Back in November, Ayaneo officially unveiled the AM01 mini PC. This thing was built to look like a retro Macintosh computer, but the inclusion of older AMD APUs wasn’t exactly going to win any power awards. Now, the AM02 is here, with a revamped NES-inspired design and a much more impressive chipset. It’s also three times the price.
There’s no way around it. This is a truly cute lil mini PC. The boxy NES-era form factor is a treat and you can even order an 8BitDo SNES-style controller and Nuphy greyscale keyboard to go with it, completing the nostalgia trip. Most modern features, like USB-C ports and HDMI ports, are hidden behind a front cover, though there is a small multi-function touchscreen on top. If you squint, you can almost trick yourself that it’s an actual NES.
Inside the AM02, however, is where the similarities to Nintendo’s 1980s console end. This is a legit computer that should offer an exponentially more impressive experience when compared to the AM01. Each unit ships with an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS APU, which is slightly more powerful than the company’s flagship Kun handheld device. In other words, it should be able to run most modern AAA games at medium settings, or even higher in some cases. The AM01 was, more or less, an emulation machine that petered out after the Gamecube era.
As for related specs, you can outfit the AM02 with up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM at launch, but this can be user-upgraded to 64GB. It also ships with up to 1TB of solid-state storage, with the capacity for up to 8TB. There’s even a modern cooling system, a USB-C port, a bunch of USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an ethernet port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
There’s also the mystery of what the touchscreen will be used for. Ayaneo remains mum, merely showing it as a clock, though has advertised “unique gameplay experiences.” At the very least, it should offer a novel way to dive through menus, adjust settings and select games. However, a controller or keyboard would likely be more efficient.
Naturally, the increase in power comes with a related increase in cost. The AM02 starts at $440 for those who pre-order and $500 for everyone else. This is a bare-bones version without any RAM or storage, allowing people to outfit the computer with their own. Otherwise, prices range from $530 to $770, depending on RAM and storage options. You can buy this thing via Indiegogo, which is typical for Ayaneo, and models ship in February. It doesn’t come with any accessories, but you get a discount when bundling with a controller or keyboard.