The AYA Neo Air Plus is a handheld gaming PC with a 6 inch full HD display, support for Windows or the Linux-based AYA Neo OS or Steam OS, and a starting price of just $289, making it one of the most affordable handhelds with an x86 processor to date.

It’s also the first handheld announced to feature one of AMD’s new Mendocino processors featuring Zen 2 CPU cores and RDNA 2 graphics.

Designed for budget laptops in the $399 to $699 price range, the Mendocino processor combines the high-performance GPU architecture of AMD’s Ryzen 6000U series chips with up to four of the Zen 2 processor cores of Ryzen 4000U series.

Incidentally, Valve’s Steam Deck also has a chip that combines Zen 2 with RDNA 2. AMD designed a custom “Aerith” processor for Valve that offers a mix of low price and strong gaming performance.

It’s unclear at this point exactly how Mendocino chips will stack up against the Aerith processor in terms of performance, as AMD hasn’t revealed detailed specs yet. But it does seem to have offered AYA a way to design a handheld that could beat the Steam Deck in pricing, if not necessarily performance (there’s been speculation that while Mendocino chips have RDNA 2 graphics cores, the GPU core count will be on the low side: the Steam Deck has 8 GPU compute cores, while Mendocino processors are rumored to have as few as 2).

AYA says the AYA Neo Air Plus will also include an M.2 2280 SSD, a microSD card reader, and the company’s AYA Space game launcher software.

While retail pricing is expected to start at $289, the company will offer a launch promotion that brings the price down to $199 for a limited time for members of the AYA Community (although it’s not clear what you’ll have to do to qualify).

It joins an increasingly crowded line of handhelds from AYA, including the new AYA Neo Air and Air Pro line of devices which feature 5.5 inch OLED displays, thin and light designs, and AMD Ryzen 5000U series processors with Zen 3 CPU cores and Radeon Vega graphics.

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12 replies on “AYA Neo Air Plus is a $289 gaming handheld with an AMD Mendocino processor”

  1. Honestly seems nice, the chip will probably be a better than my current laptop, ryzen 5 3500u, the design also looks nice compared to the steam deck.
    I will honestly probably buy it considering linux, is pretty bad, the price is very tempting.

    1. Chips usually have weird names, you should try to find a real reason to criticise the product.

  2. Leaks are showing Mendocino only has 2 RDNA2 CUs, so about enough to run the windows desktop and not much more.

  3. I’ll definitely be buying one of these. I typically stay away from Chinese handheld gaming PCs, due to lack of warranty and support.

    So far the only comments that I’ve heard about Aya’s support (regarding the Neo Pro) have been positive. I’ve seen a few Reddit posts that have said that Aya paid for shipping for a repair. I don’t expect that kind of international warranty service to continue as they grow, but it’s good to know that they don’t just leave people out to dry like GPD does.

  4. This is great, I hope you can actually buy it (i.e. not like the Steam Deck, which in practice is a phantom product). The screen is too small, however, for PC games. I’d happily pay an extra 50 USD or even a bit more for an 8” version.

  5. All these handhelds might be making the case for lapdocks again, but without an adapter that can hold the computer onto the lapdock using it on your lap is going to be pretty awkward, more so than with cell phones. So I’m not sure I can recommend doing that to most people over just getting a laptop and a game controller (unless you want to play games on public transportation a lot).
    It would still be an interesting experiment to see if someone could replace a smartphone with one, given an android emulator, a smartwatch that can make phone calls, and a wifi hotspot.

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