5 Best Steam Deck Alternatives: Review & Buying Guide

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Are you hesitant to buy the Steam Deck because of its long wait list? In this guide, I’ll show you the best Steam Deck Alternatives that you can buy instead.

These alternatives can be at your house in the next week if you order today!

The Steam Deck is an awesome portable gaming PC that allows you to play thousands of Steam titles on a 7-inch screen. It is battery-powered, allowing you to take it on the go wherever you need.

Plus, you can buy a few different key Steam Deck accessories to make it even better, including protective cases and screen protectors.

All of the alternatives below are just as portable!

Let’s take a look.

What are the Best Steam Deck Alternatives?

  1. Ayoneo Next
  2. OneXPlayer 1S
  3. Nintendo Switch
  4. Ayn Odin Lite
  5. Anbernic Win600

Steam Deck Specs

Before we show you some Steam Deck alternatives, let’s first review the specs of the device. This will be our information to compare to our alternatives!

Steam Deck SpecificationsParameters
CPU and GPUAMD Van Gogh APU – Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32) And 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
RAM16 GB LPDDR5 onboard RAM (5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels)
Storage Options64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)
Price$399 for the 64GB version. $529 for the 256GB version. $649 for the 512GB version.
Control Method – Included GamepadA B X Y buttonsD-padL & R analog triggersL & R bumpersView & Menu buttons4 x assignable grip buttons
Display Resolution1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio)
Display Size7″ diagonal
Brightness400 nits typical (adjustable)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Battery Life40Whr battery2 – 8 hours of gameplay
Expandable Storage Options – microSDUHS-I supports SD, SDXC, and SDHC
Software – Operating SystemSteamOS 3.0 (Arch-based)
GamesAll compatible Steam games

Click here to learn how to setup your Steam Deck.

Ayoneo Next vs Steam Deck

ayoneo next best steam deck alternative

The Ayoneo Next is a handheld gaming PC that is most similar to the Deck. If you are looking for a more powerful device with larger internal storage and don’t mind spending a little more, Ayoneo Next is an excellent alternative to the Deck.

Let’s see how the Steam Deck and Ayoneo Next compare.

CPU and GPU

Ayoneo Next features an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU, and AMD Vega 8 GPU clocked at 2GHz. In terms of power, the Next’s CPU is probably much faster than that of the Deck, while the Deck’s rDNA 2 GPU is far ahead of the Vega integrated graphics in Ayoneo Next.

Steam has tried to optimize the processing power in the deck greatly and the native integration with the Steam APIs give it a little bit of an advantage, but Ayoneo has packed a lot of power into a small device.

RAM

Like the Steam Deck, the Next comes with 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM at 4,266 MHz and a bandwidth of 68 GB/s. Because the memory configuration is UMA (uniform memory access), both the GPU and the CPU share the RAM in both devices.

Storage Options

Storage is an essential factor when you are looking to purchase a handheld gaming console. Unlike the Deck, which has three storage options: 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB, the Next has a single generous 1TB SSD option. This is one of the reasons why the Next costs more out of the box.

Both the Deck and the Next have the ability to expand their storage with an external microSD card. Depending on your library of games, you might need all the extra storage you can get.

Price

The Ayoneo Next’s starting price is $1,265, while the Deck’s entry-level unit costs $399. Even the highest Steam Deck, with 512 GB, is only $649.

The Deck is a lot less expensive overall.

Controllers

The Steam Deck comes with a full controller setup, plus dual mouse trackpads and a lot of bonus buttons hidden on the device. Valve has done a really good job to make sure that you will have enough buttons no matter how you like to play. Plus, the good Steam integration means that you can adjust and customize your controller bindings exactly how you want.

Unlike the Steam Deck, the Next doesn’t have trackpads. Instead, you must play games using analog sticks, which may be inconvenient for some. Also, there aren’t as many shoulder and rear buttons included. The Next’s controller setup is similar to the Nintendo Switch.

Display Resolution

The Next features a 5.5-inch panel that operates at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, while the Deck’s 7″ display operates at 1280 x 800px. The Ayoneo Next has a full 1080p display verses the Steam Deck’s 720p one.

Display Size

The Deck has a larger display size than the Next. The Next’s display size measures 5.5-inch, while the Deck measures 7-inch diagonal.

Brightness

The Next has a brightness of 380 nits, while that of the Deck is 400 nits typical. The Deck is overall much brighter than the Next and works better in natural light rooms.

