Everyone is understandably excited over Valve's Steam Deck and the newer ASUS ROG Ally, but these are not the only handheld gaming computers in town. We've also covered the AYANEO Air Plus, a portable that, unlike the Deck and ROG Ally, takes a M.2 2280 SSD rather than M.2 2230 SSDs like our Rocket 2230 and 2TB Rocket Q4 2230. There's another powerful portable machine that surpassed all expectations in its Indiegogo campaign, the GPD WIN 4, which can also utilize a M.2 2280 SSD.
It may still be possible to use shorter SSDs like our M.2 2230s listed above with an appropriate extender. However, M.2 2280 options are easier and have larger capacity options. The GPD WIN 4, unlike the Steam Deck, has a PCIe 4.0 M.2 socket which means Gen4 SSDs are an option for the fastest speeds possible. This makes our Rocket 4 Plus-G, which is available at up to 4TB and has DirectStorage-optimized firmware, and our regular Rocket 4 Plus, available at up to 8TB, the best options for an upgrade. Given potential heat issues, it's recommended to use thermal padding on one or both sides of the drive.
By default the GPD WIN 4 comes with Windows 11 which has DirectStorage support and also works with our software, which includes our Control Panel and version of Acronis True Image Home. The GPD WIN 4 is also designed to support SteamOS, as used on the Deck, thanks to its AMD APU, with one option being the utilization of ChimeraOS - although other possibilities exist, such as HoloOS and GPD's own GPD OS. These OSes are based on Linux, generally Arch or Manjaro, and work with multiple storage utilities.
For work and play
The GPD WIN 4 also has a microSDXC card slot and can be extended through its USB-C port. This means that storage can be further expanded with microSDXC memory cards and external/portable SSDs like our nano V2. Existing accessories may also be used. Our USB-C hubs will also work with the device, although our 6-Port Docking Station is an even better option with its integrated design. Users who want embedded Ethernet and a docked M.2 SSD can wait a bit longer for our upcoming dock.