Do you like these Steam Deck-style console/PC hybrids? The big manufacturers do!

Written by Guillaume
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AYANEO Pocket Air and Lenovo Legion GO are the latest additions to the console/laptop family.

Officially launched on February 25, 2022, but actually available in July, Steam Deck is not much more than a year old. Yet this short time hasn't stopped it from making its mark, from setting a trend. Oh, those little machines halfway between handheld and PC existed before Steam Deck, and Valve can't claim to have invented the concept. On the other hand, by leveraging its financial resources and the strength of its Steam platform, the American company has clearly taken this market segment into another dimension. In fact, Valve is the first to have made it so inexpensive, while retaining sufficient power to run just about anything and everything.


Since then, ASUS and a host of Chinese companies have decided to follow Valve's lead. Their products are generally much more powerful and better equipped, but they clearly can't compete on price. In fact, even if Steam Deck is already "a step behind", it still retains the label of best value for money, and continues to outsell its not-quite-so-price rivals. That said, the interest shown by an ever-increasing number of manufacturers in these products could bring prices down, thanks to competition that we hope will be as healthy as possible. We should also end up with better-designed machines that, version after version, make up for the mistakes of the beginning. For example, most new consoles feature M.2 slots in 2280 format - the most common - while the Steam Deck incorporates a 2230.

A few days ago, AYANEO decided to diversify by taking a slightly different route from Logitech. The Swiss manufacturer looked at the question of its portable consoles and, rather than opting for a mini-PC, opted for an Android platform geared towards cloud gaming. On the Logitech G Cloud, local gaming is still possible, but the GeForce NOW and Xbox Cloud Gaming platforms are heavily promoted. The same will undoubtedly be true of the AYANEO Pocket Air, which should, despite everything, help to change mindsets so that more and more gamers become interested in these little machines, cloud or not. Logitech's G Cloud is an interesting machine that suffers, however, from an almost untenable price positioning at just 70 euros less than the most economical version of the Steam Deck (350 euros vs. 420 euros). The choice is quickly made.


More in line with the "ASUS" approach, Lenovo is now turning its attention to the fledgling portable console market. Nearly two years ago, the manufacturer considered marketing the Legion Play - close to Logitech's vision - but backed out at the very last moment, cancelling the whole project. Today, there's talk of a Legion GO designed around AMD's inevitable APUs, processors that feature a relatively muscular integrated graphics solution. The Legion GO would mark the arrival of a third major player (after Valve and ASUS) on this still very young market. The more the merrier!