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Yet another Intel powered Steam Deck competitor is on the way

Another handheld gaming PC powered by an Intel Core Ultra CPU is in the works, but it's not from a brand many will immediately recognize.

The Tuplar Intel handheld

We’re still yet to see the first Steam Deck alternative powered by an Intel Core Ultra APU hit the market, but we now have yet another potential pocket rocket to look forward to. Revealed at Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice – the company’s latest big esports event – Intel itself is flaunting this new handheld by Tulpar.

Despite continuous attempts from would-be challengers, the Steam Deck remains the best handheld gaming PC in the eyes of many, ours included. However, devices powered by Intel could succeed where AMD examples have failed, providing they provide enough value.

The Tuplar handheld, featuring its launcher

Revealed at IEM Katowice 2024, the as-of-yet unnamed Tulpar handheld was showcased by Intel via its X (formerly Twitter) ‘Intel Gaming’ social page. Details are scarce on the device, with nary a product page to speak of, but we do at least know a few things about it and can make some educated guesses to fill some gaps.

The handheld appears to be based on the Emdoor EM-GP080MTL we saw pop up last year (nice catch, Videocardz). The same eight-inch screen size reappears here and the layout is identical, save for the cosmetic modifications Tulpar has made to the face buttons.

The rear of the Tuplar handheld

We don’t yet know what processor will power the Tulpar handheld, but it’s safe to assume that it will feature an Intel Core Ultra model similar to, if not the same as, the MSI Claw. However, it’s unclear whether we can expect both Core Ultra 5 and 7 SKUs, or just one of the two.

While performance and price will each play large parts in determining the worth of the Tulpar handheld, it will still need to address the problems that come with running Windows 11 on a portable that have faced the likes of the Legion Go.

The Tuplar handheld being operated by a player

It’s clear from the images taken by Intel that the Tulpar handheld will feature some kind of launcher, but the finer details of it are nowhere to be found right now. Crafting an experience that can rival SteamOS is tricky, with even the efforts on the ROG Ally marred by some issues.

Perhaps the reality is that the Steam Deck 2 can and will be the only true successor to Valve’s handheld. It’s not hard to foresee a future in which Valve fills an Apple-like role in the handheld space (albeit a far more benevolent one), while other manufacturers create an ecosystem akin to Android.

While we wait and see to see what exciting shape this space takes, check out our Steam Deck OLED review to learn more about the handheld that’s towering above all others right now.