AYANEO Flip DS Review – The Best One Yet

AYANEO's new handheld is a winner

AYANEO has been pumping out handhelds over the last 18 months and they’ve all been fantastic, but its latest handheld is the most unique Windows to come out so far, and I have to say, it’s absolutely captured my heart over the last few weeks, both in design but also how well the software that AYANEO has built onto that second screen works.

Across the board the handheld does a lot of things differently to the handhelds that have come before it but the biggest is the improvement is in the screens. The top screen is a 7-inch LED panel and just like other AYANEO handhelds its a super vibrant display with great contrast too with 550 nits of brightness, but it now features the first 120hz display to be found in an AYANEO handheld, and it’s great for indie games that can take advantage of it.


Naturally though, it’s the second screen that many thought was gimmicky initially, but it was a huge game changer for me. It’s a 3.5-inch 960×640 touch screen and I’d struggle to live without it now, as it enhanced the Windows experience massively.

Whilst there’s also a version with the keyboard where the screen is, I’d be much more likely to recommend this version. AYANEO has done a fantastic job in bringing its AYASPACE software to the bottom screen that lets you use it in a number of ways.


The first is a monitoring screen that lets you quickly go between TDP modes and shows you live FPS, how hard your fan is working as well as CPU/GPU stats, and because these are all things that you want to be monitoring whilst gaming on Windows, you can do all of this without compromising any screen real estate on the top screen.


You can also use the bottom screen to quickly launch apps, perform a number of functions such as mute, take a screenshot and more and due to the fact that it acts as a second monitor within Windows, you can literally use it to show anything running, and AYANEO has built in a handy overlay that lets you quickly bring any screen to the bottom screen and also send it back again.


This is great for watching a YouTube video, or joining a Discord call, and whilst the software could be a little bit buggy at times (just like running a dual monitor setup is on Windows generally), it’s an absolute game-changer.

Obviously, if you’re somebody that emulates, this would also be great for 3DS and Wii U emulation, and a lot of people have been using it for this to date, but I haven’t felt a need to do so yet, and highly recommend this device even if you won’t ever be emulating.


AYANEO has also added in software so that you can use the bottom screen as a keyboard, which fixes one of the main problems with Windows handhelds in not having a dedicated keyboard.

You’d think that running another screen would eat up battery life, but my tests showed that the effect on battery life was negligible, and I didn’t notice any major impact with having it on.


Adding a bottom screen would have been enough for AYANEO to call it a day, but they’ve gone beyond this. They’ve added an optical mouse next to the fingerprint sensor. This allows you to roll your thumb over it to control a mouse, and again, fixes another major with Windows and a touch screen and allows you to get around without having to use the touch screen.


Alongside a USB4 Type-C port (for power/video/data) and a secondary data USB-C port, the AYANEO Flip has the first OCuLink port in an AYANEO handheld. This is used to connect an eGPU with no bandwidth limitations and will pair nicely with the newly announced AYANEO eGPU.


Given this is a clamshell design, obviously there are certain design limitations when it comes to button and thumbsticks. All of the thumbsticks and triggers still use hall effect sensors, and even though the analogue sticks are recessed, they actually felt great to use with maybe the right one being a little bit low, but never out of reach.


Similarly, whilst the buttons are flatter, they never felt unresponsive and no matter if I was playing Hades 2, Top Spin 4 or Another Crab’s Treasure, they were a joy to use.

As far as performance goes, the AYANEO Flip DS is using the 7840u which is what almost every Windows handheld in the last 12 months has used. You can expect to get at least 60 FPS playing at 1080p with most AAA games, and those that use FSR3 like the recently released Ghost of Tsushima, you can expect to push this even further.


For indie games such as Hades 2, this is an absolute dream handheld with 1080p and 120 FPS being an absolute breeze even on lower TDPs.


The Flip DS has a 45WH battery life, and it’s probably on the lower side in terms of battery life for a Windows handheld. You can expect to get about two hours playing games such as Hades 2 and closer to an hour playing AAA games such as Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut.

Heat was never really a huge issue whilst playing games on the Flip DS, but the bottom touch screen does get a little bit hot if you touch that area, same for if you put the device down on bedding or somewhere where it can’t breathe.


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♬ original sound – Shannon Grixti | Gaming & Tech

The AYANEO Flip DS hugely improves on the other AYANEO handhelds that came before it with a 120hz display, new mouse input and a secondary screen that greatly improves the Windows experience.
The Second Screen Is Hugely Useful
120hz Display Is A Welcome Inclusion
Great Clamshell Formfactor
Oculink Port A Great Inclusion
Didn't Love
Right Analogue Stick Placement A Little Awkward