Late last week, retro gaming handheld manufacturer ANBERNIC filed a patent for what appears to be their latest up-and-coming handheld. Special thanks to discord user NOirBRight for bringing these screenshots to our attention.
Is ANBERNIC making a WINDOWS handheld?
While there’s no official confirmation just yet, rumours have been circulating for some time about ANBERNIC’s potential foray into the realm of Windows-based devices. But there’s been nothing from any representatives of ANBERNIC themselves.
These rumours have been circulating for about as long as the handheld scene has been fully cognizant of devices like the GPD WIN 3 and Steam Deck. With many feeling that an attempt at a Windows-based handheld is an inevitability of sorts.
A windows based handheld would be a stark departure from the Linux-based (and now Android) handhelds that the company is used to. Granting unprecedented freedom in how the device is utilized by the end-user.
Images of the ANBERNIC Windows Handheld
A patent for a new handheld was submitted by ANBERNIC on the 14th of January 2022. Images of the device will follow, and we’ll analyse what we see in greater detail. Unfortunately, no specifications have been mentioned, so we’re unable to confirm if the handheld is a “low-spec” or a “high-spec” device at this point in time.
The front of the handheld is reminiscent of just about any gaming handheld put to market in the past couple of years. Featuring the same dual-analog, ABXY/D-Pad layout as seen on devices such as the AYA NEO 2021, RG351MP, and various other devices.
A number of features on the front of this device immediately identify it as an ANBERNIC model. From the logo-emblazoned bezels that clearly show ANBERINC’s brand, to the start and select buttons that are very similar to those found on the RG351 devices. It’s very clear who this was designed by.
Two other additions to the usual suite of inputs are what appear to be a HOME key, located just under the D-pad. And what appears to be a WINDOWS key, present underneath the ABYX keys. With both windows and home keys present, we’d expect the device to feature a touch-screen of sorts.
The rear of the device is relatively barren, except for the presence of an air vent. Indicating that the device is actively cooled like the RG552.
In a stroke of good design choices, ANBERNIC appear to have adopted the stacked-shoulder button layout present in most modern gaming controlers. While this does make the device a little bit thicker, it is for the better, as it naturally leads to a more ergonomic design.
Present on the top of the device is an an exhaust vent to go with the air intake on the rear of the unit.
Finally, there’s three interfaces present on the top of the unit. These being a hardware reset button (unusual if the device has a power button), some form of USB Type-A port. And a USB Type-C port marked as “DC/OTG”, likely used for both charging and other wired connections.
The bottom of ANBERNIC’s windows handheld is also relatively barren, with only two features to make note of.
The first of these feature is the 3.5mm audio jack. Allowing you to connect headphones of your choice.
The second are the two speaker vents on each edge of the device. Hopefully, stereo output is supported.
There is also a mysterious black dot to the right of the audio jack that appears to be a microphone.
The left hand side of the device reveals to us both the volume keys and the power keys. Beyond that, there’s not much else here.
A side profile of the device does however, allow us to get a better grasp of the device’s ergonomics. The stacked shoulder buttons give way to a comfortable groove in which your fingers will be able to rest in.
Overall, this device should be much more comfortable for longer gaming sessions than ANBERNIC’s previous devices.
The right-hand side of the device indicates that ANBERNIC have taken cues from other handheld manufacturers.
A switch that indicates the ability to switch between mouse and gamepad modes is present. Much like the Switch found on the GPD WIN 3.
There is also a button with an icon of a keyboard on it. Presumably for bringing up an on-screen keyboard. Similar to the button found ont he AYA NEO 2021 Pro, and the OneXPlayer. This almost certainly confirms that the device is intended to feature a touch-screen of some kind.
What do you think of this design? We think it’s clear that ANBERNIC are taking the right cues from their competitors in this space.
Another point of consideration is what kind of market is being targeted by ANBERNIC with this model. Do you expect them to directly try to compete with GPD, One-Netbook and AYANEO by launching a high-spec device? Or perhaps they’re going to target the relatively untapped budget market for Windows handhelds?
Whatever comes of this, we’re certainly eager to see!