The AYA Neo is a handheld gaming computer with a 7 inch touchscreen display and built-in game controllers. It looks a bit like a Nintendo Switch, but the controllers are not detachable and under the hood beats the heart of a Windows PC including an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor with Radeon Vega 6 graphics, 16GB of RAM, and support for up to 1TB of PCIe NVMe solid state storage.
First announced last year, a limited number of AYA Neo Founder edition computers have already shipped to customers in China. Now AYA is taking pre-orders from international customers through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
The first 42 folks to snag a “super early bird” reward level were able to reserve an AYA Neo with 512GB of storage for $699. But those sold out within seconds of the campaign going live, so most backers have these choices:
- AYA Neo 512GB (black case only) for $789
- AYA Neo 1TB (black or white case options) for $869
At that price, the AYA Neo is priced rather competitively with GPD’s Win 3 handheld gaming PC, which was available for pre-order for $799 and up during a crowdfunding campaign that just ended (but you can still pre-order one for $849 and up through Indiegogo InDemand).
today. GPD’s system has a smaller display, a slider-style design that lets you push the screen upward to reveal a capacitive touch keyboard, and the little computer is powered by an Intel Tiger Lake processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics.
When I reviewed the Win 3, I was impressed with the performance offered by this tiny gaming computer, but extremely disappointed with its keyboard. Ultimately I wouldn’t call the keyboard a selling point since it’s inferior to an on-screen keyboard in many respects. So ultimately the choice between an AYA Neo and a GPD Win 3 largely boils down to your personal preferences for screen size, processor and graphics, and price.
Here’s a run-down of some key specs for AYA’s Neo handheld gaming PC:
|Display||7 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS LCD|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 6-core/6-thread|
|GPU||AMD Radeon Vega 6|
|RAM||16GB DDR4-4266 LPDDR4X|
|Storage||512GB or 1TB PCIe NVMe (M.2 2280)|
|Power||12,300 mAh, 47 Whr battery|
65 W fast charging
|USB Ports||3 x USB-C Gen 2 (10 Gbps)|
2 x 8mm copper heat pipes
|Other||Built-in game controllers|
|Dimensions||255mm x 106mm x 20mm|
|Weight||650 grams (~1.4 pounds)|
AYA has also revealed that it will offer a series of optional add-on accessories for the AYA Neo. Here are their prices during crowdfunding:
- Docking Station with USB, HDMI, and Ethernet ports for $47
- Carrying case for $22.90
- AYA grip handles for $9.90
- Joystick caps for $4.90
- Tempered glass screen protector for $4.90
The AYA Neo’s game controllers include a D-Pad, two analog sticks, X,Y, A, and B buttons, clickable L3 and R3 shoulder buttons, and support for rumble feedback, and a set of four extra buttons on the left and right sides that you can use for:
Left controller buttons:
- RGB key (adjust lighting effects for the RGB lights inside the controllers)
- Xbox home key
- Xbox Select
- Xbox Start
Right controller buttons:
- Windows key
- Ctrl+Alt-Del key
- Esc key
- Show or hide an on-screen keyboard key
Those extra buttons should come in handy since the Neo is a Windows computer that doesn’t have a physical keyboard that you can use to trigger those actions while running games in a full-screen window. Of course you can also connect a wired or wireless keyboard to play games or run applications that need QWERTY key input that might be difficult to map onto the device’s controller buttons.
AYA says the units that will ship to backers of the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign incorporate some hardware and software improvements when compared with the limited edition Founder devices that shipped to early adopters in China. Among other things, the weight has been reduced, the game controllers have been improved with better force actuation and feedback, the rumble motor has been improved (and can now be turned on or off via a key combination), and software updates have been made to improve performance of Windows, PC games, and display quality (some games had previously been blurry when running in full screen).
This article was originally published March 5, 2021 and last updated March 6, 2021.