The maker of the Orange Pi line of single-board computers may be branching out into the growing handheld gaming PC space.
Chinese media reports that the company is developing at least two models with AMD chips that would be able to handle PC gaming as well as a lower-price model with a Rockchip RK3588S processor that should be a good option for mobile games, emulation, or cloud gaming.
The most powerful model is said to be a system with an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U processor, 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.
That pricing would be extremely competitive if – an Asus ROG Ally model with similar specs is expected to sell for $700. But we’ll probably have to wait a while to find out the actual price: the Orange Pi handheld is expected to launch in October.
The company also plans to offer several lower-cost models.
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 Retrododo, neon bunny (bilbilli), /r/SBCGaming, and Taki Udon (YouTube)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.