AYA NEO announces new handheld gaming PC, the AYA NEO 2021 Pro

aya neo retro.jpg

While bigger players like Valve are entering the handheld gaming PC market with competitively-priced devices like the Steam Deck, it seems like smaller companies still want to be a viable alternative in this space. A few weeks after Valve announced its own handheld, AYA NEO came up with a new device of its own: the AYA NEO 2021 Pro. Their first device based on the AMD 4500U APU, which we previously reviewed, has been rebranded as the AYA NEO 2021. The China-based company released some information about its new handheld over the last weeks and we now have a better idea about its specs and pricing.

While it packs a similar look to its predecessor, the Pro 2021 model has upgraded internals on practically every front. It is based on the AMD Ryzen 7 4800U with an APU of 8 cores and 16 threads and a maximum frequency of 4.2GHz. It comes with 16 GB dual-channel LPDDR4X RAM at 4266MHz and an NVME M.2 SSD, available in 1T and 2T. The AYA NEO 2021 Pro features a 47Wh battery and with the new AYASpace software, users can quickly adjust TDP on-the-fly. For network connectivity, the devices comes with a built-in Bluetooth 5.0 module and a WiFi 6 module. The triggers are also been upgraded to analog ones and there are three color schemes for the console: Retro Power (which comes with a similar, retro-themed dock), dark star and light moon.

As for the dock, it is said to support up to 4K 60Hz Ultra HD and up to 10 Gbps data transfer. It also has up to 8 expansion ports and PD 1.4 fast charging support.

On the official AYA NEO website, the 1TB model of the AYA NEO 2021 Pro will sell for $1,315.00 (excluding shipping) while the price for the 2TB model has yet to be announced (it's not an option on the website either). It is expected to ship in mid-September.

docking station.JPG

Other themed accessories have also been announced like the mechanical keyboard, the GaN PD charger with 108W fast charging and a mini docking station. More details about these can be found on the official store page or the Indiegogo campaign's updates. However, pricing for these accessories haven't been announced yet.

accessories.jpg

Speaking of the Indiegogo campaign, an update from the company's CEO mentions that those who have backed the first generation of AYA NEO 2021 but haven't had their orders shipped yet can upgrade to the Pro version at an extra cost as shown below (more details in the campaign update):

upgrade price.jpg

While the AYA NEO 2021 and Pro versions are pricier than the Steam Deck, hopefully such competition can drive innovation in this space further and it's promising to see that the new management of AYA NEO to come forth with new products and software.

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Foxi4

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There is talk of Valve granting access for storage upgrade inside the steam deck, albeit with the very expensive 2230 form factor of nvme (2280 is the more common and larger size for SSD sticks right now). I don't know if this is confirmed currently or if Valve went back on what they said.
That would certainly resolve the storage issue - SD expansion is a little too slow for modern software.
 

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That would certainly resolve the storage issue - SD expansion is a little too slow for modern software.
Heck yeah, for modern AAA games that they purportedly will be able to play. I ended up dropping $5 for a shot at the 64GB model. I'm sure it will support steam link / remote play locally (it would be stupid not to), so I'm probably going to use it for that around the house while I load smaller indie games and emulators from SD, hopefully retroarch is fully released by that time. Eventually I'll save up for a 2230 drive, which hopefully also go down in price moving forward.
 

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Heck yeah, for modern AAA games that they purportedly will be able to play. I ended up dropping $5 for a shot at the 64GB model. I'm sure it will support steam link / remote play locally (it would be stupid not to), so I'm probably going to use it for that around the house while I load smaller indie games and emulators from SD, hopefully retroarch is fully released by that time. Eventually I'll save up for a 2230 drive, which hopefully also go down in price moving forward.
They'd better. I'm not sure if people realise this yet, but video games? They've gotten pretty big. Modern Warfare comes to mind - in excess of 200GB with all the patches and Warzone installed. GTA V? In excess of 70GB. The portable may very well have the brawn to push some AAA titles with "sensible" settings, but if the storage situation doesn't improve, the mileage of the device can be severely limited. With some luck the internal SSD can be cloned without issues, regardless of what Valve does - that would conceivably give you an upgrade path unless they artificially lock it out.
 

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Off Topic: What's the best Handled that emulate GBA&PS1 the is good and cheap?

If you have a decent phone the best option is to just get a decent BT controller and run emulators.

If it absolutely has to be a dedicated device, Anbernic RG351P or Retroid Pocket 2 are the cheapest devices that can serviceably run PS1 games . They are around $80. There are cheaper devices but I can't recommend them.
 
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They'd better. I'm not sure if people realise this yet, but video games? They've gotten pretty big.

There's no pressure to optimize anything or compress assets anymore. Look at ARK and how crappy that game is in terms of file size and game mechanics. They just pushed out more and more new stuff and don't fix any old problems because modern GPUs and hard drives can support the pipeline and people keep buying and playing it. Companies know they can do the bare minimum and people would buy a literal turd if it had their franchise name on it.
 

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There's no pressure to optimize anything or compress assets anymore. Look at ARK and how crappy that game is in terms of file size and game mechanics. They just pushed out more and more new stuff and don't fix any old problems because modern GPUs and hard drives can support the pipeline and people keep buying and playing it. Companies know they can do the bare minimum and people would buy a literal turd if it had their franchise name on it.
Using compression is always less than ideal - the more "raw" the data is the less processing it requires before you can display it. If there are no hardware constraints, there's really no point in wasting processing power. The result is that the only compression that does get used is light and tends to be limited to algorithms that are baked into modern chips. Sadly, since the Steam Deck is a PC, it will have to operate under the exact same conditions as a desktop - I doubt a whole lot of developers will release games that are specifically optimised for a niche device, especially given Valve's spotty record of supporting their hardware.
 

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if you can emulate the switch on the steam deck then nintendo would have a real problem on their hands.
 

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if you can emulate the switch on the steam deck then nintendo would have a real problem on their hands.
There's no doubt that the Steam Deck can emulate Switch games. The real question is how well it can emulate and run Switch games, especially bigger ones. To which I doubt it'll run best selling Switch titles like Mario Odyssey at full speeds and without other problems.

I also doubt the Steam Deck will make much of a difference on Nintendo even if it could emulate Switch games well (or in the gaming market in general). It still feels like a niche thing for the PC gaming space and not to a casual gaming audience, imo.
 
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There's no doubt that the Steam Deck can emulate Switch games. The real question is how well it can emulate and run Switch games, especially bigger ones. To which I doubt it'll run best selling Switch titles like Mario Odyssey at full speeds and without other problems.

I also doubt the Steam Deck will make much of a difference on Nintendo even if it could emulate Switch games well (or in the gaming market in general). It still feels like a niche thing for the PC gaming space and not to a casual gaming audience, imo.
This is a stretch but maybe emulation of the Switch is something Valve took into account when deciding the hardware.. and by that I mean they could've picked a just low enough spec that made the emulation less than satisfactory just to ward off any controversy. Highly unlikely yes, but interesting to think about.
 
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