.

Available from: The GPD online store or Droix.


The black AYANEO 2S handheld on a purple and pink gradient background.

  • Screen is capable of up to 1200p.
  • Unreliable fingerprint scanner.
  • Plays at up to 32 watts.
  • AYASpace needs work.
  • Upgraded cooling system.
  • Very, very expensive. 

The AYANEO 2S is the best Windows handheld out there and manages to do something most handhelds struggle with: It’s quiet. Or more specifically, as GamesRadar notes, the volume of the speakers is able to offset any noise produced by the fans. 

The custom software AYASpace is still in need of work, especially when compared with the Steam Deck’s Linux-based SteamOS. It’s still a massive improvement over the Ally’s Armory Crate, though. 

In terms of power, the Ryzen 7 7840U with 780M graphics and 16GB of RAM technically puts it on a similar footing to the ROG Ally. The difference here is AYANEO ditched the 120-hertz refresh rate in favor of a more vibrant 1200p resolution.

This is a bit of a weird one in practice. Games, generally, aren’t going to hit the 120 frames per second the Ally is capable of, nor will most be able to run games natively at 1200p. If I had the choice, though, I’d pick the resolution bump over the frames per second. The reason being, on the seven-inch screen, those extra frames aren’t as noticeable. But as you’ll be using image upscaling a lot, that bump means you should be able to get slightly more crisp pixels. 

Normally the price speaks for itself, but it’s worth digging into. For the price of the AYANEO 2S, you could get a mid-range gaming PC or if you still want the handheld experience, you could go with the ASUS ROG Ally with an XG Mobile for around the same price. 

The XG Mobile, of course, would result in better performance, but you’d also need to be hooked up to the thing while you’re gaming. Not everyone will want to connect via a short cable while gaming.

I can happily recommend the AYANEO 2S, but it’s definitely worth having a think about what it is you want before you make any choices.

Specs worth knowing – CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840U. | GPU: AMD 780M Radeon | Screen Size: Seven inches. | RAM: 16GB to 32GB LPDDR5. | Storage: 512GB to 4TB SSD. | Price: $949/£746 or $1429/£1123.

Available from: Available exclusively (and cheaper) on IndieGoGo.

3. OneXPlayer 2 Pro.

The purple OneXPlayer 2 Pro with green lighting on the handles on a purple and pink gradient background.

  • Innovates differently to the Steam Deck.
  • Very heavy at  848 grams.
  • Massive 65.5-watt-hour battery. 
  • Kickstand is average.
  • 2560×1600 resolution.
  • Not many games will use the 2560×1600 resolution.

What the OneXPlayer 2 Pro lacks in power compared to the AYANEO and ASUS offerings, it makes up for in innovation. 

Both of the controllers are detachable. It’s kind of like the Nintendo Switch in that respect. That means you can plop the OneXPlayer 2 Pro on a desk or hook it up to the TV and you’ve got the controllers there ready to be played with. 

Admittedly the Ryzen 6800U is a little dated compared with others in this guide, but it’s another solid trade-off. Instead of massive power gains, the OneXPlayer 2 Pro can reach a monstrous 2560 by 1600 resolution. Not every game will be able to reach that lofty goal, but the games that can look stunning. 

Specs worth knowing – CPU: AMD Ryzen 6800U. | GPU: RDNA 2 | Screen Size: 8.4 inches. | RAM: 16GB to 32GB LPDDR5. | Storage: 1TB to 4TB SSD. | Price: $959/£919.95 or $1159/£1096.

Available from: The OneXPlayer website (cheapest), Droix, and Amazon.

2. AYANEO Air 1S.

The gray retro-colored AYANEO Air 1S on a purple and pink gradient background.

  • Killer AMOLED screen.
  • Poor battery life.
  • Smaller than other handhelds.
  • Screen gets warm above 18 watts.
  • Enough power for gaming on the go.
  • Pricey.

AYANEO’s secret weapon is smart TDP. For those who aren’t familiar with TDP, think of it as a dial to change how much juice the console is using. The higher the TDP, the more power it uses, resulting in better performance. The less, the more battery life. 

With smart TDP, the AYANEO 1S takes the guesswork out of setting a TDP. Load up a game, and the handheld itself will decide how much power it needs to pull to get the best performance. The AYANEO Air 1S can reach a TDP of 25 watts, although you’ll need to have the charger connected for that. Without the USB-C charger attached, the highest it’ll go is 20 watts. 