One Reddit users tip on the Next: To achieve a much more natural brightness on the Next, lower the contrast to 88, color temperature to 8600, and saturation to 90.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate of the Next is locked at 60 Hz, which makes it similar to the Deck. You can adjust the refresh rate on the deck down as low as 15 Hz in order to save on graphics quality and extend the battery life.

Battery Life

The Next features a 7,350 mAh battery, lasting 4 and 6 hours of gameplay. For the Steam Deck, the it has a 5,313 mAh battery which lasts between 2 and 8 hours. Overall, Steam has done a great job optimizing the hardware to extend the life.

Expandable Storage Options

Both the Next and Deck feature the option to expand the storage capacity using a microSD card. This can easily multiply the number of games you can store at one time.

Software – Operating System

The Next is built on top of the Windows 10 operating system. This allows it to run a number of different launchers right out of the box. It is a more open-source solution for users with a variety of games on different platforms.

In comparison, the Deck runs on SteamOS. Users can run Windows games on SteamOS rather than the native Proton interpreter, as SteamOS is designed with a high level of compatibility.

Games

While technically the Ayoneo Next supports more games, the Steam Deck has better compatibility. The more advanced controller scheme and button setup allows for flexibility and higher compatibility with games.

The Next supports a high number of games and specifically advertises God of War, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Elden Ring, and Forza Horizon 5.

Final Verdict: Ayoneo Next vs Steam Deck

The Ayoneo Next is an impressive device. It has more brute power overall, with a bigger battery, hard drive, and display quality. However, the Steam Deck’s compatibility and optimization is a big winner. Despite a bigger display and a smaller battery, it actually gets a little long battery life. Plus, it is optimized to work with a bigger selection of games.

The other big winner for Steam is its price. Even the highest storage option is half the price of the Next.

steam deck vs ayoneo next comparison table

OneXPlayer 1S vs Steam Deck

onexplayer 1s steam deck alternative

The OneXPlayer 1S is the world’s biggest screen handheld gaming console. It’s perfect for those looking to switch between work and gaming on the fly. This gaming console can be used for productivity and gaming, and it has impressive specs. It offers a sharp gaming experience with vivid colors that transform your favorite games.

But how does the OneXPlayer stack up against the Steam Deck?

OneXPlayer 1S [11th Core Tiger Lake I7-1195G7-2TB] 8.4 Inches Handheld PC Video Game Console One X Player Portable Win 10 OS Laptop 2560x1600 Mini Pocket Tablet PC 16GB RAM (2TB NVMe SSD)
  • OneXPlayer I7 Version: The 11th Core Tiger Lake i7-1195G7, 4 Cores/8 Threads, Base Frequency 2.9 GHz Max Turbo Frequency Up to 5 Ghz.Graphics: Iris Xe Graphics eligible 96 EUs, Up to 1.4 GHz, DirectX 12.1 OpenGL 4.6
  • Durable Battery: 15300 mAh(3.85v)large capacity battery and 65W Gan(Gallium nitride)Fast charger,which can be quickly replenished in case of emergency,so that you don't fall behind at the critical moment of the game.
  • RAM/ROM: 16GB LPDDR4x 4266 / 2TB NVMe 3.0 M.2 2280 SSD.Our OneXPlayer is only 1/2 size of a converntional 12 inches notebook, Only 819g, Easy to take out for gaming on the go!

CPU and GPU

The OneXPlayer 1S features Intel Core Tiger Lake I7-1195G7 processor and iRIS Xe Graphics for the GPU. The CPU has four cores, eight threads, a max clock of 5GHz, and a base clock of 2.9GHz. The CPU is powerful enough to run the latest games without any hassle.

Compared to the Deck, the OneXPlayer 1S offers slightly better performance based on its APU benchmarks. The OneXPlayer 1S CPU offers higher clock speeds and can run more computations per clock.

RAM

The OneXPlayer 1S features 16GB LPDDR4x dual channel memory, which is the same as the Deck. The Deck’s LPDDR5 memory is better due to its 5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels.

Storage Options

Compared to the Deck, the OneXPlayer 1S offers more storage space to download games and other applications. The OneXPlayer 1S comes with a generous 2TB SSD.

Price

The OneXPlayer 1S is more expensive than the Deck. It costs $1,559.99 to purchase the OneXPlayer 1S off the shelf. This is over $800 more than the Deck overall and over $1,000 more than the base model.

Control Method

For controls, the OneXPlayer 1S has a set of face buttons and directional buttons. If you want, you can also use the on-screen touch controls. It also has original Japan ALPS Joysticks.

