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AYANEO KUN Windows Handheld Gaming Device with a Vibrant 8.4″ 1600p IPS Display

AYANEO KUN First Impression

Despite being a relatively new player in the industry, Ayaneo consistently impresses with its commitment to producing top-tier handheld devices. The Ayaneo KUN is no exception, boasting a range of high-end features, including hall effect sensors, a remarkable 54W TDP, touchpads, and more. But is it worth the investment? After weeks of thorough testing, it’s clear that the Ayaneo KUN is a masterpiece for those willing to invest in quality.

Key Specs:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840U
  • GPU: AMD Radeon 780M
  • RAM: 64GB
  • Storage: 4TB NVMe SSD
  • Display: 8.4-inch IPS
  • Price: Starting at $999, $1,699 for the unit reviewed
  • Purchase: Available on IndieGoGo

Design:

The Ayaneo KUN stands out as one of the largest handheld devices on the market, combining elements of the Ayaneo 2 and the Steam Deck. The centerpiece is its 8.4-inch IPS screen, delivering a vivid 1600p resolution at 60Hz. The KUN features staggered joysticks, with the d-pad on the left and ABXY buttons on the right. While a VRR display would have been a nice addition, we anticipate future models, like the Ayaneo Flip, may incorporate this feature.

Ayaneo has also included touchpads on the KUN, greatly enhancing the user experience for navigating Windows 11, especially for mouse-based titles. The front-facing camera, though of lower quality, offers Windows Hello support for convenient facial recognition login.

The top of the device hosts the fingerprint sensor/power button, a volume rocker, USB-C and USB-A ports, and the top vent for Ayaneo’s “KUNPeng” heat distribution system. The KUN sports typical triggers and buttons for controls, all equipped with hall effect sensors for durability.

Additional programmable buttons, labeled LC and RC, are added to the top, offering quick shortcuts to Windows-level features. These buttons, while slightly challenging to reach without adjusting your hand, prove to be useful for tasks like opening the on-screen keyboard.

At the bottom of the Ayaneo KUN, you’ll find a USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack, along with four easily accessible programmable buttons. A built-in kickstand reveals the MicroSD port.

Weight Consideration:

The Ayaneo KUN is equipped with a 19,500mAh battery, effectively addressing battery life concerns. However, its weight is notable, tipping the scales at 950g (over 2 lbs), slightly heavier than competitors like the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally. While the weight becomes noticeable during extended gaming sessions, the device’s ergonomic grips and well-placed buttons enhance overall comfort.

Software:

The Ayaneo KUN comes with AyaSpace 2, featuring a custom UI that simplifies game management and provides options for customization. Users can adjust button layouts, touchpad settings, and power options through custom presets, optimizing the device’s performance and battery life.

AyaSpace 2 offers an overlay accessible via the Aya button on the bottom right of the handheld, allowing users to customize power profiles without leaving the game. However, game and app management could be more user-friendly, especially for titles outside of Steam, Epic, or Xbox platforms.

Performance:

The AMD Ryzen 7 7840U, a popular choice for handheld devices, delivers robust performance, capable of running most titles smoothly, albeit with adjustments to graphics settings in more demanding AAA games.

What sets the KUN apart is its increased TDP of 54W, providing significant power but consuming battery faster. It’s advisable to utilize this power source when plugged in for extended gameplay.

Battery Life & Fan Noise:

High-end gaming on the Ayaneo KUN yields around 2.5 hours of battery life, while lowering the TDP for older or less demanding games extends battery life to approximately four to four and a half hours. The inclusion of a 19,500mAh battery ensures a quieter fan operation during gaming, reducing the need for immediate recharging.

Synthetic Benchmarks:

The Ayaneo KUN performs admirably in synthetic benchmarks, particularly with its Smart TDP feature, which adjusts power usage as needed, contributing to better battery life.

Conclusion:

The Ayaneo KUN, while pricier than some competitors like the ROG Ally and Steam Deck, offers a premium gaming experience with features like hall effect sticks and triggers, a spacious screen, extended battery life, and other enhancements. If you seek a Windows-based handheld for extended gaming sessions with top-tier hardware, the Ayaneo KUN is an excellent choice. However, it comes at a premium price.

Verdict: 4/5

The Ayaneo KUN ranks among the best handheld gaming PCs of 2023, boasting superior hardware features like hall-effect sensors, a larger battery, and excellent performance. While it excels in many aspects, its weight, size, and cost may impact the decision to purchase, especially for those on the go. Ayaneo’s future innovations are eagerly anticipated.

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Last modified: November 10, 2023

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