The makers of the AYA Neo and AYA Neo Next handheld gaming PCs have introduced a new model featuring an OLED display and a smaller, lighter design. The AYA Neo Air weighs less than 400 grams (14 ounces) and is nearly as thin as a Nintendo Switch Lite.

But unlike a Switch, this is a full-fledged Windows computer with an x86 processor and the ability to run PC games. The AYA Neo Air is also expected to be one of the most affordable devices from AYA to date. It’s set to launch later this month, but AYA has already provided some details about the upcoming handheld.

AYA hasn’t revealed the processor used in the little computer yet, but the company has indicated that it will be a Ryzen 5000 chip capable of handling many indie games at 1080p resolution and AAA titles running at 720p.

The processor is likely likely set to run at 12 watts in order to balance power consumption and heat generation. And since AYA has indicated that the price will be competitive, there’s good reason to think that it could be a Ryzen 3 chip with Radeon Vega graphics rather than a higher-performance Ryzen 5 or 7 series processor.

Pictures of the AYA Neo Air reveal that it will have two USB-C ports, and AYA says it’s powerful enough to use as a PC if you use them to connect a keyboard, mouse, display, or other accessories. There’s also a headset jack and microSD card reader.

Other features of the handheld are expected to include RGB lighting under the analog sticks and an x-axis linear motor. The OLED display support 107% NTSC color gamut. Independent reports suggest that the display will be a 5.5 inch, 1080p display.

AYA says the Neo Air will be available in black and white color options, as well as other colors that will be announced closer to release.

Chinese PC makers have cranked out a growing number of handheld gaming computers over the past few years. But with the arrival of Valve’s Steam Deck on the scene, their value proposition has become increasingly questionable. Sure, systems like the GPD Win, AYA Neo, and ONEXPLAYER line of devices may have more powerful processors or other bells and whistles that the Steam Deck lacks, but Valve’s handheld has an affordable $399 starting price and AMD RDNA 2 graphics, which gives it the ability to offer higher frame rates in most games.

But the Steam Deck is also a big and heavy device, weighing 1.5 pounds and measures 11.7″ x 4.6″ x 1.9″. That could make it uncomfortable to hold for extended gaming sessions when compared with a more compact device like the Nintendo Switch Lite, which measures 8.2″ x 3.6″ x 1.1″ and weighs about 10 ounces.

If AYA manages to truly deliver a full-fledged Windows PC that’s about the size of a Switch Lite while weighing less than a pound, then there might actually be a reason for some gamers to consider the company’s latest Steam Deck comparison… assuming the price is right.

AYA plans to officially launch the Neo Air in May, so we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out how much it’ll cost or exactly which processor will be powering the new model.

Update: The AYA Neo Air is up for pre-order in China from May 14 – 18 as part of a “surprise” pre-order event, with early bird pricing of 4,399 CNY (about $650).

It’s unclear what the retail price will be in China or the rest of the world, when the Neo Air will ship, or even what the exact specifications of the handheld ar. Despite taking pre-orders, the company still hasn’t confirmed things like which processor the device uses, what the display resolution will be, or how much RAM the Neo Air has. 

This article was originally published April 25, 2022 and most recently updated May 14, 2022.

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19 replies on “AYA Neo Air is a thin and light handheld gaming PC with an OLED display”

  1. Looks terrible and also lol at paying 1200 dollars to a company with zero support outside of china.

  2. I only see a point in this if the price is 200€ max. If they plan to sell it for 350-400€, forget about it, completely. Vega is totally outdated if the intention is to promote it with AA and AAA games, even at 720p.

  3. Just get a the Neo Next. If you’re traveling, it’d go in a bag anyway. Other than the Next looking pretty ugly in comparison, it’s the better device.

    Don’t see the point of getting this 5.5″ screened slower handheld. I guess if you’re a kid with small hands, it’d be okay.

    1. Yeah, at this size it seems like (rich) kids would be the primary market for this. Seems likely to work well for tiny hands.

  4. The obvious solution is cut costs. Dump the battery and display, make it a pocket able mini PC and controller you use with your TV/ Streaming service or mini office PC. Bigger production market and just ensure it Linux, Windows compatible.
    It would be a Switch, Steam Deck market distributer !

    1. Except it wouldn’t, because they’re are already hundreds of mini PCs out there and no one considers them to be in the same market as the handhelds.

