The AYA Neo Air Plus is a handheld gaming PC for people looking for something a little smaller than a Steam Deck. With a 6 inch display, a body that measures 237 x 91.4mm x 23.1mm, and a weight of around 510 to 525 grams, this little device is just a little wider than a Nintendo Switch Lite. But it’s a full-fledged computer that ships with Windows 11 pre-installed.
First introduced last summer, the AYA Neo Air Plus is now available for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Standard reward levels start at $549, although a limited number of Early Bird backers can score better deals. It’s expected to begin shipping to backers in June, 2023.
One thing that makes the AYA Neo Air Plus stand out from most handheld gaming PCs released in the past few years is that it comes with a choice of four different processor options:
- Intel Core i3-1215U (2P cores + 4 E Cores & Intel UHD graphics with 64 execution units)
- AMD Ryzen 3 7320U (4 Zen 2 CPU cores & 2 RDNA 2 GPU cores)
- AMD Ryzen 5 7520U (4 faster Zen 2 CPU cores & 2 RDNA 2 GPU cores)
- AMD Ryzen 7 6800U (8 Zen 3+ CPU cores & 12 RDNA 3 GPU cores)
Early bird pricing started at just $269 for Intel and Ryzen 3 models with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but only a limited number of units were available at those prices, and they sold out quickly.
As of the time I’m writing this, the cheapest AYA Neo Air Plus available is an Early Bird deal that lets you pick up a Ryzen 3 model with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for $499. You’ll have to pay considerably more if you want a model with a higher-performance processor. But at least the company sort of made good on last year’s promise to offer starting prices below $300… before more than doubling the price for most shoppers.
All models of the AYA Neo Air Plus have two USB4 ports, a headphone jack, microSD card reader and fingerprint sensor, plus a 46.2 Wh battery and 65Wh power adapter. The system has a fan for active cooling.
The handheld features built-in game controllers with adjustable RGB lighting effects, stereo speakers and dual microphones, and support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. Memory and storage options vary depending on the processor (and price).
For the sake of simplicity, prices listed in the comparison table below show the standard Indiegogo and retail prices, not the Early Bird prices.
|AYA Neo Air Plus (Intel)||AYA Neo Air Plus (Mendocino)||AYA Neo Air Plus (Rembrandt)|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-1215U|
2 P-cores / 4 E-cores
4.4 GHz max freq
|AMD Ryzen 5 7520U |
4 Zen 2 cores / 8-threads
2.8 GHz – 4.3 GHz
AMD Ryzen 3 7320U
4 Zen 2 cores / 8 threads
2.4 GHz – 4.1 GHz
|AMD Ryzen 7 6800U|
8 Zen 3+ cores / 16 threads
2.7 GHz – 4.7 GHz
|Graphics||Intel UHD for 12th-gen|
1.1 GHz max freq
64 execution units
|AMD Radeon 610M|
2 x RDNA 2 GPU cores
|AMD Radeon 680M|
12 x RDNA 2 GPU cores
1920 x 1080 pixels
120% sRGB color gamut
85% DCI-P3 color gamut
|RAM||8GB / 16GB|
|8GB / 16GB|
|16GB / 32GB|
|Storage||128GB / 512GB|
M.2 2280 SSD
|512GB / 1TB / 2TB|
M.2 2280 SSD
|Controllers||Dual analog sticks with hall sensors|
Hall trigger buttons
Adjustable RGB lighting
|Charging||65W USB Type-C|
|Ports||2 x USB4 Type-C (USB 3.2 for Mendocino models)|
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x microSD card reader
3.5mm headset jack
|Dimensions||237 x 91.4mm x 23.1mm (at thinnest point)|
|Weight||510 grams||525 grams|
|Starting Price||$599 / $649|
(crowdfunding / retail)
|$549 / $599 (Ryzen 3 7320U)|
$649 / $699 (Ryzen 5 7520U)
(crowdfunding / retail)
|$889 / $979|
(crowdfunding / retail)
The AYA Neo Air Plus is the latest member of the ever-expanding AYA Neo line of handheld gaming PCs in an increasingly-crowded market.
While AYA was one of the innovators in this space, launching its first models at a time when the only real competition came from other small Chinese companies like GPD and One Netbook, these days new models like the AYA Neo Air Plus have to compete with Valve’s Steam Deck and possibly the upcoming ASUS ROG Ally.
Are you sure that the Mandosino model is not USB3.0, but USB4.0?
Good catch. I’ve updated the comparison table to reflect that.
Glad to see it up for sale, as I’m really interested in something that will compete with the Steam Deck.
However, I’m going to pass on this one. They lost me when they doubled the price of this handheld after their initial price announcement. This price surpasses the threshold if what I’m willing to spend through Chinese crowdfunders that don’t offer warranty. I’m happy to set aside my critiques of the Steam Deck to avoid this thing.
Personally, I’d rather preorder the AYN Loki Mini Pro, and wait several months. Because AYN is taking their preorders on their Shopify store. That means the payments are processed by a traditional credit card processor, and my credit card will be able to do a chargeback if things go sideways.
With a crowdfunding platform, you have no recourse if they mail you a DOA product, or if they disappear. In my experience, your credit card company will treat that charge just like a charitable donation, there’s no promise of a working product.
Time from production to sell is to long, we get outdated hardware. And it is not even for sliced price, even thought it is outdated. ZEN 2 vs ZEN 4
I disagree, the x86 handheld market doesn’t move fast enough for this to be outdated by June. Not to mention that this price segment is practically brand new, with few competitors who are mostly more behind than they are.
The only competitors in this price range are the Steam Deck, and the AYN Loki Mini Pro. The Steam Deck is running an even older SOC, and the AYN Loki Mini Pro is running the exact same Mendocino chip as the AYA, and they don’t even have a release date announced.
AYN said in their Discord recently that the Loki Mini Pro is going to be the last device manufactured in the Loki lineup, and it sounds like it will probably be very late in 2023 or later.
Another thing working in our favour is the fact that the Steam Deck is likely going to stick with its current hardware for a while, so that is going to keep the game library very low-spec-friendly for a while. We’re going to see many games optimized for this level of performance for a long time.
ZEN 2 is not new.
It’s new enough, that it isn’t completely outdated.
But Grant Russell didn’t even say what you’re claiming. He said it’s a “new price segment” which is sort of true (anything under USD $500).
I’m glad to hear that AYN sold some Intel models for USD $270. That’s what I was interested in, and so many others. None of the other options make sense. You may as well just get the Valve SteamDeck, it’s higher quality, better company, and strong support, all at the same price point. Or go cheaper and get the Anbernic RG353m or Retroid Pocket 3+ instead, which are pocketable.
For those waiting for the AYN Loki Mini Pro…. don’t. They’re even worse than AYA. Even with the possibility of getting it discounted, or credit chargeback, it is not worth the risk. Remember AYN made their pricing in response to AYA, and since now AYA has doubled the pricing, what would you expect from AYN? The same deal. At best it will be a paperlaunch, and at worst people will be ripped off. There’s some reasons to get an expensive model like the GPD Win Max-2, but for almost all other conditions the Valve SteamDeck is unbeatable in this product category.
I love its name.