The maker of the Orange Pi line of single-board computers plan to branch out into the growing handheld gaming PC space.

According to several reports from Chinese social media, the company is developing at least two handhelds powered by AMD Ryzen processors, as well as a lower-cost model with a Rockchip RK3588S processor that should still be good enough for mobile games, emulation, and cloud gaming.

The company’s most powerful handheld is expected to feature an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U processor, which is proving to be popular with handheld gaming PC makers. The 15-30 watt chip features 8 Zen 4 CPU cores, 12 RDNA 3 compute units.

It’s also basically the same chip as the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme used in the Asus ROG Ally (the key differences are that the Z1 Extreme lacks a dedicated AI accelerator and has some custom tuning to emphasize power efficiency).

Orange Pi’s top tier handheld is also expected to have 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and Windows software. While early reports on Chinese websites had suggested a price of 3,499 CNY (around $506) for this model, Orange Pi has reached out to let me know that final pricing hasn’t been determined yet, but odds are that it will be significantly higher.

For the sake of comparison, an Asus ROG Ally with similar specs sells for $700.

Orange Pi expects to officially launch this handheld in October.

The company also plans to offer two lower-cost models.

The first is basically another AMD-powered handheld, but instead of a Ryzen 7 7840U processor, this version will have 8 Zen 3+ CPU cores and 12 RDNA 2 graphics compute units.

The most affordable handheld will feature a Rockchip RK3588S processor, which is an ARM-based chip with 4 Cortex-A76 CPU cores, 4 Cortex-A55 cores, Mali-G610 MP4 graphics, and a neural processing unit with up to 6 TOPS of AI performance.

According to new pictures and details posted by NITTRX, the ARM-powered handheld will feature a more compact design, measuring 234 x 107 x 13.9mm, while versions with AMD chips will be a bit chunkier at 259 x 107 x 19.9mm.

But in addition to a higher-performance processor and support for Windows, it looks like the models with AMD’s x86 chips will also feature Steam Deck-like trackpads that could theoretically make it easier to navigate Windows or play games that are designed for mouse input.

The ARM-powered model, meanwhile, will cut costs by omitting some features like the LED lights under the joysticks

One will have an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor with Zen 3+ CPU cores and RDNA 2 graphics, while the other is the aforementioned RK3588S model, which is expected to be the most affordable of the bunch.

There are no details yet about screen size, resolution, or other key specs. But a few pictures of the upcoming handhelds provide some additional details.

They’re expected to feature dual analog sticks, a D-Pad, action buttons, and shoulder triggers, as well as two more buttons on the back of the system. You can also see Start and Select buttons as well as what appear to be menu and recent apps or app switcher buttons.

Ports include a 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card reader, and three USB ports including at least one USB-C port. There’s also a fan for active cooling, an ambient light sensor, a mic, and a rear-facing camera, which is unusual to find on this sort of device.

via NITTRX, Retrododo, neon bunny (bilbilli), /r/SBCGaming, and Taki Udon (YouTube)

This article was first published May 3, 2023 and most recently updated July 6, 2023 with details about the physical dimensions and updated design for the ARM and x86 handhelds, which differs significantly from the original images that had been making the rounds, which are shown below.

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  1. I’ll wait for the reviews, but for that price I’m willing to experiment even if it turns out that only the SoC and mainboard is usable to an extent, it would still be a steal for a project.

  2. The only way for such a low price with the Ryzen handheld is if they want to AMD and said: “We will buy all your batches of chips that failed testing that were heading to the trash bin anyways. There is no quality control in China and we have already proven we know how to part fools from their money as evidenced with our Pi clones.”

    1. I have to say their Pi clones are not half bad. I’ve been using them for many years now for 3D printer automation without a hiccup and in some restaurants as a headless music server. I’ve been intrigued by their Pi400 clone too but found it too expensive without a clear idea where to put it.

  3. At roughly same size and price, would I prefer:

    ARM or x86
    RockChip 3588 or AMD aerith apu
    AndroidOS or LinuxOS
    Unknown seller vs Popular vendor

    … the choice doesn’t seem difficult at all. These non-pocket ARM devices at above USD $300 don’t have a place in the market. There’s the tiny Anbernic, Miyoo, and Retroid devices. Then there’s all the Portable x86 Devices. Really no inbetween.

  4. That RK3588S model is very interesting. This would be significantly more powerful than the AYN Odin, which is probably the top performing Android handheld (aside from that weird Razer Edge tablet thing).

    The RK3588S has an Antutu score almost 60% higher than the Snapdragon 845 in the Odin.

    I read a translation of this announcement on Reddit that says they are planning for an October launch.