That extra five watts can make a difference to performance but it’s not as noticeable as the difference between the ROG Ally’s 20 to 30 watts power plan. Take Marvel’s Spider-Man as an example. At 20 watts, you can expect the framerate to be in the 30s. At 25 watts, it’s around 35 to 40 depending on the area. 

The other thing that makes the AYANEO Air 1S such a delight is the weight of it. It’s just 450 grams compared with the Steam Deck’s 670 grams, and that difference in weight is instantly noticeable. The smaller size also means it’s a much easier handheld to hold and play on. 

What’s the catch? Despite packing smart tech and a killer AMOLED display that wipes the floor with the Steam Deck’s screen, the battery capacity comes in at a measly 38 watt-hours. That should, in theory, get you two hours of playtime at 20 watts, but in practice Windows uses a chunk of that, resulting in a sub-par one-hour of uptime. You’ll need to always be near a charging port if you pick this one up.

Specs worth knowing – CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840U. | GPU: AMD Radeon 780M | Screen Size: 5.5 inches. | RAM: 16GB to 32GB LPDDR5. | Storage: 512GB to 4TB SSD. | Price: $799/£626 to $1842/£1444.

Available from: Where to buy: Only on the AYANEO Air 1S IndieGoGo page.

1. ASUS ROG Ally.

The white ASUS ROG Ally on a purple and pink gradient background.

  • More comfortable that the Deck.
  • Battery life isn’t great.
  • Windows offers greater compatibility.
  • Potential SD reader issues.
  • Can be upgraded.
  • No touchpads.

The ASUS ROG Ally is my handheld of choice whenever I want to game and my own personal Steam Deck alternative. The pairing of the Z1 Extreme processor and RDNA 3 graphics means it can play the vast majority of AAA games with minimal problems. You will need to tinker with each game’s settings, but that’s the same for every handheld in this guide.

The ROG Ally’s secret weapon that sets it apart from the competition is the introduction of the XG Mobile.

The XG Mobile is what’s known as a mobile GPU, or eGPU. What the XG Mobile does is it takes the RAM, processor, and internals from the Ally and adds in a super-power GPU via a lightning connection, essentially turning the Ally into a high-end gaming PC. 

This matters because it means the ASUS ROG Ally isn’t confined by the tech it ships with. As newer, more powerful handhelds are released, your Ally won’t fall by the wayside. Just grab the latest XG Mobile and you can turn your Ally back into a gaming beast. 

The ROG Ally’s biggest issue right now is the lack of communication from ASUS. We’re all aware the SD card reader can randomly cease functioning, and ASUS has admitted as much, but we still don’t know where or if this problem can be fixed. Pair that with not knowing if we’ll receive the latest AMD driver updates and the few occasional Windows bugs, and it’s clear ASUS needs to be more open about where it’s at. 

Still, in spite of those problems, the most important thing is the ASUS ROG Ally is a stylish device that’s capable of a lot. Its 1080p screen is crisp, the power is enough for the latest games, and the ability to upgrade the device means it’s as futureproof as is currently possible in this space.

Specs worth knowing – Chipset: Ryzen Z1 Extreme Processor. | CPU: Zen4. | GPU: RDNA 3 | Screen Size: Seven inches. | RAM: 16GB LPDDR5. | Storage: 512GB SSD. | Price: $599.99/£699.99.

Available from: Available only through the ASUS ROG store and Best Buy.

Size Comparison.

A size comparison of all the consoles mentioned in this article. Yellow is AYANEO 1S, dark blue is GPD Win 4, light blue is AYANEO 2S, green is AOKZOE A1 Pro, pink is OneXPlayer 2 Pro, gray is the ASUS ROG Ally, and red is the Steam Deck.

Pictured: A size guide to how each of the handhelds compares with the Steam Deck’s size.

Size-wise, the Steam Deck is larger than all of the consoles in this guide. As the image above shows, the ASUS ROG Ally isn’t that much different from the Steam Deck’s dimensions. It’s not until we hit the OneXPlayer 2 Pro and the AOKZOE A1 Pro that the size difference really comes into effect. 

What’s interesting is despite the AYANEO 1S being slightly longer than the GPD Win 4, it’s actually shorter vertically. Both are smaller devices, but how they’re smaller is different. If you want the horizontally smallest handheld, it’s the GPD Win 4. But if height’s a factor, then go with the AYANEO 1S.

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.