Ayaneo just launched a brand new handheld, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it's a futuristic Nintendo DS. Rather than running your collection of old cartridges, the new portable PC line-up serves as yet another Steam Deck rival with a few unique tricks up its sleeve. By that, I mean there’s a model with that iconic second screen that we associate with Ninty’s handheld console, something I didn’t exactly have on my bingo card for 2024.
The Nintendo DS sat pretty on the best gaming handheld throne for many years, and the 3DS carried on its legacy until the Switch finally arrived. That was in the days when the longstanding console maker completely dominated the field, but things have somewhat changed now that the Steam Deck and its portable pals are a thing. However, Ayaneo clearly thinks Nintendo was onto something back in 2004, particularly when it comes to the idea of clamshell shenanigans.
Dubbed the Ayaneo Flip, the company says its new portable is the “first dual-screen Windows handheld.” While clamshell PCs aren’t anything new, this is indeed the first handheld that actually replicates the Nintendo DS. Or, at least it does on a visual level, as its innards are closer to the likes of the Steam Deck and other portables by the company, like the Ayaneo 2S.
In terms of specs, we’re talking about a handheld that could give even the Nintendo Switch 2 a run for its money. Armed with an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U or 7 8840U, up to 64GB RAM, and up to 2TB SSD storage, this clamshell will provide an experience on par with the Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion GO. As for its display, it’s rocking a 7-inch 120Hz IPS panel at the top, which feels like a nice fit for its choice of APU.
Other standout features include Hall Effect joysticks, an Oculink port for connecting an external graphics card, and of course, that secondary touch screen. Rather than the latter simply serving as another built-in monitor, you’ll be able to make use of utility modules provided by Ayaspace, the handheld’s included management software. So, even if you’re not fussed about emulating the experience of using a DS, you can access handy tools like stats and other applications while running games on the main screen.
Before I get too carried away with my love for the Nintendo DS, it’s worth noting there are technically two flavors of this handheld. If you’re not really into additional displays, you’ll be able to pick up the ‘Ayaneo Flip KB’, a model that swaps that feature out for a full qwerty keyboard. Otherwise, you’ll want to stick with the ‘Ayaneo Flip DS’.
As for how much it’ll set you back, Indiegogo early bird pricing for the base model Ayaneo Flip DS comes in at $739, but if you miss out, you’ll be able to grab one for $839. Eventually, it will be widely available for $939, with configurations scaling up to an eye-watering $1,479.
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