The latest in a long line of Ayaneo PC gaming handhelds, dubbed the Ayaneo Next Lite, will not only be an incredibly affordable portable option but will also be changing course on its OS.
According to a statement posted on the official Ayaneo Twitter/X account, the handheld will come with Windows 11 64-bit Home Edition pre-installed instead of Linux. A great option for those who are more familiar with Windows OS versus a Linux-based one. However, for those who prefer the latter, users will still have the option of the open-source HoloISO project version of Linux, which is based on SteamOS.
All this and the Next Lite is still launching at the very budget price of $ 299 up to and during crowdfunding, which is far less expensive than other options on the market. It’s a switch-up from the Next and Next Pro, which seems to be sticking with the Linux-based OS. And that makes more sense as they’re both meant to compete with the Steam Deck.
Ayaneko could differentiate itself from the market
While in general, I’m quite agreeable with the idea of using Windows OS for the Ayaneo Next Lite, since it’s the most widely used operating system by a longshot, there needs to be a reckoning for PC gaming handhelds that use it in general.
What makes SteamOS so excellent is that it’s tailor-made for the Steam Deck, so it feels smooth and intuitive. However, other PC gaming handhelds that use Windows OS like the Asus ROG Ally and the Lenovo Legion Go, make the mistake of not tailoring said OS to the system which results in a much clunkier user interface.
Though we don’t know what Ayaneo is planning with the Windows 11 OS it’s using for the Next Lite, crafting a unique user interface would be a great way to differentiate it from other handhelds that otherwise have gotten more attention due to its brands being more well known.
Then again, Ayaneko has also made some unusual decisions, like choosing HoloISO which hasn’t been updated in months (at the time of this writing) instead of ChimeraOS for the Linux-based OS. So there’s no telling what the manufacturer is planning other than targeting a much larger market. We'll have to wait and see how things shake out when the handheld finally launches.