Ayaneo Retro Mini PC AM01: The Macintosh-inspired Mini PC That’s Easy on the Eyes

Ayaneo, a company renowned for its handheld gaming consoles, has unveiled the new Retro Mini PC AM01 after teasing it a few weeks ago. The AM01 is scheduled for shipment before the end of the year, and I must admit, I’m tempted to get one. While the AM01 may not excel in performance benchmarks, it’s likely to be the most aesthetically pleasing computer in your collection.

It’s evident that Ayaneo is “paying homage” to the Macintosh, which is a polite way of acknowledging that they’ve essentially replicated the original design. This device closely resembles Apple’s ’80s-era computer, complete with a floppy drive and a rainbow sticker. However, Ayaneo opted for a flag-shaped sticker instead of an apple — a subtle deviation to avoid legal entanglements. Despite being smaller than the Macintosh, it boasts a similar beige, rectangular design, including a black space where the old screen would have been.

The AM01 is a computer — but it’s maybe a better Plex server or retro gaming console.
Image: Ayaneo

Internally, the AM01 boasts distinctive features. Priced at $149 for early birds ($199 for others), it houses the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, an almost five-year-old chip, along with eight gigs of RAM and 256 gigs of storage. At the top end, priced at $379 for early birds or $459 retail, it’s equipped with the almost three-year-old AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor, 32 gigs of RAM, and a terabyte of storage. Moreover, all the memory is expandable. Although it’s reasonably priced, there are more potent mini PCs available at similar price points, albeit lacking the AM01’s striking design.

Notably, the AM01 stands out for its expandability, featuring five USB ports (one USB-C and four USB-A), HDMI, DisplayPort, a headphone jack, ethernet, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. It’s available with Windows 11 or as a “bare” version allowing installation of Linux, SteamOS, or any preferred operating system. While some may use it as a computer, most will likely employ it as a retro gaming console or Plex server. Ayaneo also offers the AM01 in a bundle with NuPhy’s mechanical keyboards and 8BitDo’s wireless controllers.

Ayaneo is launching the AM01 on Indiegogo. While caution is advised when supporting campaigns on the platform, Ayaneo has a track record of delivering and improving device quality swiftly. The company appears committed to the mini PC market, teasing the AM02, which draws inspiration from the original NES design for a more gaming-oriented aesthetic. However, its release date remains unknown.

The various SKUs of the AM01 are available for preorder, with shipments expected to commence in December. I may or may not have already started clearing space on my desk.

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