AYA announced today that it’s bringing AMD Ryzen 7000U series chips to several upcoming handheld gaming PCs including the AYA Neo Air Plus, AYA Neo 2S, and AYA Neo Geek 1S. But during one of the company’s par-for-the-course long and meandering live streams, the CEO also provided a sneak peek at several other upcoming products.
One is the AYA Neo Slide that we’ve been reporting on since last year. But another is the AYA Neo Kun, a bigger-screen model that might push the definition of the word “handheld.”
AYA Neo Slide with Ryzen 7000
We already know that the AYA Neo Slide is expected to feature a 6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display and a slider-style design that lets you push the screen upward to reveal a physical keyboard.
Basically it’s AYA’s answer to the GPD Win 4: a handheld that makes text input easier without the need for an on-screen keyboard that obscures half of the display.
Up until now AYA has been saying the Neo Slide would ship with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor, but now the company says that it will be powered by a newer Ryzen 7000 series chips. While the company hasn’t said which processor to expect, it seems like a safe bet that AYA will settle on the Ryzen 7 7840U or a similar chip like the AMD Z1 Extreme. The combination of Zen 4 CPU cores and RDNA 3 graphics should bring significantly better performance for most tasks.
AYA still hasn’t revealed pricing or a launch date yet, but the company says “development of the AYA Neo Slide is now well underway and the structure and heat dissipation have been optimized.”
AYA Neo Kun
The company has also been teasing a larger-screen device for a few months. CEO Arthur Zhang says he’d like to deliver a “semi-mobile” gaming PC for use around the home, where you can easily plug into a power supply but might not want to be tethered to a big-screen TV.
Possible screen sizes could range from 8 to 10 inches. That would be unusual, but not unprecedented – One Netbook sells a couple of ONEXPLAYER handhelds with 8.4 inch displays, and the GPD Win Max 2 has a 10.1 inch display (although it’s arguably as much a mini-laptop as it has a handheld).
But during today’s presentation Zhang also spelled out a few of the advantages that come with larger screens:
- There’s room for nearly full-sized joysticks/game controllers.
- The Kun is “AYA Neo’s handheld with the highest button count so far.”
- There’s room for a really big battery.
Those features may also come with a cost though… literally. AYA says the Kun will also likely be the company’s most expensive model to date. And it’s not like existing models are known for their low prices.
And that could be a problem now that smaller companies like AYA, GPD, and One Netbook are facing competition in the handheld gaming space not only from Valve’s Steam Deck, but also from handhelds from better known companies like Asus.
But maybe that’s why we’re also seeing companies like AYA throw designs against the wall to see what sticks. If you can’t compete on price, then maybe you can try to offer something that isn’t available from mainstream PC companies, hoping that enthusiasts will be willing to open their wallets.
Looks like they dropped the most exciting handheld – the Flip.
Will the Slide have 4G option like the Win 4?
Now that Asus has entered the arena, I would rather get something from them than any of these smaller companies. Having bought GPD WIN, WIN2 and most recently the Onexplayer 2, the quality control in these small companies is really lacking. Within 1 week, the micro SD slot could no longer hold the card in place and the USB-C on the top side is flimsy and sometimes doesn’t even recognise that it is connected to the charger. The first email I sent for support bounced and I only got through to support yesterday and I’m not sure how much support I will receive.
I’ve had that thought as well. But I don’t have big hopes for Asus to offer much competition anytime soon, if ever.
It would be exciting if a brand like HP, Vaio, or LG decided to jump into this space and put out items of much higher quality, with nice designs and features like they have for their laptops.
That is a great idea for a company like HP. Hp seriously needs to do something innovative… While these Gameboy devices don’t interest me, apparently a LOT people still want to play Gameboy. I am biased, my opinion of the standard game is low. Having played Half Life 2, Doom XYZ.. to me is like once you have played ONE 1st person shooter you have basically played them all. I remember how repetitive they felt just with different theming or graphics.
Agreed, I’ve come to see HP as somewhat innovative, and I think it’s fallen behind as of late.
As unlikely as it is, I think HP is a more likely possibility among the mainstream PC brands. This opinion comes from the fact HP really embraced the 2-in-1 form factor through its premium models at a time when the Surface didn’t have much competition. HP has also offered some interesting aesthetic designs through the years.
That’s also how I’ve felt about games in general. I was never into gaming, and the lack of interest extends to Gameboy but I guess from seeing so much enthusiasm from other people, I do see some charm in having a neat little device that can support it.
I actually don’t want a handheld PC for gaming. I mostly want it to use as a DMP. This is not really ideal given the audio really sucks on these devices (read through several conversations in GPD’s Discord). Another reason for considering HP for this–it’s not really THAT great, but the specially-tuned audio (mostly speakers) that HP offers in one of its 2-in-1s impressed me a lot. It sounds nicer than any smartphone or average bookshelf speaker I’ve heard, and the HP is basically just a tablet with dual speakers. If only that can be replicated in these smaller computers…
Maybe Sony could be the one to fulfill all of these gaps. It’s offered handheld gaming devices before. And it currently produces DMPs. And of course phones. Walkboy, anyone?
While large companies will provide (theoretically, at least) better build quality and overall support, I’m sure that designs in the segment will become pretty stagnant when (and if) big players will overtake the market. At least form-factor wise. There defiantly will be no place for slider and clamshell derivatives, probably for switch-style detachable controllers as well, possible no undersize options, and, of course, all things will as little upgradable as possible. Just like it is in smartphone and tablet markets.
The contraction of form factor options will be dependent on market demand more so than major companies moving into this corner. For instance, assume that in the near future, no such big brands have joined (other than Asus) and Aya, GPD, One, etc. determine that the demand for slide or detachable bodies are not justifiable for their business. They can decide to stop putting out new models in those form factors even without competitive pressure from mainstream brands.
Additionally, if the demand for this general product category continues to increase, there may be more incentive for manufacturers to innovate, differentiate, and capture customers from smaller niches. That could encourage novel form factors to exist, as long as the demand is there.
I think established tech brands would also be more likely to follow sustainability efforts (DIY repair / upgrades), though probably only if the rest of the industry adopts this more.
Since this is a niche area to begin with, I think that companies extant or to be started up will be influenced by the demand, which has basically always existed since similar handheld devices have been available on a mainstream basis.