  5. I don’t see much point going smaller when it’s inherently not pocketable due to exposed sticks and maybe too long for some pockets. Needing a case + bag negates most of the size advantage and becomes more of a disadvantage. Just my preferences though. Seems like plenty of people like these bar form factors.

    I wish GPD goes back to a small flat pocketable clamshell instead of/in addition to their increasingly larger non-pocketable Win 3 and teased Win 4 (slider plus another size increase). If they can do that again somehow including putting in a slower CPU (faster than Win 2 though), GPD would get my money again.

    1. I have a Deck and it’s an at home “portable”. Even my Switch Lite is home use only too.

      After reading where current handhelds are/will be for the past year, I ended up just getting a new (apparently there are still new ones) GPD Win 2 about a month ago. Its flat and self-protecting design plus very small size makes it very easy to slip into my pocket whenever I head out. Can’t do that with any bar handheld including this new Neo Air with the sticks and grip getting in the way.

      I hope my Win 2 lasts given its history.

    2. Its not supposed to be pocketable, if you have to carry a game system everywhere you go then you have social issues. This is intended for when you go somewhere that you know you will be sitting for a while (like at Victorias Secret with a wife or GF which based on your response of not being pocketable you wouldnt know about this).

      1. This is intended for when you go somewhere that you know you will be sitting for a while (like at Victorias Secret with a wife or GF which based on your response of not being pocketable you wouldnt know about this).

        That’s what I do with my Win 2. Just put it in my pocket and take it out while waiting. Maybe do other things besides gaming too. With these other devices, you need a case to protect the sticks and/or bag to keep your hands free. At that point, I’d just leave it at home and try to kill time on my phone.

    3. Yeah. I hope GPD comes back to the pocketable clamshell design again.

      It’s great to have a gaming + PC hybrid in my pocket. Pretty often, I find myself needing to wait around and that’s when I just pull out my Win 2 to either game or do stuff my phone can’t do well. Makes for a great multi-day travel PC/gaming handheld in one too.

      For the regions it’s available, the Steam Deck is the best choice when it comes to bar form factor that needs a case + bag anyway. Even then, the price on eBay/resellers has been going down now as supply increases.

  6. Regardless of whether the Steam Deck is better or not, I still think it’s amazing that we have got to the point that x86 PC’s can be minitiarised to such small and portable form factors. Compare the power of this (which I’m expecting to have a Ryzen of some sort) to the GPD Win 2 from 2016, and it’s clear that we have come a long way in only a few years.

    I hope to see more western / mainstream companies enter the handheld PC market soon. I hope to see Aya (and other companies) ship their devices with Steam OS as standard, and make them pure gaming handhelds, with none of the Windows 11 jank to deal with. The previous Aya and One Netbook handhelds had a bunch of special hotkeys that were designed to deal with Windows jank, but Steam OS solves most of that.

    1. What I like about Aya is I dont have to wait for an indefinite amount of time to get one … I can buy it and have it in my hands in 48hrs or less…. The steam deck can run near the amount of games as this either, plus it sucks with windows

      1. @NastyNick agreed. I got stuck in the payment process during pre-order and eventually did get a reservation in but despite being in Q1 (and later pushed to Q2), I still haven’t seen the purchase email come through. It’s getting to the point where the Steam Deck is going to be outdated and I still don’t have one in my hands. I was down to get one when it should have shipped Dec 2021 – Jan 2022 but time keeps ticking and no Steam Deck. Now I’m leaning towards getting a <13 inch Ryzen 6000 series ultrabook when they come out without dDPUs in a few months. I may still buy the Steam Deck when the email comes in but it will likely end up on eBay.

        1. I make a bit of money reselling retro handhelds on ebay. A steam deck right now cost more than a Neo Next lol. Ny biggest gripe with Steam Deck is it sucks running windows so you end up stuck running pretty much Steam games that have been optimized for the deck. This small handheld is very appealing to me as it most likely will be priced under $700 and is small rnough to pack in my carry-on bag without taking up precious space (I travel for 3 to 5 days for work regularly) that I need for other stuff. I think that ultrabook is another perfect option for that. When people talk about these being portable they mean they can be easily traveled with and not thrown in a pocket. If you arent a kid you dont need to lug these everywhere you go, if someone does this yhey have some issues….

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