Ayaneo Next Lite ditches SteamOS knockoff HololSO — here's what it's getting instead

Ayaneo Next Lite gaming handheld
(Image credit: Ayaneo)

When Ayaneo's Next Lite handheld was revealed, it was announced that the handheld was running SteamOS. It then became apparent that the handheld is running the community version of Valve's operating system, HololSO.

This news wasn't received favorably, between the initial confusion over the operating system and HololSO's reputation for instability. Ayaneo had promised Windows drivers for the handheld, which would allow owners to swap the operating system to Windows 11 if desired.

According to GamingOnLinux (via Windows Central), Ayaneo has released a statement that HololSO will no longer be the operating system running the Next Lite. In fact, Ayaneo has dropped Linux OS entirely.

The Next Lite will now ship with 64-bit Windows 11 Home installed.

Return to Windows

Ayaneo Next Lite gaming handheld

(Image credit: Ayaneo)

Ayaneo's product page for the Next Lite has been updated to reflect the change to Windows 11 Home. All of the other specs for the handheld – from the $299 starting price to the 7-inch 800p display – have remained the same.

The Next Lite will ship with Windows 11 now but official drivers for HololSO will also be available, which is a full reversal of Ayaneo's previous promise.

While the Ayaneo Next Lite uses an older AMD CPU than the SteamDeck or Asus ROG Ally, it does come with 16GB of onboard RAM and 512GB storage so it should still provide enough power for most of your on-the-go gaming needs.

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Madeline Ricchiuto
Staff Writer

A former lab gremlin for Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, and Tech Radar; Madeline has escaped the labs to join Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer. With over a decade of experience writing about tech and gaming, she may actually know a thing or two. Sometimes. When she isn't writing about the latest laptops and AI software, Madeline likes to throw herself into the ocean as a PADI scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast.