The next Ayaneo mini PC looks like an NES, but it actually has more in common with a handheld

 Ayaneo Mini PC AM02 on desk.
Ayaneo Mini PC AM02 on desk.

Another adorable Ayaneo mini PC is inbound, and while the first model looked like an old Apple 2 computer, this one pays homage to the NES. However, this new rig features a 4-inch touchscreen on the front and an AMD Ryzen APU that’s on par with some gaming handhelds out there, not to mention it’s got some serious cooling going on within. Simply put, while it’ll run Mega Man 2, I’ll probably end up playing the latest Steam games at 1080p on this thing.

Better known for its entries into the best gaming handheld race like the Ayaneo 2S, the portable PC maker first announced plans for a mini PC lineup last year. In fact, we’re already testing the retro-themed Mini PC AM01 for review, and it’s stacking up to be an exceptional mini rig that caters to running classics with low specs. Now that the dust has somewhat settled with that first release, the portable gaming pioneers are ready to launch the next one, and rather than providing much of the same, the NES-inspired model pulls big moves in the specs and price department.

Officially launched during a live stream, the Ayaneo Mini PC AM02 mimics the style of Nintendo’s first home console. It’s arguably not as cute as the dinky Apple PC that arrived first, but it does have that rather unique four-inch screen mentioned above mounted to the top. During the launch, Ayaneo’s CEO, Arthur Zhang, clarified that it’s not just a “decorative vase,” while touching on its functionality.

That’s not to say you’ll be using it like a Steam Deck, but it will provide you access to system stats as well as providing real time fps data. As someone who is constantly benchmarking, this is a huge win, as it means not having to faff around with additional applications during testing. You’ll also be able to toggle TDP using the touchscreen, with the setup directly plugging into the device’s Ayaspace settings. Other features include fun animations (which I am a total sucker for) and access to things like volume controls and a 24 hour clock.

Yes, I know, all that goes for nothing if the mini PC’s innards aren’t up to scratch. Thankfully, they most certainly are, as the AM02 comes armed with an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS – a chip that’s very similar to the Z1 Extreme within the Asus ROG Ally. Zang provides his own personal outlook on performance by claiming it’ll run big new releases at 1080p low settings, while “well optimised” games should might be able to stretch to medium or high.

I’ve tested quite a few APUs within handhelds, and I think this will probably hold true on paper, which is an exciting prospect to say the least. As for how it’ll actually keep cool, the AM02 is armed with a “Four-Copper Pipe Cooling System” that’s designed to keep everything frosty and prevent throttling.

As for its price, the Ayaneo Mini PC AM02 starts at $439 for a barebones system, but you’ll be able to pick up models with DDR5 RAM and an SSD included for up to $629. Just like the rest of the company’s products, the mini rig is currently available via Indiegogo, but should make its way to other retailers eventually.

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