The AYA Neo Air Plus is a handheld gaming PC with a 6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS LCD display, built-in game controllers, and a choice of Intel or AMD processors.

While most of AYA’s handhelds released in the past year or so have taken aim at Valve’s Steam deck by promising better performance and a more compact design, the AYA Neo Air Plus is designed to compete on price. When the AYA Neo Air Plus launches next week you’ll be able to choose from three different processor options, and two of those options will likely have starting prices lower than the $399 you’d spend to pick up an entry-level Steam Deck.

When AYA first announced it was working on the AYA Neo Air Plus last year the company said prices would start under $300 and customers would be able to opt for a model with either a 12th-gen Intel Core U-series processor or an AMD Mendocino chip.

In January the company provided more details about those models and also introduced a third version. The AYA Neo Air Plus will be available with:

  • Intel Core i3-1215U “Alder Lake-U” with 2 P-cores, 4 E-cores, 8 threads, Intel UHD graphics with 64 execution units
  • AMD Ryzen 5 7520U “Mendocino” with 4 Zen 2 CPU core, 8 threads, 2 RDNA 2 GPU cores
  • AMD Ryzen 7 6800U “Rembrandt” with 8 Zen 3+ CPU cores, 16 threads, 12 x RDNA 2 GPU cores

It seems like a safe bet that the model with the Mendocino processors will be the most affordable, as AMD positions these processors as suitable for laptops with starting prices around $300. I’d expect the Intel model to cost a bit more (it should also be a bit faster), while the version with a Rembrandt processor will most likely be the most expensive (I expect it will cost substantially more than a Steam Deck, while delivering up to twice the raw processing power of Valve’s handheld gaming PC).

But price and performance aren’t the only factors to consider. I’ll be curious to learn about the battery life for the Mendocino and Core i3 models, for example, since AYA’s other handhelds with Ryzen 7 6800U chips are known to run for only half as long as a Steam Deck under certain conditions.

The company’s software is also said to be rather half-baked compared to Valve’s. But while battery life and software issues may be dealbreakers for devices that cost as much as three Steam Decks, maybe they’re more forgivable in a budget device?

AYA has a history of using crowdfunding campaigns for new product launches, but I’m not sure whether the AYA Neo Air Plus will follow suit or if you’ll be able to buy it directly from the AYA website. What I do know is that the company says the Air Plus will launch on February 28th.

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8 replies on “AYA Neo Air Plus launches February 28th (handheld gaming PC with AMD Rembrandt, Mendocino or Intel Alder Lake-U)”

  1. Any of these CPUs make a good candidate for a pocketable Win 2 clamshell successor? I’m sure GPD can cool up to 15 W or a bit more now in the same Win 2 size looking at the 3rd party cooler mod and recent GPD devices.

    Maybe a 6600U/6800U capped at 15 W?

  2. Well it’s also a shot against the bow for AYN who’s Loki lineup have been available for preorder since June 2022 delayed beyond the q4 2022 window, and only seem to have the Loki Max out of their lineup ready enough to show off as a prototype.

    Why do I suspect if in buy in for the Neo Air Plus, that it will start shipping before any of the Loki lineup

    1. I’ll wait until Feb 28 before I decide that AYA is offering any better shipment timeframes.

      For all we know they are just opening up pre-orders on Feb 28, and shipping them far into the future.

      I’m planning on buying either the AYA or AYN with a Mendocino CPU. However, I’ll probably wait until the first batches arrive before I order.

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