The Steam Deck comes with a full controller setup, plus dual mouse trackpads and a lot of bonus buttons hidden on the device. It offers a better suite of gaming-specific features that the OneXPlayer 1S can’t match.

Display Resolution

The OneXPlayer 1S has an 8.4-inch IPS screen with a 2560×1600 resolution. The resolution is far higher than what the Deck offers. Steam offers a 7-inch screen and 1280×900 display.

Display Size

With a screen size of 8.4 inches, the OneXPlayer 1S has a larger screen size than the Deck, which has 7-inches to play with.

Brightness

The Deck on 50% brightness offers much more brightness than the OneXPlayer 1S at 100%.

Refresh Rate

The OneXPlayer 1S’ touch-enabled screen has a minimum 60Hz refresh rate, the same as on the Deck.

Battery Life

The OneXPlayer 1S features a 15300 mAh battery capacity, lasting up to 11 hours of gameplay. In contrast, the Deck’s 5,313 mAh battery can only serve you for up to 8 hours.

Expandable Storage Options

Similar to the Deck, the OneXPlayer 1S also comes with a MicroSD TF slot/card reader to expand or upgrade the device’s memory capacity.

Software – Operating System

The OneXPlayer 1S runs on Windows 10. The OneXPlayer 1S can handle most desktop applications and operate like a standard PC like the Deck. However, Deck’s SteamOS has better native integration for gaming.

Games

The OneXPlayer 1S supports all Windows support PC games. It advertises Brawlhalla, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Fortnite, Grow Home, Halo 2 Anniversary, and Halo Reach, and Rocket League as some of the games it supports.

steam deck vs onexplayer 1s comparison table

Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck

nintendo switch steam deck alternative

The Nintendo Switch launched in 2017 in response to the gaming community’s search for a handheld console. The release of the Nintendo Switch helped the company regain its relevance in the gaming industry. Nintendo Switch comes in three models; OLED, Standard, and Lite. You can plug any model into a docking station or connect it to your TV. Let’s look at how the Standard version compares with Steam Deck.

Nintendo Switch - Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition - Switch
  • The console is also decorated with images of recognizable characters: Tom Nook and Nooklings Timmy and Tommy
  • Includes a Switch console, Switch dock, Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R), and two Joy-Con strap accessories
  • Game not included

CPU and GPU

In terms of CPU, Nintendo Switch lags behind the Deck. While Nintendo Switch features a 5-year-old NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor, the Deck uses a Zen 2 system on a chip (SoC).

For the GPU, Nintendo Switch uses the new AMD RDNA2 architecture and comes with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory. On the other hand, the Deck has the RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32).

RAM

Nintendo Switch is equipped with 4GB of RAM, offering less memory space than the Deck. The Steam Deck shines in this regard.

Storage Options

Nintendo Switch has an internal storage capacity of 32GB. The entry-level Steam Deck has an internal storage capacity of 64GB, which is higher than the Switch. It also features 256 GB and 512 GB options as well.

Both devices can be expanded via an external microSD card.

Price

In terms of pricing, the Switch is cheaper than the Deck. The Switch price starts at $299, while the Deck starts at $399 for the 64GB version.

Control Method

The Switch comes with two Joy-Con wireless controllers that can serve up to 20 hours of gameplay, depending on usage. You can detach these controllers, which works fantastic when playing games on your TV. Some games only require one controller too.

The Steam Deck doesn’t have detached controllers. However, you can plug or link up a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, or controller for more flexibility.

Display Resolution

The Switch’s multi-touch capacitive touch screen operates on almost the exact resolution as the Deck. The Switch’s resolution is 1280 x 720, while the Deck display has 1280 x 800.

Display Size

The Deck’s display is larger than the one on the Switch. While the Switch display measures 6.2,” the Deck measures 7″ diagonal.

Brightness

The Nintendo Switch is brighter than the Deck. 70% brightness of the Switch is equivalent to 100% of the Deck.

Refresh Rate

Just like the display resolution, the refresh rate of both displays is the same at 60Hz.

Battery Life

The Switch uses an in-built Lithium-ion battery of 4310mAh capacity. Depending on usage, the battery can serve you between 4 and 9 hours of gameplay. The Deck’s battery capacity is similar and you get between 2 and 8 hours of game time on a full charge.

Expandable Storage Options

The Switch’s storage is expandable up to 2TB via microSDHC or microSDXC cards. The cards are sold separately. The Deck has supports micro SD, SDXC, and SDHC for memory expansion.

