The AYA Neo handheld gaming PC has been under development since last spring, and recently the makers of the little computer shipped the first 500 Founder Edition devices to customers in China.
With factories in that country shutting down for Chinese New Year though, the folks at AYA say the next 900 pre-orders won’t go out until after the holiday ends on February 26th. The team has also decided to delay its international crowdfunding campaign until after Chinese New Year, which means it won’t launch until late February or early March at the soonest.
But AYA says deliveries won’t be affected – backers of the upcoming Indiegogo campaign should still begin receiving their AYA Neo devices as soon as April.
The AYA Neo is basically what you’d get if you took the guts of a pretty decent 2020-era laptop, stuffed then into a 7 inch tablet, and slapped game controllers on the sides.
In other words, it looks a bit like a Nintendo Switch, but the game controllers aren’t detachable, and under the hood is the beating heart of a full-fledged Windows computer including an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U “Renoir” processor with Radeon Vega 6 graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB PCIe NVMe solid state drive.
It’s expected to sell for $699 and up during crowdfunding, which makes it cheaper than its closest competitors, the GPD Win 3 ($799 and up during crowdfunding) and One Netbook One Gx1 Pro ($1400 and up).
Here’s an overview of the AYA Neo’s specs:
|Display||7 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS LCD|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 6-core/6-thread|
|GPU||AMD Radeon Vega 6|
|RAM||16GB DDR4-4266 LPDDR4X|
|Storage||512GB WD SN550 PCIe NVMe (M.2 2280)|
|Power||12,300 mAh, 47 Whr battery|
65 W fast charging
|USB Ports||3 x USB-C|
2 x 8mm copper heat pipes
|Other||Built-in game controllers|
|Dimensions||255mm x 106mm x 20mm|
|Weight||650 grams (~1.4 pounds)|
Update: For a sense of how the AYA Neo handles some recent AAA games, check out this video from YouTuber Taki Udon:
While the keyboard on the Win 3 leaves much to be desired, I find it funny everyone seems to be judging it based on the one aspect you’re likely to rarely, if ever use; the keyboard.
Capacitive keyboards like in the Win 3 are the same thing as a on-screen keyboard via a capacitive touchscreen (only without auto-correct generally). Personally I hate on-screen & capacitive keyboards in general, hate typing on my smart phone and would likely hate typing on the Win 3’s keyboard.
That being said it seems rather silly to poo on the Win 3 just because of it’s keyboard design. If the keyboard is your make or break feature then you don’t understand the market devices like the NEO & Win 3 are targeting and should be shopping for something like a laptop instead.
There is a reason I own a pile of Logitech K400 keyboards and would likely use that with something like the Win 3 & NEO regardless of the keyboard it comes with. Not to mention there are plenty of small form-factor bluetooth keyboards you can also get to pair with devices like these.
Given that; the keyboard is pretty much something you should be ignoring and not even factoring into the worth of these devices. These devices are for gaming not typing and writing. And if you intend to type and write a lot using devices like these you’ll be much better off with a portable external keyboard as I mentioned. Company bluetooth keyboards are great because you can carry one in your pocket and use it with the Win 3 or NEO or smart-phone or tablet, etc.
Hands down the Win 3 spanks the NEO performance wise, yet the gaming ergonomics and screen size on the NEO add considerable value and make it more attractive in many ways. Truth be told I’ll probably buy both as the Win 3 can also double as a desktop system when docked (which is another feature that adds tremendous value to the Win 3) yet I prefer the larger screen size and ergonomics of the NEO if I had to pick one over the other. That being said there are several games I enjoy which would clearly run much better on the Win 3’s hardware.
*compact bluetooth keyboards
Aya Neo: Best gaming handheld first form factor.
OneGx1 Pro: Good gaming + PC form factor.
Win 2: Best handheld gaming + handheld UMPC form factor.
Win 3: Trash
The Win 3’s form factor wouldn’t look too be such a failure if neither the Win 2 (better keyboard) nor the Aya Neo (better gaming-centric design) existed.
The Win 3 is like the worse parts of the Win 2 and Aya Neo combined but a little bit better performance.
If they just used one of those keyboards commonly used on (older) cell phones, it could have been fine. At least you can feel what button you pressed and when you pressed it.
Maybe they could have stood to re examine totally copying the look and shape of that Viao too, but I don’t think a slide up screen that exposes a keyboard is an intrinsically bad idea.
I agree. A slider form factor isn’t bad by itself but GPD’s execution of it is really bad where both gaming and PC tasks were compromised. I’m surprised GPD looked at their prototype and thought that it’s ready for production.
If the Win 2, OneGx1 Pro and Aya Neo didn’t exist, I would have considered the Win 3 to be a decent device. However, those other devices do exist and I consider the Win 3 a failure in comparison.
It feels like the CEO, CTO or some other high level person made some bad design decisions at GPD and everyone else were too scared to say the person was wrong so now they have the worst offering.
Gaming form factor-wise, it seems the Aya Neo is the clear winner over the Win 3.
GPD tries to make excuses with the near useless capacitive keyboard because it’s a “gaming handheld first” device but then they put the right stick in the wrong spot and made the screen smaller while making the device larger than the Win 2. So even the gaming experience on the Win 3 is worse than the Win 2 and Aya Neo.
For me though, I’m opting to either stay with the superior form factor Win 2 or pay nearly 2x for the OneGx1 Pro. Too bad the Win Max line just goes past my size threshold.
I agree. Gaming experience wise, the Aya Neo has a better form factor, control placement and screen size over the Win 3 in a similar overall size.
