The AYA Neo Air Plus handheld gaming PC comes with AMD Renoir, Mendocino or Intel Alder Lake-U chips

The AYA Neo Air Plus is a handheld gaming PC designed to be a budget alternative to more expensive models like the AYA Neo 2, AYA Neo Geek, GPD Win 4 and ONEXPLAYER 2. But that doesn’t mean some models won’t pack a lot of horsepower.

When AYA first announced plans for the Air Plus series last year, the company said there would be models available with AMD Mendocino and 12th-generation Intel Core i3 chips with prices starting at under $300. But now the company says it will also be a model with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor, which offers the same level of performance as more expensive models in a more compact and affordable package … although the prices for this new model have not been revealed yet.

What we do know is that the Mendocino and Intel models are still in the works. It appears that AYA may have scrapped plans for a model with an Intel Pentium 8505 processor, so the Intel-only model will likely have a Core i3-1215U chip, although details are unclear for everyone variants have yet to be revealed.

And now that AMD’s Mendocino lineup is official, we finally know which the chip AYA plans to use in that model – the Ryzen 5 7520U processor.

By combining up to four Zen 2 CPU cores with two RDNA 2 graphics, Mendocino processors are able to provide decent all-around performance for affordable mobile computers. In my testing, CPU performance is on par with what you’d expect from a mid-range laptop from a few years ago, while graphics performance is… underwhelming. It should be fine for some retro games or less demanding titles, but you might want something more powerful to play current AAA games.

And this is where the Ryzen 7 6800U model can come into play. The chip is about a year old at this point, but it’s a pretty powerful mobile processor with 8 Zen 3+ CPU cores and 12 RDNA 2 graphics cores, giving it more performance than you’d get from the custom AMD chip driving it Valve’s Steam Deck.

AYA says this newly announced version of the AYA Neo Air Plus will have a slightly larger 6-inch FHD display, a USB4 port, microSD card reader and 46.2 Wh battery. And the Ryzen 7 6800U processor will be able to use up to 28 watts when you want to prioritize performance over battery life.

AYA also promises hall sensors for the joysticks and shoulder release buttons, RGB lighting under the joysticks and a fingerprint sensor for biometric security.

There’s still no word on how much the new version of the AYA Neo Air Plus will cost (or if prices have changed for the cheaper models since they were announced last year), but AYA says it has begun testing prototypes and plans to start mass production of AYA Neo Air Plus in February. So it should go on sale in the next few months.

For now, here are some of the specs that have been confirmed for each member of the family:

AYA Neo Air Plus (Renoir) AYA Neo Air Plus (Mendocino) AYA Neo Air Plus (Intel)
Show 6 inches
1920 x 1080 pixels
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
8 x Zen 3+ CPU cores / 16 threads
4.7 GHz max frequency
15 – 28W TDP
AMD Ryzen 5 7520U
4 x Zen 2 CPU cores / 8 threads
4.3 GHz max frequency
Intel Core i3-1215U
2 P cores / 4 E cores
8 threads
4.4 GHz max frequency
Graphics AMD Radeon 680M
12 x RDNA 2 cores
Up to 2.2 GHz
AMD Radeon 610M
2 x RDNA 2 cores
Up to 1.9 GHz
Intel UHD for 12th generation
64 execution units
Up to 1.1 GHz
Storage M.2 2280 SSD
Harbors 1 x USB4
1 x microSD card reader
1 x 3.5mm audio
Battery 46.2 Wh ?
OS support Windows
AYA Neo OS (Linux)
Steam OS (Linux)

via AYANEO (YouTube) and /r/ayaneo (Reddit)

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