Software – Operating System

Nintendo Switch runs on its homemade operating system, codenamed “Horizon”. On the other hand, the Deck uses a modified Linux OS known as “SteamOS,” giving you access to all Steam settings and games.

Games

The Steam Deck runs more games than the Switch. On the Switch, you are limited to official Nintendo releases on the system. Interesting games you can play on the Switch are The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Just Dance 2017, Skylanders Imaginators, World of Goo, Little Inferno, and Human Resource Machine.

steam deck vs nintendo switch comparison table

Ayn Odin Lite vs Steam Deck

ayn odin lite steam deck alternative

The Ayn Odin Lite is a gaming handheld device with the Steam Deck’s general form factor. It’s an ARM-based Android device loaded with lots of potential. The Ayn Odin Lite is mainly used as an emulator for playing old Nintendo and Gameboy games.

Let’s compare the Ayn Odin Lite vs Steam Deck in more detail to see how the two stack up against each other.

CPU and GPU

The Ayn Odin Lite features an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor at 2.4GHz and a Mali-G68 MC4 GPU. This is similar to the power you get in a standard Android TV box.

The Odin Lite is not as powerful as the Deck in terms of processing power.

RAM

Ayn Odin Lite comes with 4GB of LDDP4 RAM. It has 4x less RAM capacity compared to the Deck.

Storage Options

Ayn Odin Lite features a 64GB SSD with options for expansion. The internal storage is the same as the Deck’s entry-level model.

Price

The Odin Lite is available for $200 through the project’s Indiegogo page. While the Odin Lite is more affordable, the Deck is more performance-driven. Steam Deck prices are: $399 (64GB), $529 (256GB), and $649 (512GB).

Control Method

The Odin Lite has built-in game controllers. It features two analog sticks for your playing comfort. The Deck offers superior controls here, which a lot more customization throughout the system.

Display Resolution

The Odin Lite has a display that offers up to 1080p at 1920×1080. The Deck offers slightly less resolution, 720p screen quality at 1280 x 800.

Display Size

The Odin Lite’s screen measures 6-inch compared to the 7-inch diagonal one on the Deck. Overall, the Deck offers a larger viewing experience.

Brightness

With a brightness of 280 nits that the Odin Lite comes with, you can play your favorite games both at night and under sunlight. However, this is far less than the brightness of the Deck. The Deck has a brightness of 400 nits typical.

Refresh Rate

Both the Odin Lite and Steam Deck have a refresh rate of 60Hz.

Battery Life

The Odin Lite has an in-built 6600 mAh battery which can last up to 8 hours after a single charge. This is about the same playing hours that the Deck offers.

Expandable Storage Options

The Odin Lite has a slot for an expandable SD card. You can expand the internal storage up to 1TB. The Deck lets you extend the internal storage using Micro SD, SDXC, or SDHC.

Software – Operating System

The Odin Lite uses the Android 8.1 version operating system. In terms of performance and the support for games, the Deck’s SteamOS shines here.

Games

The Odin Lite is not really comparable to the Steam Deck in terms of games. Odin falls into the retro gaming handhelds category. It is Android-based, letting you play Nintendo, Sega, and Sony ROM games on the go.

The Deck is a true portable game console, letting you play over 4,500 games from the Steam library. Plus, it also supports EmuDeck, which is its own emulator platform that is compatible with the Deck. With a few extra steps, you can duplicate the use of the Odin Lite and far expand it with a huge library of real AAA games.

steam deck vs ayn odin lite comparison table

Anbernic Win600 vs Steam Deck

anbernic win600 steam deck alternative

The Anbernic Win600 is one of the first handheld gaming consoles to arrive on the market. It’s designed to run Windows 10 or Steam OS, making its functionality similar to the Deck.

However, it is substantially smaller and lighter than the Deck. It comes in two colors: Black and White.

Let’s see how the Win600 performs in comparison with the Deck.

CPU and GPU

For the CPU and GPU, the Win600 features AMD Athlon Silver 3020e up to 2.6GHz and AMD Radeon RX Vega 3, respectively. Compared to the quad-core Zen 2 APU in the Steam Deck, the 3020e variant falls way short.

RAM

The Win600 has an upgradable 8GB DDR4 RAM. On the other hand, the Deck uses a superior 16GB LPDDR5 onboard RAM.

Storage Options

The Win600 has a 128GB SATA solid-state drive (upgradeable using microSDXC). Meanwhile, the Deck has three internal storage variants: 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Overall, the Deck offers more storage flexibility.

