WWhile PC gaming is more popular than ever, the handheld PC gaming market has grown slowly over the years. There’s a certain appeal to being able to play full-fledged PC games on the go, especially when you’re traveling. What are some of the best choices available? Check out five of the best PC gaming handhelds you can buy right now.
GPW Win 3
LANRUO’s GPD Win 3 was one of the highly anticipated handheld PCs last year. It includes an Intel Core i7-1165G7 quad-core CPU with a base frequency of 2.8 GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of up to 4.7 GHz, while an Intel Iris Xe GPU handles the graphics. The 5.5-inch touchscreen has a resolution of 1280×720 and a brightness of 400 nits. There’s also 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM at 4266MHz and a 1TB NVMe 3.0 SSD.
Along with two analog sticks, shoulder buttons, triggers, analog pad and face buttons, the GPD Win 3 also has a small QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the back. In addition to the backlight, it also offers vibration feedback. The total package weighs 1.21 pounds and has a battery with a capacity of 45.62 Wh.
In terms of performance, NotebookCheck has the same configuration compared to a slightly weaker Core i7-1135G7. At 768p resolution and medium settings, it averaged 55.6 FPS in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt60.9fps inches Grand Theft Auto 5 (with 4x anisotropic filtering) and 64.2 FPS in Dota 2 reborn. In general, you can therefore expect slightly better scores with the i7-1165G7.
At $1209.99, the GPD Win 3 is on the expensive side. In terms of portable PC performance, it’s reliable, but battery life can be low in more demanding games, with an average playtime of 1.5 to 2 hours.
One XP Player 1S
XAMMUE’s OneXPlayer 1S looks stylish with its black finish and orange accents, but also offers a variety of configurations. The 1 GB model costs $1,379.99 and comes with an Intel Core i7-1195G7 with a base frequency of 2.9 GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of up to GHz. Along with an Intel Xe GPU, it offers 16 GB of LPDDR4x RAM at 4266 MHz, a 1 TB NVMe 3.0 SSD and a battery with a capacity of 15300 mAh. The display is 8.4 inches with a resolution of 2560×1600 and touch support.
At 819 grams (with a stand, in case you want to rest your hands and play with a controller), the OnexPlayer 1S packs a lot of punch. In Grand Theft Auto 5, it delivers 30 to 35 FPS in very high settings at 1080p resolution. The battery life is about 4 hours, depending on the type of game.
You won’t generally be playing the latest triple-A titles at 1600p on the go, but the OneXPlayer 1S is still a good handheld PC that should run them well at 720p and medium settings.
Aya Neo Next
Instead of an Intel CPU, the Aya Neo Next has an octa-core AMD Ryzen 5800U clocked at 1.9 GHz with a boost clock speed of 4.4 GHz. The GPU is an integrated Radeon Vega 8 along with 16 GB of DDR4X RAM at 4266 MHz and a 1 TB NVMe SSD. The 7-inch touchscreen has a resolution of 1280×800. The 47 Whr battery provides about two to six hours of gaming, depending on the title.
It sounds good overall, but costs $1,315, so you’ll have to decide if the extra performance (which also varies by title) and battery life are worth it. Of course, if you’re also using this as a potential desktop replacement, it’s not too bad, although a docking station is required. So how does it work in terms of performance? On low settings it averages 93 FPS in Gears tactics54fps in Forza Horizon 5 (which reaches 43 FPS on Medium), 36 FPS in Red Dead Redemption 2 and 48 FPS indoors Fallout 4. This is according to IGN’s review of the Advance configuration, which has the same specs but with 2TB of space.
The Aya Neo Next isn’t perfect and is a harder sell than the OneXPlayer 1S, GPD Win 3 or even the Steam Deck. It’s still a good alternative, especially for those who don’t care about the price.
The OneGx 1 Pro is marketed as a “PC mini laptop” rather than a handheld PC. That sounds like the same thing, but the former feels more like a laptop replacement than a full-fledged gaming handheld. Nevertheless, it has an Intel Core i7-1160G7, an Iris Xe GPU and 16 GB LPDDR4X with a frequency of 4266 Hz. It also includes a 512 GB NVMe SSD and a 12,000 mAh battery.
The screen measures 7 inches with a resolution of 1920×1200 and touch support. Compared to the GPD Win 3, the mini keyboard is a prominent feature, positioned just below the screen. It includes two analog sticks, face buttons and a D-pad, but no triggers or bumpers. The analog sticks are like Joy-Cons that can be detached from the main unit.
According to ETA Prime on YouTube, it averaged over 55 FPS on normal settings and 720p in Grand Theft Auto 5; above 70 FPS Overexpected on medium settings and 720p; and about 65 FPS on Forza Horizon 4 at 720p on low settings.
Of course, if it’s available, the Steam Deck should be your first option. It has an AMD Zen 2 APU running at 2.4 to 3.5 GHz, an RDNA 2 GPU running at 1-1.6 GHz and 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Storage varies based on price – 64 GB eMMC for $399, 256 GB NVMe SSD for $529, and a super-fast 512 GB NVMe SSD for $649. Each comes with a high-speed microSD slot for further storage.
The display is a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1280×800 with a brightness of 400 nits and touch support. The battery is 40 Wh, which provides 2-8 hours of gameplay depending on the game. In addition to the usual face buttons, D-pad, analog triggers and bumpers and analog sticks with capacitive touch, it also has HD haptics.
In terms of performance, at 1280×800 resolution with the highest preset for any title, you’re looking at 42 FPS for Borderlands 3and only 14 FPS for it Metro Exoduss. Nevertheless, it outperformed a budget laptop like the MSI Prestige 14 Evo and even the Acer Nitro 5 with some titles. It’s also worth noting that several games are optimized specifically for the Steam Deck, so even when they’re not running at crazy settings, performance is still pretty stable. By comparison, the performance of titles on other handheld PCs will always vary.
All in all, if a gaming handheld PC is your goal then the Steam Deck offers good performance and excellent value for money. In addition, it weighs only 669 grams, making it highly portable.