Handheld gaming PC maker AYA is taking pre-orders for its first systems with AMD Ryzen 7 7840U processors through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
The new AYA Neo 2S starts at $949 during crowdfunding, while the AYA Neo Geek 1S starts at $700. Both models have 7 inch displays sandwiched between game controllers. And both are powered by AMD’s new, which AYA says delivers significant performance and power consumption improvements over the Ryzen 7 6800U processor the company used in the original AYA Neo 2 and AYA Neo Geek handhelds when they launched in 2022.
AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840U chip is an 8-core, 16-thread processor with Zen 4 CPU cores and Radeon 780M graphics with 12 RDNA 3 compute units. Designed for laptops and mini PCs, the processor has a TDP range of around 15 to 30 watts, and according to AYA it delivers:
- 20% better performance in high-power scenarios
- 40% better performance in lo-power scenarios
To put that another way, an AYA NEO handheld with this chip running at 15-watts offers the same level of performance as a previous-gen model with a Ryzen 7 6800U processor running at 20 watts, meaning you should get longer battery life at the same performance level. But you can also push the handheld further and get better performance at similar battery life.
The Ryzen 7 7840U processor is also a close relative of the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme chip that Asus has tapped for the Asus ROG Ally handheld gaming PC, which also sells for $700… and that’s the regular price for the Asus system, not a crowdfunding promotion.
That said, AYA offers many more options than Asus. The AYA Neo GEEK 1S, for example, features a 1280 x 800 pixel IPS LCD display and comes with 16GB or 32GB of RAM and 512GB or 2TB of storage. And the AYA Neo 2S has a 1920 x 1200 pixel display, 16GB to 64GB of RAM, 512GB to 4TB of storage, and a higher-quality game controller system, better motion sensors, and a few other features that help justify the premium price tag.
AYA also plans to offer a mini LED version of the AYA Neo 2S later this year, which will have a brighter screen with higher contrast as well as an Oculink port that allows you to connect an external GPU with higher data transfer speeds than the 40 Gbps enabled by the USB4 port on the normal Neo 2S and the Geek 1S.
Both of AYA’s new models feature LPDDR5X-7500 memory, an M.2 2280 slot for PCIe 4.0 solid state storage, a 50.25 Wh battery, support for WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, a fingerprint sensor in the power button, and a set of ports that include:
- 2 x USB4 Type-C (video out, data, or charging)
- 1 x USB 3.2 Type-C (data only)
- 1 x 3.5mm audio
- 1 x microSD card reader
The little computers have hall sensor joysticks and linear hall trigger buttons. And both feature a cooling system that includes three copper tubes, a copper sheet, a graphene patch, and a fan for active cooling.
The cheaper is slightly thicker and heavier, with the Geek 1S measuring 264.5 x 105.5 x 22.3mm and weighing 672 grams to the Neo 2S’s 264.5 x 105.5 x 21.5mm and 667 grams.
AYA Neo 2S
AYA Neo Geek 1S
If you’re wondering why AYA decided to slap an S on the name of two existing handhelds, it’s because the new models are physically very similar to their predecessors: AYA used the same molds. But the company figures the processor upgrade justified modifying the name to make it clear that these models bring a significant performance boost.
In a blog post, AYA says this will be the company’s strategy moving forward when it launches new handhelds that use the same design as a previous model, but which bring significant internal upgrades.
In fact, the new models are so much like their predecessors that AYA also plans to offer an upgrade service that will let you replace the mainboard of an AYA Neo 2 or Geek to effectively turn your 2022 computer into a 2023 S-series model. Pricing and availability for those upgrade kits should be announced after the crowdfunding campaign ends.
AYA says the Neo 2S should begin shipping to backers in June, 2023 when the Indiegogo campaign ends, while the Geek 1S should begin shipping in July. And while AYA claims that it’s the “first brand in the world to start mass production” of handhelds with Ryzen 7 7840U chips, the AOKZOE A1 Pro (with an 8 inch screen and the same processor) hit Indiegogo earlier this year and is also expected to begin shipping to backers in June.
I’ve added some of the key specs for the new handhelds to Liliputing’s handheld gaming PC comparison table, so if you’d like to see how these systems stack up against the competition, make sure to check it out.