Windows handhelds AYN Loki Zero priced at $249

The allure of Windows handhelds lies in their ability to allow enthusiasts to indulge in PC gaming anywhere and anytime. Yet, the overarching conundrum remains their exorbitant cost. While the ROG Ally, priced at an impressive $599, is indeed among the more financially accessible offerings in the Windows handheld arena, it may still present a steep investment for those already in possession of a primary computer. However, a more economical contender has emerged: the AYN Loki Zero, available at a mere $249.

The AYN Loki Zero, a more frugally equipped variant of AYN’s earlier Loki Max, retains the same aesthetic finesse, display, and RGB illumination. The primary distinction lies in its processor; transitioning from the AMD Ryzen 7 6800U to the Athlon Silver 3050e. This chip, founded on the Zen architecture, is a dual-core, quad-thread mobile CPU, peaking at a modest 2.8GHz. Its GPU prowess is limited to a trifling 3 EU Radeon Graphics. While such specifications would be deemed entry-level in a laptop context, they are passably competent for a handheld device.

The Loki Zero is tailored for engaging in indie titles like “DAVE THE DIVER,” or perhaps relishing vintage triple-A games. With a maximum TDP of 15W, it can provide a commendably enduring battery life. However, given its mere dual-core capability, it falters when confronted with high-load emulator games. Tests have indicated its inability to consistently render frames in certain PS2 and Wii titles, rendering its performance somewhat inferior to some of the premium Android handhelds.

Equipped with a base 4GB RAM, the Loki Zero offers an additional SODIMM slot, permitting users to augment the memory, potentially enhancing the GPU performance in a dual-channel configuration. While it comes pre-loaded with Windows 10, it graciously accommodates the Ubuntu system as well. Currently, a pre-sale price is $249.