The Orange Pi Neo is an upcoming handheld gaming PC with some of the features we’ve come to expect in this space. It has a 7 inch FHD+ display with a 120 Hz refresh rate and it will be available with a choice of AMD Ryzen 7 7840U or Ryzen 7 8840U processor options.

But it’s unusual in a few ways. Instead of Windows, it’s expected to ship with a handheld-friendly version of Manjaro Linux. It has Steam Deck-like touchpads for navigation (as well as the usual game controllers). And it will be competitively priced: the company behind the Orange Pi Neo have announced that it will sell for $499 and up.

The starting price is for a model with a Ryzen 7 7840U processor featuring 8 Zen 4 CPU cores and Radeon 780M integrated graphics with 12 RDNA 3 computer units.

Models with Ryzen 7 8840U chips start at $599. On the one hand, this chip doesn’t look much better on paper, as the only difference is that it has a higher-performance neural processing unit for enhanced AI features. But after evaluating handhelds with the two chips, The Phawx has noted that the Ryzen 7 8840U actually does appear to deliver a modest boost in performance.

Orange Pi Neo specs
Display7 inches
1920 x 1200 pixels
120 Hz
500 nits
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 7 7840U
8 Zen 4 CPU cores / 16 threads
3.3 GHz – 5.1 GHz
15 – 30W TDP
GraphicsAMD Radeon 780M
12 RDNA 3 GPU cores
Up to 2.7 GHz
RAM16GB or 32GB
LPDDR5-6400
Dual channel
Storage512GB – 2TB
PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
M.2 2280
OSManjaro Linux
(Other operating systems TBD?)
Ports2 x USB4
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x microSD
WirelessWiFi 6E
BT 5.3
InputDual Touchpads
Dual Analog Sticks (RGB backlit)
D-Pad
X, Y, A, B buttons
Shoulder triggers
Hall sensors
Dual 6-axis gyroscope
AudioStereo 1W speakers
3.5mm audio jack
Battery50 Wh
Charging65W USB-C GaN power adapter
CoolingTurbo fan
Dual copper heat pipes
MaterialsMagnesium Alloy, plastic, and glass
ColorsBlack, white
Dimensions259 x 107 x 19.9mm

The Orange Pi Neo comes from a Chinese company that’s best known for making single-board computers designed to compete with the Raspberry Pi line of products. The Neo is the company’s first foray into consumer devices.

But it could be an interesting option in the emerging handheld gaming PC space, not only for its low cost and premium feature set, but also because of its flexibility. While Valve’s Steam Deck was the first major handheld gaming PC to ship with a Linux-based operating system, the version of SteamOS that runs on Valve’s handheld features tight integration with Valve’s Steam game store. You can run alternate game stores and other software (you can even install Windows) on a Steam Deck, but it’s a platform designed first and foremost for Steam users.

Orange Pi, meanwhile, has a history of shipping Linux-friendly hardware aimed at developers and hobbyists. While it looks like Manjaro Linux may be the default operating system, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see community support for other operating systems in the future, which could make it a platform for hobbyists willing to invest the time and energy into configuring a handheld to meet their needs.

Meanwhile, folks looking for something that just works out of the best might still be better off with a Steam Deck. While its processor, graphics, and display may not look quite as good on paper, Valve has put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that a huge number of recent PC games play well on that hardware.

The Orange Pi Neo is expected to begin shipping sometime in the first half of 2024.

via Handheld-HQ, @TakiUdon_, and @fkardame

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  1. I like that there is one more company in the space vouching for Linux here…

    See, here’s the thing that most people still ignores up to this day – the Steam Deck still isn’t available for the majority of people around the world. You can only buy it officially in what? A dozen countries or so?

    I’ve been mulling over this for a long time because while I do like alternatives that are coming out, it’s all Windows based. And I don’t want to deal with Windows anymore, so I was hoping to get a portable gaming device running Linux to start the transition. Steam Deck OLED is basically perfect for me, though I really wanted something with a fingerprint reader that works on Linux, as hard as this is to come by. This mostly doesn’t matter though as there are no other portable gaming devices with functional fingerprint reader after you install Linux on them.

    Now, getting one of those portable gaming devices is a huge ask… they are expensive as heck where I live, due to importation taxes and currency exchange rates, so it’s not a decision to make lightly.
    So I don’t really want to spend a lot on something that will come with no warranty and no way to tell if it’s going to work well. That part might be why I won’t go for this Orange Pi solution no matter how well it works, I want something I have local warranty and local support for.

    Which is why I’m currently looking at Asus ROG Ally… because it has an official presence locally, and despite not wanting to go through the entire process I’d likely just take the losses and install something like Chimera OS into it.

    It’s basically the option that gives me most of what I want right now, but local prices are still ridiculously insane. Raw numbers aren’t enough for people to understand how overpriced these things are here, so to give a better idea – the ROG Ally here in my country costs something close to half a year of minimum wage. Of course, this also applies to gaming laptops and rigs, because it has to do with importation taxes and currency exchange rates like I said… but it’s not the type of purchase you make lightly.

    So you end up in a situation like mine. I’m delaying the purchase as much as I can to see if Valve doesn’t decide to sell the Steam Deck officially here. But I’m running out of patience.
    I hope Orange Pi can pull this off though. The more device that comes natively with some Linux distro, the more the OS is incentivized to create compatibility in the space.
    And personal opinion – to me Windows 11 is where the OS needs to die. I will migrate to Linux before switching to it. I just don’t care about dealing with Microsoft shenanigans anymore. And this corporation is only giving signals it’ll continue it’s anti-consumer and privacy eroding crap further into the future, so it’s the end for me personally.

  2. I’m curious about the usage patterns of the built-in display on Steam Deck devices.
    I want to know if people who play games on these Steamdeck devices are most frequently using the TINY built-in display to play games and why?
    My own personal experience with playing games on small screens has been short-lived, typically lasting around 5 minutes before I become bored and uninstall the game.

    1. I knew a few people who only own SteamDeck or alike and nothing else (well, also smartphone), and they do indeed play on the device at home and on the go. They also carry charger so they can play on say, flights (there are sockets under the seats on most modern planes). Some were mostly playing mobile games or portables like DS before. I’d call them ‘light gamers’, who do not want to buy stationary console, PC or even laptop, but want to play from time to time something bigger than your average mobile game. Akin to people who buy tablets for media consumption and web browsing.

      1. Shattered Pixel Dungeon is the only small screen game I could tolerate playing long enough to complete the entire game. It is a well designed game that was probably exclusively for the mobile interface in mind. Most games worth playing don’t seem to be designed for small touch screens unless they are puzzle games. I guess I’m not enough of a gamer to understand the allure.

        1. The touch functionality is kinda tacked on, so if that’s your primary usage it’ll suck. I’ve heard of Steam Deck users not even knowing that the screen was touch capable until pointed out to them, using only the controller/trackpads the entire time. I know touch is really terrible in the Linux Desktop mode, but works with a Windows desktop on the same Deck so much better, so I wonder if there’s some sort of driver issue with it. Though, I haven’t tried touch in games that much either way.

    2. I mean, portable game consoles have been around for DECADES with millions upon millions of people buying them. And we’ve been playing on them when they had ACTUALLY tiny screens. When you hold a PC handheld, with their comparatively HUGE screens, in your hands at the actual arm lengths that are comfortable to play at they don’t seem all that “tiny”. I mean, different people enjoy different things and what works for some won’t work for others, like in this case for you. Doesn’t mean that this kind of gaming is at all bizarre or weird like you seem to be implying.

    3. You could try asking in the Steam Deck Reddit sub. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of answers.