Handheld gaming PC maker AYA is expanding its product lineup. This month the company plans to launch the thin and light AYA Neo Air with an OLED display and a lower-than-usual price tag. Then the AYA Neo 2 with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor and RDNA 2 graphics is coming later this year.
The company is also teasing some other upcoming products including its first handheld with a keyboard. Meet the AYA Neo Slide.
While pricing and availability haven’t been announced yet, here’s what we know about the AYA Neo Slide so far:
- It has an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor with Radeon 680M graphics
- The 6 inch, 1080p display slides up to reveal a keyboard
- The keyboard feature RGB backlighting
AYA says the slider is inspired by classic Windows handhelds (like the OQO and Sony Vaio UX series) as well as mobile phones with slider mechanisms that hide keyboards or even game controllers.
A more recent comparison is likely the GPD Win 3, another handheld gaming PC with a slide-up display and a built-in keyboard (although the Win 3 disappointingly has a capacitive touch keyboard that’s not particularly responsive or easy to type on), but GPD and AYA have a habit of not directly mentioning one another by name.
Update 6/24/2022: AYA showed off a prototypes of the Slide during a recent livestream, giving us a better look at the handheld’s size and design:
During another press event where AYA unveiled the AYA Neo Slide, the company explained that it will be a premium device that falls into a fourth product category for AYA products, which now include “mainline,” “NEXT,” “Air” and “Slide” series devices.
If you’re wondering how the lineup looks in terms of pricing, the AYA Neo Air will be an entry-level device, while the AYA Neo 2 and AYA Neo Slide are flagships with higher performance and higher price tags.
While handheld gaming PCs have been around for a few years at this point, the launch of Valve’s Steam Deck has shaken things up quite a bit by offering best-in-class performance at a much lower price point than any similar devices from AYA, GPD, or One Netbook to date. But devices like the upcoming AYA Neo 2 and AYA Neo Slide could shake things up yet again by offering better-than-Steam Deck performance to help justify premium price tags.
That’s because while the Ryzen 7 6800U processor features a GPU based on the same RDNA 2 architecture as the chip used in Valve’s handheld, the Ryzen 7 6800U’s integrated GPU has more compute cores and support for higher graphics frequencies. It should also have an even bigger advantage in CPU performance since it has twice as many CPU cores and threads and they’re based on the newer Zen 3+ architecture.
Here’s how the Ryzen 7 6800U processor AYA selected for the AYA Neo Slide and Neo 2 stacks up against the custom AMD chip used in the Steam Deck processor:
|Ryzen 7 6800U||Steam Deck APU|
|CPU architecture||Zen 3+||Zen 2|
|CPU cores / threads||8 / 16||4 / 8|
|CPU base / boost freq||2.7 GHz / 4.7 GHz||2.4 GHz / 3.5 GHz|
|GPU architecture||RDNA 2||RDNA 2|
|GPU compute units||12||8|
|GPU max freq||2.2 GHz||1.6 GHz|
AYA has also teased a few other upcoming hardware and software announcements.
The company is developing a version of its AYA Space game launcher that can be used on non-AYA hardware. It’ll be called AYA Space Lite, but there’s no ETA on when it will be available yet.
And AYA is also planning to launch new hardware in the future that’s not designed for handheld gaming, although it’s unclear if that means the company is working on desktop PCs, laptops, accessories, or something else altogether.