Ayaneo’s Flip DS brings familiar AMD handheld PC specs and OCuLink to an old-school dual-screen clamshell form factor

Source: Tom's Hardware added 13th Feb 2024

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ETA PRIME on YouTube using the Ayaneo Flip DS’ bottom screen to adjust TDP mid-gameplay on the top screen.
(Image credit: ETA PRIME on YouTube)

Joining the roster of Ayaneo’s Next Lite and Slide, the company is also launching the Ayaneo Flip DS, which somewhat echoes the design of the Nintendo 2DS XL, but at a an even larger top screen size (7-inch 1080p on Ayaneo Flip DS vs 4.8-inch 240p on the 2DS XL) and far more powerful internal specifications. The Ayaneo Flip DS is specced like other high-end modern PC gaming handhelds, boasting either a Ryzen 7 7840U or 8840U APU, with the same Radeon 780M iGPU that powers the Asus ROG Ally. 

The Ayaneo Flip DS’s exponential power over past handheld gaming consoles and most past consoles, in general, should make it quite a compelling emulation device. Of course, people have already started using it with 3DS games and other retro roms. However, it’s important to note that the screen size differences and gap size here don’t quite replicate the ones on the DS and 3DS, so software tweaks and black bars (especially on the top screen) may be required for truly accurate retro gaming experiences on this handheld.

Additionally, while the handheld is somewhat reminiscent of the XL DS models, the folding 7-inch (diagonal) screen still gives the device a hefty profile inside the pocket. The screen itself is actually quite thin (thankfully— shouldn’t top-load the weight that way), but the housing unit for the rest of the PC is noticeably thick.

A shot of the rear of a closed Ayaneo Flip DS from ETA PRIME’s YouTube hands-on, highlighting its thickness relative to its included USB-C and OCuLink ports. (Image credit: ETA PRIME on YouTube)

Besides the appearance of the device and the basic tier of performance we can expect from it, we can also discuss some insights from hands-on use today. Below, we’ve embedded a video from YouTuber ETA PRIME where he runs the device through its paces and turns around a generally-glowing review on the handheld, though there are some important caveats. We’ll discuss this coverage and provide some parting thoughts of our own below.

First, the positives: If you’ve wanted a high-end DS replacement for a long time, your choices aren’t going to get much better than this. Even Switch titles can be emulated with the onboard hardware here, so the performance demands of upscaled 3DS games are very light on this device. The only real emulation concern is correcting for the screen size and spacing discrepancies for the few DS / 3DS games that used both screens as a single display instead of two separate in-game displays.

Besides that, this is a fully-featured post-Steam Deck PC gaming handheld. The Radeon 780M powering the device’s primary 1080p, 144 Hz IPS screen is well beyond the capabilities of last-generation consoles. Now, though, there’s also a smaller 3.5-inch 640p bottom screen, which can be used for touch typing or multi-tasking whenever the top screen is in use for regular PC games.

For the most part, ETA PRIME seems to quite like the Flip DS, and even finds the device comfortable to use despite its bulky appearance. However, a minor design compromise was made for the flip-screen by flattening Ayaneo’s D-Pad design, which reduces roll and ease of use somewhat.

Before wrapping up his review, ETA PRIME also does some Ayaneo Flip DS testing with the OneXGPU eGPU unit we’re covered previously, where it turns around favorable results we’d expect from a Ryzen 7840U handheld.

And of course, Ayaneo isn’t the only company keeping the dual-screen dream alive these days. Japanese hardware company Tassei Denki had a functioning dual-screen Ryzen PC prototype at Tokyo Game Show 2023, and we covered leaks of Nvidia’s pre-Tegra 3DS prototype just last month. While it seems like the Dual Screen era of Nintendo has long disappeared in the rearview mirror, retro gaming fans and hardware manufacturers seem eager keep on-the-go dual-screen gaming alive.

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Read the full article at Tom's Hardware

media: Tom's Hardware  

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