The Best Handheld Gaming PCs in 2022

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Have you ever wanted to play AAA quality games on-the-go? Thanks to advancements in technology, dreams like these can finally become a reality! Check out this article to find out what the best handheld gaming PC is for you!

Until recently, the only way to really play games with high-quality graphics, elaborate animations and overall AAA experiences was to invest in an expensive gaming desktop, or an uncomfortably bulky gaming laptop. Without those, large swathes of the gaming market was generally inaccessible.

This is no longer the case however! Compared to how the technology was 5 years ago, integrated graphics have come a very long way, allowing smaller and smaller devices to be manufactured while still retaining the ability to provide incredible gaming experiences.

With a certain high-profile gaming handheld PC being delayed for most of the community until some point in 2022, likely due to an ongoing international chip shortage, you may not wish to wait to get your portable gaming fix. In this buying guide, we’ll be going over a few of the best handheld gaming PCs that we think are worth your time, and are available to buy right now

The Best Handheld Gaming PCs

1. The GPD WIN 3

The GPD WIN 3 is the smallest and most portable of the devices available.

First on our list of best handheld gaming PCs is the GPD WIN 3. The latest iteration of the popular WIN series of UMPCs. Manufactured by GPD

The GPD Win 3 sports an 11th generation Intel processor in both i5 and i7 variations. You can see the difference between the two models in our GPD Win 3 i5 vs i7 benchmark comparison.

It also features a Thunderbolt 4 port present on the underside of the unit. This allows the GPD WIN 3 to connect to an external GPU and drastically boost performance in games. Turning the WIN 3 into what is essentially a fully fledged gaming PC.

Uniquely, the GPD WIN 3 also features a keyboard hidden behind a sliding mechanism. Much like those seen in many retro turn-of-the-millennium mobile phones.

Overall, it’s a solid contender and a worthy consideration for those looking for a handheld gaming PC they can buy right now.

Learn all you need to know and more about the GPD WIN 3 in our GPD WIN 3 review. Know enough, and want to buy a GPD WIN 3 of your very own? Buy a GPD WIN 3 from DroiX today!

What we like!

  • Very portable
  • Lightweight
  • High Performance
  • Runs all your favourite Windows games
  • Very good for emulation

What we don’t like…

  • Right analogue and buttons layout may be controversial.

Three Quick Benchmarks – GPD WIN 3

(Note: This is for the i7-1165G7 GPD WIN 3!)

BenchmarkScore
PassMark3810
PCMark5027
3DMark1796
Above: Quick Benchmark – GPD WIN 3 i7-1165G7

2. The AYA NEO

We find the AYA NEO to be “just right” size-wise.

The AYA NEO is second on our list of handheld gaming PCs. Like the GPD WIN 3, it is a handheld gaming PC with built-in controls, giving it a [Switch] like appearance.

However, unlike the GPD WIN 3, the AYA NEO features an AMD Ryzen series processor built on the Zen 2 architecture. With this comes access to to the Radeon graphics suite, and its host of matured game-friendly drivers.

The first 500 units of the AYA NEO were initially shipped out during Summer 2021. Due to feedback however, a revision of the unit was planned, and subsequent units were delayed until Fall 2021. This revision featured numerous improvements such as:

  • Analogue triggers and physical membrane buttons
  • Improved cooling
  • and more!

A slightly more expensive (and slightly more powerful) version of the AYA NEO 2021 – called the AYA NEO 2021 PRO – is also slated to launch in later October.

For further details, check out our FAQ for the AYA NEO. You can also check out our AYA NEO review to learn more about this amazing handheld gaming PC. Have your heart set on getting one? Purchase the AYA NEO 2021 from DroiX today!

What we like!

  • Perfect size for a handheld gaming PC
  • 7″ display looks great
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Very comfortable to game on
  • Responsive buttons
  • Cheaper than the Intel i7-1195G7 handhelds

What we don’t like…

  • Not powerful compared to the Intel i7-1195G7 handheld PC’s

Three Quick Benchmarks – AYA NEO 2021

BenchmarkScore
PassMark4451
PCMark4861
3DMark1110
Above: Quick Benchmark – AYA NEO 2021

3. The OneXPlayer 1S

The centrepiece of the ONEXPLAYER 1S is its large, high-resolution display.

Third on our list of handheld gaming PCs is One Netbook’s latest gaming handheld – the OneXPlayer 1S.

