Over the past few years we’ve seen so many handheld gaming PCs introduced that it’s hard to find a model with features that truly make it stand out from the competition. But the upcoming AYA Neo Next II has a few.

First, it’s one of the only models to feature a large 8 inch display. Second, it’s the first model I’ve seen from a company other than Valve to feature trackpads for playing games designed for mouse input. And third, it’s expected to offer laptop-class discrete graphics, which would be a first in this space.

AYA first teased the AYA Neo Next II last summer, but now the company is showing off the latest design and unveiling a few more specs.

The AYA Neo Next II will have an AMD Ryzen 7000 series processor. AYA CEO Arthur Zhang says he can’t specify which chip the handheld will use, but in a message posted to Discord, he strongly implies that it could have an unannounced 15-28 watt Ryzen 7040U processor (which would combine Zen 4 CPU cores and RDNA 3 graphics), although I suppose it’s theoretically possible that the system could have a 35 watt Ryzen 7040HS chip instead.

As for the discrete GPU, there’s no new information about that, other than confirmation that AYA Neo Next II will have discrete graphics, although it’s unclear how much you’d actually need that feature on a system with RDNA 3 integrated graphics.

It’s worth noting that NVIDIA says its recently announced GeForce RTX 40 series laptop-class GPUs can deliver the same performance as a previous-gen RTX 30 series GPU with just one third the power consumption. So the idea of putting discrete graphics in a handheld doesn’t seem quite as far-fetched today as it did half a year ago.

While we’ll probably have to wait a while for additional details about specs and pricing, but we know that the AYA Neo Next II will have an IPS LCD display and ship with Windows software. The latest pictures also give us an idea of what to expect from the design.

The handheld features two analog sticks, a D-Pad, and action buttons on the front, as well as trackpads on each side of the screen and several additional buttons including shoulder triggers.

via AYANEO (YouTube) and /r/ayaneo (Reddit)

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  1. The specs are sounding great, but man, I had to LOL hard on the design of it.
    Did they really NEED to rub that hard on replicating the Steam Deck this much to the point of adding those square pads there?
    I mean, c’mon!

    1. As I recall, before the Steam Deck released, Valve announced that their plan was to encourage PC OEMs to start making their own versions of the Steam Deck, and Valve would back away from the hardware side.

      I’m not sure if that meant that they hoped to license their design and features, or if everything was just on the table.

      Having said that, I haven’t heard a whisper of that plan since, so who knows…

    2. Those trackpads are the number 1 reason I use my steamdeck over several other handhelds I have. Makes windows, and any kind of point and click game way easier.

      1. I’ve actually never thought to use them with a Point and Click adventure game before. Most of the retro games I play are Sierra and Lucasarts point and click adventure games.

        I have an old Steam Controller kicking around, I’m gonna try that.

        1. I don’t see the point.
          You have a much larger “touchpad” in the form of the entire display-touchscreen. Combine that with the Joystick for mouse, and you’ve got lots of navigational finesse. Or the D-Pad for page flipping, and Menu surfing.

          I think the trackpads are mostly pointless. Valve only added them to keep feature-parity with the SteamController. Perhaps they were saving face? Even in that case, hardly any game (let alone Steam Game) requires the VSC or even takes advantage of the trackpads. It’s not much different to the trackpad feature in the Sony DS4 and DS5 controllers.

          1. Do you have a steam deck?

            When holding a 12 inch device in two hands, that weighs 1.5lbs it is unreasonable to use the touchscreen regularly for any function. The trackpads work brilliantly and are a celebrated input feature.

          2. @Peanutbutler
            The Valve Steam Deck is heavy for what it is, but it is very ergonomic as it spreads the weight evenly. With that said, I can see how it could be cumbersome to hold it with one (weak) hand so you can use your other (dominant) hand for the touchscreen. I would rebut this with, that the touchscreen is mostly unnecessary. If you needed to use it, it would take less than a minute, before discomfort could set it.

            The silver lining is that, adding the touchpads has no negative affects. They are light, cheap, and don’t use space that is needed for something else. If this was a much more compact device, like the GPD Win-3 or smaller like the PS Vita, then their presence could detract from the overall experience. You could perhaps then make the case for putting the touchpad on the back of the device, which again has no known negatives, but its really nothing to brag about. No-one cares about the touchpad on the PS Vita, DS4, and PS5… but it is handy if you are using it to control a Remote Windows connection.

    3. If the steamdeck is becoming the def-facto game control design – and it is because of numbers shipped – then anyone doing anything else is created a gimped mobile gaming device.

      1. That isn’t even close to being the case. The Steam Controller wouldn’t be a de-facto controller unless the majority of games were being developed for it instead of other popular controllers.

        In my experience, 99% of games that offer gamepad support are designed around the Microsoft Xinput system, which is the software that supports a normal Xbox controller. The Steam Controller supports Xinput, so most games don’t need any unique support for the Steam controller.

        The only time I’ve seen a gamepad-supporting game without Xinput support is when an old retro Windows 95/98 game is re-released on Steam, and it retains support only for the classic Gravis Gamepad.

        I’ve never encountered a game on Steam that supported the Steam deck controller, but not Xinput. That would be a poor decision on the developer’s part.