AYANEO has been known for creating handhelds in the PC space with some unique designs, and there has been some interest from the company to branch out into other markets. Today, they take their first step to doing that with the AYANEO Retro Mini PC AM01, their first foray into miniature computers. While it was first announced during AYANEO's REMAKE event, we now get to see more into the computer's capabilities, specs, ports, and more.
AYANEO Retro Mini PC AM01 Details
The first thing that caught my eye, and still does, is the entire aesthetic of the device. AYANEO went pretty far to base the mini PC on retro-esque elements of the past, and the AM01 does just that. The design is heavily inspired by the old Macintosh released by Apple in the early days. This is quite possibly one of my favorite aspects of this device, making it look and feel more unique than a traditional PC or other miniature ones I have seen.
The front of the device has a nice power button design integrated in a mock floppy disk slot and a fake screen in the front that can be customized with stickers or magnets with different themes. AYANEO will provide some magnets and stickers you can use, but you should be able to use your own custom ones too. The point is to make the PC your own while it is on a fantastically designed PC.
Then, we have the internals and specs that will be powering the AM01. At the heart, we will have the choice of either a Ryzen 7 5700U or Ryzen 3 3200U. Both of these should be great for retro gaming, which is fantastic for the AM01, but if you want to push a bit further, you will want the 5700U.
The 3200U uses two Zen 1 cores and is made on a 14nm process. The processor also uses an integrated RX Vega 3 GPU with a frequency of 1200MHz, making this great for light office tasks, watching videos, software routing, and NAS storage. The 5700U offers eight Zen 2 cores and is made on a 7nm process. The integrated GPU uses RX Vega 8 graphics with a frequency of 1900MHz. This should be good for a bit heavier office work, like Photoshop, or some AAA gaming with compromises. It is able to handle 35W maximum TDP on the charger that comes with it, but if you have a 100W adapter, it can go up to 54W TDP.
The Ryzen 3 version also has WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2, while the Ryzen 7 version has WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 support.
Both versions of the AM01 have 2 DDR4 memory slots and can come with configurations of 8gb or 16gb of RAM, with both models being upgradeable. The Ryzen 3 version supports up 32gb 2400MHz, while the Ryzen 7 version supports up to 64gb 3200MHz and has a 32gb option. There is a M.2 2280 PCIe 3.0x4 slot, as well as a SATA 3.0 interface to expand storage.
The AM01 can either come with Windows 11 OS or completely bare to install whatever OS you want, though the bare system version doesn't come with a pre-installed hard drive. AYANEO does mention that other operating systems are supported like SteamOS, Batocera, Chimera OS, Ubuntu, Debian, OpenWRT, and more. The system comes with AYASpace for management software too, which is one of my favorites to use on a handheld, so I am excited about that!
Fans, Ports, and Size/Weight
The bottom of the device has an intake vent for cooling, while the right side of the device has an active exhaust vent. The left side and back of the AM01 have passive ventilation ports, so while it is best to leave them uncovered, you will need to make sure the right side and bottom of the device aren't covered at all.
As for ports, the majority of them are on the top, but there are two on the bottom. The bottom has a USB-C 3.2 and 3.5mm audio port, while the top has:
- 1xGigabit Ethernet port
- 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2
- 1x USB 2.0
- 1x HDMI 2.0
- 1x DisplayPort 1.4
- 1x Power Adapter Port (DC-In)
As for the actual size, the AM01 measures around 132mm x 132mm x 60.5mm and weighs around 486g. The bare system edition, which doesn't have a hard drive, will be around 466g.
Finally, we have the price. There are multiple different models with different RAM and storage configurations. These prices are the early bird prices available now and will go up as the Indiegogo campaign continues and closes:
- Ryzen 3 3200U
- 8g RAM + 256gb SSD - $149
- 16gb RAM + 512gb SSD - $219
- Ryzen 7 5700U
- Bare System Verison - $219
- 8gb RAM + 256gb SSD - $269
- 16gb RAM + 512gb SSD - $299
- 32gb RAM + 512gb SSD - $329
- 32gb RAM + 1tb SSD - $379
With the price, I am extremely excited by the AM01. It sounds like a great compromise if you are looking for a consistently powered PC that is not only portable but able to perform well for what it's designed to do. I can see myself turning it into a retro-gaming machine with Batocera or using it as a portable work PC. Luckily, I will be able to test this myself soon as our review unit is on the way! It will be our first mini-PC, and you will be able to check out our coverage on our upcoming new sister website launching soon!
You can pre-order and check out the AYANEO Retro Mini PC AM01 on their Indiegogo page.
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