Price

Anbernic’s Win600 handheld gaming console is up for grab at $300, a price that’s cheaper than any version of the Deck.

Control Method

Unlike the Deck’s full suite of controller and mouse-based controls, the Win600 has a D-Pad and clickable analog sticks for controls. In terms of ease of gameplay and flexibility, the Deck shines here.

Display Resolution

The Win600 comes with a 1280×720 resolution. This is very similar to the 1280×800 resolution offered by the Deck.

Display Size

The display of the Win600 is a 5.94-inch IPS touchscreen compared to the 7″ touchscreen of Steam Deck.

Brightness

The Win600 console offers 355 nits typical, a figure lower than the Deck’s brightness. At 35% brightness at night, you will enjoy playing games with the Deck over the Win600.

Refresh Rate

The Win600 has a lower refresh rate than the Deck. Its refresh rate is 40Hz compared to the 60Hz that the Deck comes with.

Battery Life

The Win6000 comes with 2 4,500mAh batteries that can last about 5 hours of playtime. By comparison, the Steam Deck can last between 2 and 8 hours, depending on how serious of a game you are playing and at what quality.

Expandable Storage Options

Anbernic does not offer any expandable storage option on the Win600, so you are stuck with the default 128 GB onboard storage. The Deck is way better, with support for additional storage via a micro SD slot.

Software – Operating System

The Win600 runs on Windows 10 and also supports the Deck’s SteamOS. Therefore, its functionality is very similar to the Deck.

Games

Since Win600 supports SteamOS, users can play most of the titles in the Steam store.

Conclusion: Anbernic Win600 vs Steam Deck

At face value, Anbernic offers a very similar device to the Steam Deck. However, two main things hold it back:

  1. No expandable storage option. Depending on what games you load onto it, 128 GB is not enough hard drive space. When I loaded Cyberpunk 2077 onto my Deck, it took up 67 GB by itself!
  2. Early reports on the Win600 say it is not as optimized as the Deck. With a lower-powered Picasso CPU, that’s not a great sign for the life of this device.

The Win600 is not out to the general public yet. Even still, it doesn’t look like it matches the Steam Deck in terms of power, optimization, and features.

steam deck vs anbernic win600 comparison table

Other Steam Deck Alternatives

Are you looking for other Steam Deck alternatives? Here are some more general ideas for you to consider!

Gaming Laptops

If you want some extra power to play games on the go, you can buy a full gaming laptop instead of a Steam Deck. It’s not a portable as the Deck is, but it will allow you to play any game you want. Plus, the full built-in keyboard is useful for browsing the internet or doing productivity work. You usually get a bigger hard drive too.

Check out our list of best gaming laptops for VR, which all have even more power than the Deck does.

Smartphone

If you want to play games on the go and don’t care about the quality as much, your Android or Apple smart phone has enough juice to entertain you. While the graphics power isn’t as good, there are a lot of mobile games that play great. For example, Apple Arcade is available for $5 per month and it gives you access to hundreds of games included with your subscription.

The big disadvantage in using a smartphone as a Steam Deck alternative is that you won’t have access to the Steam store for games. If this isn’t a deal breaker for you, give it a shot.

Conclusion: Is Any Steam Deck Alternative Better?

There are at least 5 different alternatives that you could try out for portable PC gaming. However, I’m not sure any of them are worth the hassle.

None of our alternatives are cheaper than the Deck for what you get. Valve is able to subsidize the cost greatly because they make a cut on every single game purchase from their store. This allows them to sell the hardware at-cost. The only affordable alternative is the Ayn Odin Lite, but its power is a lot less and you can only play classic games on it.

None of the alternatives on our list are as well-optimized as the Deck either. Steam has generously added 8 shoulder buttons, 2 mouse track pads, and other standard controller buttons onto the Deck. You can customize the controller bindings for every game and play them exactly as you’d like.

Finally, Steam has also optimized the battery very well. Part of this is due to the 720p display which doesn’t “wow” you all that much. However, display quality is not as obvious on a 7-inch screen.

The biggest disadvantage to the Steam Deck is the availability. Current wait times are up to a year long if you want to reserve your copy today. The public perception of the device has improved over the past 6 months too, meaning that the demand is driven higher. This just might be enough of a reason for you to look at an alternative.

Comment down below and let us know what you ended up doing!

About Ryan William

Ryan researches and provides new content to the website. He has written over 2,000 blog posts for various websites around the internet. Ryan is an avid traveller and sports fan. His favorite VR headset is the Oculus Quest 2 and he has played over 75% of all Quest games ever released.

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