For a UMPC experience, the Win 2 is the better form factor. The Win 3’s keyboard might as well not exist since it’s no better than an onscreen keyboard.
Given that the Win 3’s keyboard ended up being worse than an onscreen keyboard, I believe the Aya Neo’s form factor is better than the Win 3’s from a gaming handheld point-of-view.
GPD’s compromises on the Win 3 makes it worse both in terms of gaming handheld and PC experiences than the Win 2.
It’s funny that GPD is trying to use “it’s a gaming handheld first” as an excuse to hide their lack of skill/engineering on the Win 3 because it doesn’t explain why both gaming and PC (ie. typing this comment) experiences are bad compared to the Win 2.
For a gaming only experience, the Aya Neo is the better form factor over the Win 3.
Nah, the typing experience on the GPD Win 3 is the same as a touchscreen, or maybe a little bit better. It’s good enough to type in Usernames, Passwords, Commands, or short-paragraphs.
I would say the GPD Win 3 is still superior, since when you do type, you don’t cover the screen with the keyboard/your hands. I get what they were going for. It’s a great design, and good implementation. They couldn’t do a chiclet-keyboard and used a flat touchscreen instead. If they went with a chiclet qwerty they may had to scrap the screen’s slide mechanism, and opted for a fold-style which is significantly more thick.
All this compromises were done in the name of making the device as useful as possible while at the smallest profile. They’ve succeeded. However, I still think people will only use them in their home, or store it in a backpack when travelling. Maybe it can fit in the inside pocket of a jacket. Even the GPD Win 2, heck the smallest GPD Win 1 and GPD XD, they aren’t really pocketable. The only true pocketable gaming console I know is the: Razer Phone 2, with the detachable JungleCat side controllers, playing an open-world game/emulation.
No, it really is worse than a touchscreen. It’s not just that there’s no tactile feedback, it’s also inaccurate, making it hard to know if the correct keypress has registered until you look at the screen, for instances and see a 2 instead of an @. There’s no autocorrect or suggestions to make things easier Typing on the Win 3 is kind of a nightmare.
Also, the stated reason for using a capacitive have nothing to do with the slider – GPD says it made the keyboard thinner and thus left more room for a slightly larger battery.
I was just going off from the first impressions from The Phawx. I expected there to be no autocorrect, but if its that bad that EVEN you Brad is complaining about it… must be horrible.
They either needed to make the internals thinner to accompany a chiclet keyboard. Or keep it at the same thickness, and instead bump-out the screen (which would’ve meant no Sliding Mechanism).
As I alluded to earlier, all this over-engineering to make the device smaller and smaller, is futile. They can make it as small as possible, but it won’t change the real-world use case: it is NOT pocketable. It is suitable for your backyard/lounging around the house, in which case, why bother. Or if taking it out, it’ll need to be stowed in a backpack. I see no difference in size when it comes to the GPD Win3, AYA Neo, OneGX1 Pro…. they’re all “backpack devices”.
The Razer Phone 2, that is pocketable. The JungleCat two joycons can be put into another pocket. That is a true pocketable console. I think anything larger than a DS Lite isn’t really pocketable anymore. Sadly, everything has gone oversized in recent years, first the PS Vita, then The Switch, and now most phones.
I mean, you could say it is cargo pants-size pocketable? 😉 All of us Liliputers hate to admit it but we have ’em. We just don’t want others to know about it.
On Discord, The Phawx, pretty much says the Win 3’s capacitive keyboard is really realy really bad. The only thing he found it useful for is if you need to enter Ctrl+Alt-Delete or similar key combinations when Windows/games hang/crash. The Aya Neo has dedicated keys + a key to force the onscreen keyboard to show up.
The Phawx also said he “prefers the Win 2” over the Win 3. The only thing the Win 3 has going for it is that you can post slightly higher benchmarks than the Aya/OneGx1 Pro for Internet points.
The Phawx even said he wonders if people actually listen to what he says on his videos questioning why people think he actually likes the Win 3. I understand why though. He seems to try to choose words to not anger GPD resulting in confusion of what he’s actually saying.
From what I’ve seen and the responses of several reviewers so far is that the typing experience on the Win 3 is worse than the onscreen keyboard.
The Win 3’s capacitive keyboard looks to be almost pointless. Really wonder what GPD was thinking here. They made both gaming and PC ue cases worse on the Win 3.
Looking at videos, I wouldn’t even type passwords on the Win 3’s keyboard. Typos galore and login errors galore.
GPD really failed on the form factor execution on the Win 3. The only thing going for it at this point is it’s slightly more performant than the Aya Neo. Gaming experience-wise, the Aya is the clear winner.
Early reviews seem pretty good though I hesitate given the price. IMO we need to get back to the days of inexpensive UMPCs. These new systems are great but I’d really like an AMD 6 or 8 core APU in a 10 or 11 inch form factor for 700 or less.
Pass on the 10/11 inch screens.
I’m looking for 7″ or smaller screened UMPCs.
I guess, everyone has a preference. I used an 11 inch netbook daily between 2009 and 2015. Anything smaller than 10 inch would not have been useful for data anaysis and programming.
I didn’t know there were a lack of 10″/11″ netbooks. Although, I’m not really interested in them.
For consumer use, I’d rather get a UMPC with a 5″-6″ screen. For work, I’d rather have a 13+” screen when away from the desk. Anything smaller wouldn’t be very useful for me even when I’m running compute intensive tasks remotely via a development server.
I guess I could rephrase that to say a lack of AMD powered 10/11 inch UMPCs. There are plenty of Intel powered ones, mostly overpriced for the hardware you get, but I try not to give Apple or Intel money.
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