The makers of the AYA Neo and AYA Neo Next handheld gaming PCs have introduced a new model featuring an OLED display and a smaller, lighter design. The AYA Neo Air weighs less than 420 grams (15 ounces) and is just about the size of a Nintendo Switch Lite.
But unlike a Switch, this is a full-fledged Windows computer with an x86 processor and the ability to run PC games. The AYA Neo Air is also expected to be one of the most affordable devices from AYA to date. It’s set to launch in mid-May.
AYA hasn’t revealed which processor the little computer will use, but the company has indicated that it will be a Ryzen 5000 series chip, likely set to run at 12 watts in order to balance power consumption and heat generation. And since AYA has indicated that the price will be competitive, there’s good reason to think that it could be a Ryzen 3 chip with Radeon Vega graphics rather than a higher-performance Ryzen 5 or 7 series processor.
A handful of official images also reveal that the AYA Neo Air will have two USB-C ports, a headset jack, a microSD card reader, and RGB lighting effects under the analog sticks. Other features are expected to include an x-axis linear motor and the OLED display will support 107% NTSC color gamut. Independent reports suggest that the display will be a 5.5 or 6 inch, 1080p display.
De nouvelles images de l’@AYANEO__ Mini (en blanc). L’appareil fera moins de 500g, équipé d’un écran OLED 6″ 1080p et d’un processeur Ryzen 5xxx.
— Tudo Ben (@BenjaminLesueur) April 24, 2022
Chinese PC makers have cranked out a growing number of handheld gaming computers over the past few years. But with the arrival of Valve’s Steam Deck on the scene, their value proposition has become increasingly questionable. Sure, systems like the GPD Win, AYA Neo, and ONEXPLAYER line of devices may have more powerful processors or other bells and whistles that the Steam Deck lacks, but Valve’s handheld has an affordable $399 starting price and AMD RDNA 2 graphics, which gives it the ability to offer higher frame rates in most games.
But the Steam Deck is also a big and heavy device, weighing 1.5 pounds and measures 11.7″ x 4.6″ x 1.9″. That could make it uncomfortable to hold for extended gaming sessions when compared with a more compact device like the Nintendo Switch Lite, which measures 8.2″ x 3.6″ x 1.1″ and weighs about 10 ounces.
If AYA manages to truly deliver a full-fledged Windows PC that’s about the size of a Switch Lite while weighing less than a pound, then there might actually be a reason for some gamers to consider the company’s latest Steam Deck comparison… assuming the price is right.
AYA plans to officially launch the Neo Air in May, so we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out how much it’ll cost or exactly which processor will be powering the new model.
This article was originally published April 25, 2022 and most recently updated May 4, 2022.