Something to look forward to: Ayaneo’s business centers on handheld gaming PCs using AMD’s recent Ryzen APUs, but the company recently teased a retro-themed hardware lineup that includes two mini-PCs. One of the products now has a full spec sheet and should ship soon.
Ayaneo announced that it plans to ship the Retro Mini PC AM01 around the end of November (meaning any day now) with several processor, memory, and storage options ranging in price from $149 to $459. While it markets the device as a retro PC, it is really just an affordable Windows 11 mini-PC featuring AMD’s Ryzen 3 3200U and Ryzen 7 5700U.
The primary “retro” aspect of the AM01 is a 132 x 132 x 60.5mm chassis designed to resemble early Mac computers. A set of badges, stickers, and nameplates also allows users to customize the PC’s appearance. Otherwise, the internals are entirely modern.
While the Ryzen APUs Ayaneo chose are older relatives of the chips that power handhelds like the Asus ROG Ally or Lenovo Legion Go, they should provide a similar experience on a monitor or TV. In comparison, the mini-PC form factor enables the AM01 to maintain a 35W power draw, potentially giving it a performance advantage at a fraction of the price.
The company primarily advertises the mini-PC as a device for playing 2D retro games, but it can probably also manage acceptable performance in many relatively recent AAA titles. Additionally, Ayaneo suggests the product can handle some light office and media-playing workloads.
Depending on real-world benchmarks, the AM01 could be the latest cheap alternative to Intel’s final NUC devices, which feature dedicated desktop GPUs and cost over $1,000. Since Intel hung up the NUC line, Asus picked up the baton and has a new range of mini-PCs for diverse uses. However, whether the company is preparing anything to share Ayaneo’s recreational niche is unclear.
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The AM01 includes plenty of outputs and expansion options. It features a USB-C port, four USB-A ports, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5.2. Users can upgrade the mini-PC with a 2.5″ SATA drive, a PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD, and up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, depending on the chosen APU.
Early adopters receive a discount, which lowers the price floor to $149 for the Ryzen 3 edition with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The top model includes the Ryzen 7 with 32GB of memory and 1TB of storage at $379 for early buyers, $419 on Indiegogo, and $459 at retailers.
Ayaneo plans to launch other retro-themed compact PCs, including a mini-PC that resembles a Super NES and three handheld PCs that evoke the Nintendo DS’s clamshell design. Pricing, specs, and release dates are forthcoming.