Announced and released at around the same time as the AYA NEO, the defining feature of the OneXPlayer is it’s large 8.4-inch display. Much larger than that of it’s contemporaries, and capable of running at a higher resolution too (up to 2560×1600).

This of course means the device is noticeably larger than the others on this list, making the OneXPlayer a better choice for more drawn out gaming sessions due to its heft.

Unfortunately, it does not feature any built-in hardware keyboard, but there is an official keyboard attachment for the OneXPlayer, giving it an appearance not unlike that of a laptop. This is slated to hit the wider market later this year.

You can learn more about the OneXPlayer in our OneXPlayer 1S Review. You can also buy a OneXPlayer 1S from DroiX right now!

What we like!

  • Perfect size for a handheld gaming PC
  • Massive 8.3 inch full-fit FHD IPS touch screen @ 2560×1600 resolution
  • Responsive, high quality analogue sticks, D-Pad and buttons
  • High performance CPU, RAM and SSD
  • Happily runs AAA Windows games at great settings
  • Plays higher end console emulation
  • Two USB Type-C ports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 for fast data transfer

What we don’t like…

  • It is very large, it’s not going to fit in your pocket!
  • The screen is very reflective when not gaming

Three Quick Benchmarks – OneXPlayer 1S

(Note: These benchmarks were conducted using a lower-spec sample unit running an i7-1165G7)

BenchmarkScore
PassMark4120
PCMark4884
3DMark1801
Above: Quick Benchmark – OneXPlayer 1S

4. WIN MAX 2021

The GPD WIN MAX 2021 – A gaming laptop and a gaming handheld in one!

The WIN MAX 2021 is another excellent pick for your next handheld gaming PC; available from GPD.

This time, the device takes a more traditional form. Featuring a clamshell design with an integrated hardware keyboard, the WIN MAX 2021 is overall more hefty than the other devices in this list, but this increase in size (while still remaining extremely small) makes it much more usable as a “daily driver”.

The WIN MAX 2021 will come in two variations. The first of these, and the cheaper one, is an AMD Ryzen model, featuring a Zen 2 series processor. The second, and the more expensive version, features an 11th Generation Intel i7 processor.

The Intel version of the WIN MAX, like the WIN 3, features a built in keyboard. The key difference between the two however is that the WIN MAX’s keyboard is a physical, chiclet-style keyboard. Making it much more tolerable for typing with.

It also features built in game controls much like the other devices. While somewhat less ergonomic, it is still surprisingly comfortable to hold.

The Intel variant of the WIN MAX 2021 is available to buy from DroiX right now, with the AMD variant slated to release later this year. You can also learn a bit more about the WIN MAX 2021 in our WIN MAX 2021 FAQ, and our WIN MAX 2021 review.

What we like!

  • Large 8″ IPS touch enabled display
  • Backlit Keyboard is good for typing on for longer periods of time
  • Gaming controls feel very comfortable
  • Fast Intel or AMD processors
  • Excellent for AAA Windows gaming
  • Excellent for emulation with more modern systems

What we don’t like…

  • Impossible to play games while the Ethernet cable is connected as the port is on the right side.

Three Quick Benchmarks – GPD WIN MAX 2021

BenchmarkScore
PassMark3703
PCMark5503
3DMark1409
Above: Quick Benchmark – GPD WIN MAX 2021

Additionally, see below for the benchmarks of the AMD model.

5. GPD WIN MAX 2021 (AMD Ver.)

This version of the WIN MAX 2021 boasts a high-end AMD Ryzen 7 4800U.

The WIN MAX 2021 comes in a secondary version – this one being powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 4800U.

In terms of overall performance, this version of the GPD WIN MAX 2021 is fairly similar to its Intel variant in terms of performance, but comes in at slightly cheaper due to only featuring Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4, and no Thunderbolt port.

All-in-all, it’s a great alternative for those who prefer to go with AMD and their APU-centric expertise for their portable gaming experiences.

You can check out more about the GPD WIN MAX 2021 AMD from our review. Or, as with the Intel variant, buy an AMD WIN MAX 2021 from DroiX today!

What we like!

  • Large 8″ H-IPS display
  • Good sized keyboard built in
  • HDMI Output
  • Ethernet port
  • High performance AMD Ryzen CPU
  • Longer battery life than other similar devices
  • Built in gamepad

What we don’t like…

  • The AMD model has WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4 support only.

