Handheld gaming PC maker AYA has announced plans to launch a new model powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor with RDNA 2 graphics later this year.
The upcoming AYA Neo 2 is the latest in a line of AMD-powered handhelds from the company, but it will be by far the most powerful to date. It’s expected to begin shipping globally in December, with prices starting at $949 during pre-orders or $1099 at retail.
The original AYA Neo and AYA Neo Pro shipped with Ryzen 4000U series processors with AMD Radeon Vega graphics, while the AYA Neo NEXT brought a modest upgrade with a spec bump to Ryzen 5000U chips, but which featured the same GPU architecture.
By moving to a Ryzen 7 6800U chip for its next-gen handheld, AYA is promising a big boost in graphics performance thanks to AMD’s Radeon 680M integrated graphics based on RDNA 2 architecture, along with a more modest boost in CPU horsepower.
That could make the AYA Neo 2 much more competitive with Valve’s Steam Deck, which is currently the only handheld with RDNA 2 graphics. Of course, the Steam Deck also has a $399 starting price, which is hard to beat – most of AYA’s handhelds tend to sell for more than twice as much.
But the AYA Neo 2 might actually be able to offer better performance than the Steam Deck, since the Ryzen 7 6800U has a few key advantages over the custom AMD chip that powers Valve’s handheld:
|Ryzen 7 6800U||Steam Deck APU|
|CPU architecture||Zen 3+||Zen 2|
|CPU cores / threads||8 / 16||4 / 8|
|CPU base / boost freq||2.7 GHz / 4.7 GHz||2.4 GHz / 3.5 GHz|
|GPU architecture||RDNA 2||RDNA 2|
|GPU compute units||12||8|
|GPU max freq||2.2 GHz||1.6 GHz|
AYA says that the result is a handheld gaming PC that can handle AAA gaming as well as well as regular PC workloads.
The company hasn’t revealed pricing for the new model yet, and we’re likely going to have to wait a while for details about things like the screen size and resolution, battery capacity, and other key specs. But the company has confirmed that the AYA Neo 2 will feature LPDDR5-6400 memory, PCIe 4.0 storage, a fingerprint reader, and USB 4.0 ports.
And we’ve got a series of images that show the design of the upcoming handheld.
The AYA Neo Air is expected to launch near the end of 2022.
It’s not the only new AYA handheld coming this year though. The company also plans to launch a lower-cost (and lower-performance) AYA Neo Air thin and light handheld gaming PC with an OLED display. It’s expected to go up for pre-order in China by the end of May ahead of a global launch. And the upcoming AYA Neo Slide will be a premium handheld with a Ryzen 7 6800U processor and a display that slides up to reveal an RGB backlit keyboard. There’s no word on a price or release date for that model yet.
Update: AYA has also unveiled a new lower-cost model called the AYA Neo Geek, which will sell for $799 and up during crowdfunding or $949 and up at retail. The physical design appears to be nearly identical to the AYA Neo 2, but this model will be available with 1280 x 800 pixel or 1920 x 1200 pixel display options and AYA will use cheaper motion sensors, vibration motors, and fingerprint sensors, among other things.