The “world’s first 7nm gaming handheld” Aya Neo Air and the Aya Neo Air Pro model finally go on sale. With this, the company from China blows the frontal attack from Valve’s Steam Deck. At a press event, details about the gaming handheld have now been revealed.
Aya Neo Air and Neo Air Pro launch
The powerful Next Pro handheld for $1,665 will be followed by a cheaper model from manufacturer Aya. Or more precisely, two models, because the Aya Neo Air is also accompanied by a Pro variant. All new variants are finally supposed to make it to Europe.
According to a report from Liliputing, the Aya Neo Air relies on an AMD Ryzen 5 5060U processor along with a Radeon Vega graphics unit (Vega 7 on the Air, Vega 8 on the Air Pro), which runs at 12 watts on the Air and 18 watts on the Air Pro. A Ryzen 7 5825U with eight cores is also optionally available in the Aya Neo Air Pro top model.
Offered are optionally 8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB of working memory, as well as 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB or even 2 TB of system storage, which is achieved via an M.2 2280 SSD slot.
The base model uses a mere 28 Wh battery, which should only last for just under an hour in computationally intensive games (the open-world racing game Forza Horizon 5 and the role-playing game The Witcher 3 are mentioned as examples). Less hardware-hungry games, such as Dead Cells, should last up to two and a half hours.
The Pro version at least has 38 watt hours. The manufacturer states 89 minutes for Forza Horizon 5 and 3.25 hours for Dead Cells.
AMOLED screen and many features
The Aya Neo Air and Neo Air Pro both rely on a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen that resolves in Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) and reaches a maximum brightness of 350 nits. Additionally, both handheld models offer Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 for wireless connectivity.
A fingerprint scanner is also offered, which has only been reduced in the cheapest model. All models also have a USB-C port, a microSD card reader, a 3.5 mm AUX port and RGB lighting for the two analog sticks. A docking station is also optionally available. It expands the handheld by 1x HDMI, 1x Ethernet, 2x USB-C and 2x USB-A.
There are also differences in weight and dimensions between the models. The Aya Neo Air weighs at least 395 grams. The Aya Neo Air Pro variants weigh 450 grams. All handhelds are 224 mm wide, 89.5 mm high and differ in terms of depth, which is probably mainly due to the installed battery.
Offered primarily in a white, black and pink color scheme, there is also a “Little Yellow Duck” limited edition of Air and Air Pro. AYA Neo OS based on Linux is used as the operating system. However, there are apparently also supposed to be optional variants with SteamOS and even Windows.
Favorable Aya Neo Air Plus is also coming
With the Aya Neo Air Plus, the two models above also get a cheaper sibling that uses AMD’s mid-range Mendocino CPU. It relies on a 64-bit interface and 128 shader units, but is manufactured in the 6nm process and should thus work a bit more energy-efficiently.
Otherwise, there’s a 6-inch Full HD display in the model, which apparently doesn’t rely on AMOLED technology. Storage is via microSD card or via the included M.2 SSD slot.
Prices and availability
The Aya Neo Air gaming handheld is expected to be available worldwide in August 2022. In China, pre-orders are already being accepted. It starts at an MSRP of $499 as an early-bird offer, or regular $549 for the handheld with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB ROM.
The Neo Air with 16 GB / 256 GB is priced at 569 US dollars (Early Bird) or 629 US dollars regular. The Pro model launches a month later, in September 2022, starting at $599 (Early Bird) or $649 (regular) with Ryzen 5, 16 GB RAM and 512 GB ROM.
The upgrade to Ryzen 7 5825U is then already 899 USD or 999 USD regular, while the top model with 32 GB RAM and 2 TB system storage costs 1,299 USD or 1,399 USD.
The Aya Neo Air Plus, on the other hand, will start at a much lower price of $290 and thus compete directly with Valve’s Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch, at least in terms of price.