Three Quick Benchmarks – GPD WIN MAX 2021 (AMD)

BenchmarkScore
PassMark4840
PCMark5290
3DMark1372
Above: Quick Benchmark – GPD WIN MAX 2021 (AMD)

6. AYA NEO 2021 Pro

The AYA NEO 2021 PRO boasts a more powerful processor than its predecessor.

The AYA NEO Pro is a slightly souped up version of the AYA NEO 2021 Windows gaming handheld that launched slightly earlier in the year.

The star of the show this time around is the Ryzen 7 4800U that makes up the core of the unit. Boasting slightly higher clock speeds, better graphical performance, and an all-around superior experience to the original model. Which only featured an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U.

Outside of the processor difference, the device is largely the same. With an identical 7-inch screen, the same Wi-Fi chip, the same controls, and more.

To learn more about the AYA NEO 2021 PRO, we wholeheartedly encourage you to check out our AYA NEO 2021 PRO review.

What we like!

  • Excellent packaging and accessories inside
  • Amazing 7″ display, just the right size
  • AMD Ryzen 7 CPU which performs well
  • Feels very comfortable to hold and play for extended periods of time
  • High performance on games that use multiple cores & threads

What we don’t like…

  • Performance is slower than Intel handhelds for games that do not use multiple cores & threads

Three Quick Benchmarks – AYA NEO 2021 PRO

BenchmarkScore
PassMark5054
PCMark5343
3DMark1404
Above: Quick Benchmark – GPD WIN MAX 2021 (AMD)

7. The ONEXPLAYER AMD

The AMD model comes in two different varieties; one with a 5700U, and another with a 4800U

Much like the GPD WIN MAX, the ONEXPLAYER also received an alternative revision with a different processor.

Unlike the WIN MAX, the ONEXPLAYER has received two different versions. One of these being a model with an AMD Ryzen 7 4800U, and another with an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U.

Naturally, the performance in games is slightly different when compared to the Intel version (not strictly better, just different – with some games performing better on one chipset than the other). The same goes for the comparison between the two AMD chipsets, with the 5700U being on average a little worse at benchmarks, but is better practically with slightly higher performance in games.

Alongside that, the other notable difference is that the USB-C port is no longer Thunderbolt 4 ready, due to Thunderbolt being proprietary Intel technology.

To learn more about this handheld gaming PC, please take a look at our ONEXPLAYER AMD Review.

What we like!

  • Massive 8.3 inch full-fit FHD IPS touch screen @ 2560×1600 resolution
  •  Responsive, high quality analogue sticks, D-Pad and buttons
  •  Happily runs AAA Windows games at great settings
  •  Plays higher end console emulation
  •  Two USB Type-C ports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 for fast data transfer

What we don’t like…

  • It is very large, it’s not going to fit in your pocket!
  •  Not as powerful as the ONEXPLAYER 1S or AYA NEO Pro

Quick Benchmarks – ONEXPLAYER AMD

BenchmarkScore (4800U)Score (5700U)
PassMark49904980
PCMark52495183
3DMark14041367
Above: Quick Benchmark – GPD WIN MAX 2021 (AMD)

Recap

Below is a table containing all the handhelg gaming PC’s we have featured in this article, along with a small selection of their specs. To learn more about the device, click the “Buy Now” link in the table!

ModelProcessorRAMResolutionScreen SizePurchase Link
GPD WIN 3i5-1135G7
i7-1165G7
i7-1195G7
16GB LPDDR4x
@ 4266Mhz
1280x720p5.5 InchesBuy Now
AYA NEO 2021
(Pro)
Ryzen™ 5 4500U
(Ryzen™ 7 4800U)
16GB LPDDR4x
@ 4266Mhz
1280x800p7 InchesBuy Now
OneXPlayer 1S
(AMD)
i7-1195G7
(Ryzen™ 7 4800U)
(Ryzen™ 7 5700U)
16GB LPDDR4x
@ 4266Mhz
2560x1600p8.4 InchesBuy Now
GPD WIN MAX 2021
(AMD)
i7-1195G7
(Ryzen ™ 7 4800U)
16GB LPDDR4x
@ 4266Mhz
1280x800p8 InchesBuy Now
The Best Handheld Gaming PCs – Table

That’s it for now! We hope you’ve found this article on our best handheld gaming PCs to be a useful read. If you have any recommendations or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below! We’d love to hear from you!

benjamin
Mild-mannered support agent by daylight; even milder-mannered tech blogger under cover of night. Fond of gaming, virtual reality, and sleeping; not necessarily in that order.

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