Overall a very worthy contender for the best gaming handhelds, shared with the ONEXPLAYER 1S. Intel or AMD? take your pick!
User Review( votes)
- Excellent packaging and accessories inside
- Amazing 7″ display, just the right size
- AMD Ryzen 7 CPU which performs well
- Feels very comfortable to hold and play for extended periods of time
- High performance on games that use multiple cores & threads
- Performance is slower than Intel handhelds for games that do not use multiple cores & threads
Welcome to our AYA NEO 2021 Pro review of this Windows gaming handheld. We will be unboxing it and checking out its features, then running some system and gaming benchmarks to see its performance.
AYA NEO PRO review video
AYA NEO PRO Unboxing
Lets get started with the unboxing. The AYA NEO PRO model has a different colour scheme to the new AYA NEO box we showed last week.
Inside is a new overlay design which details all of the features and buttons.
Next we have the AYA NEO PRO which we will show in more detail shortly.
There’s a quick start guide. Under the packaging is a 60W PD charger. This can be used in conjunction with the included UK, Europe and SE Asia plug adaptors
There are two USB Type-C to USB Type-A adaptors. And last but not least there is a USB Type-C cable.
Overview of the AYA NEO PRO
The AYA NEO PRO measures 10.4 x 4.17 x 0.79 inches (25.5 x 10.6 x 2 cm) and weighs 648 grams. This is the dark star colour, it’s also available in light moon and the awesome AYA NEO PRO retro theme which we hope to show off soon!
It has a 7-inch H-IPS multitouch screen, and runs at 1280×800 resolution. On the left side are the clickable left analogue stick and classic D-Pad. Below are four buttons which are the rumble on/off, Home button, Start and Select.
On the right side are the four gaming buttons and right analogue stick. There are four shortcut buttons which are Desktop, Task Manager and ESCape. The fourth button is to toggle the on screen keyboard, or bring up Aya Space if you have it installed.
Along the top we have the Left and Right Shoulder and analogue Trigger buttons. There are the power and volume buttons, followed by the 3.5mm headphone jack. There are two USB Type-C ports, the second is a full port which allows you to connect peripherals such as a hub for video output to your TV or monitor.
On the bottom there is a second full USB Type-C port which can also be used to connect peripherals to such as a docking station.
AYA NEO 2021 Pro Technical Specifications
A brief look at the technical specifications for the AYA NEO PRO and also compare them with the AYA NEO 2021.
|AYA NEO 2021||AYA NEO PRO|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 4500U||AMD Ryzen 7 4800U|
|CORES / THREADS||6 / 6||8 / 16|
|BASE / MAX FREQUENCY||2.3Ghz / 4.0Ghz||1.8GHz / 4.2GHz|
|GPU||AMD Radeon Graphics with 6 cores up to 1.5GHz||MD Radeon Graphics with 8 cores up to 1.7GHz|
|RAM||16GB LPDDR4x @ 4266Mhz – Dual Channel||16GB LPDDR4x @ 4266Mhz – Dual Channel|
|STORAGE||1TB PCIe Gen 3.0 x 4 NVMe 1.3 & AHCI||1TB PCIe Gen 3.0 x 4 NVMe 1.3 & AHCI|
|CONNECTIVITY||WiFi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax) compatible|
|WiFi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax) compatible|
We continue our AYA NEO 2021 Pro review with some benchmarks. For all of the benchmarks we are running at 20W TDP instead of the default 15W. This is so we are able to compare it to other devices such as the ONEXPLAYER 1S handheld gaming PC which has a default 20W TDP.
As always, we start the benchmarks with PassMark. PassMark performs a series of tests that push the CPU, GPU, RAM and storage to their limits for maximum performance.
The AYA NEO Pro scores 5,054 which is in the higher band of benchmark scores we have run on devices. A promising sign for the performance!
Next we are running PCMark which tests your more day to day tasks from web browsing to video conferencing and working with image & video editing.
The AYA NEO 2021 Pro scores 5,343 which is within the area of the ONEXPLAYER 1S.
We move on to 3DMark which tests the CPU and GPU together for its graphics performance. Not only is graphics used for gaming, but also for tasks such as video decoding and image editing.
The Pro scores 1,404. It’s not the highest scores we have seen, but well above the average.
Forza Horizon 4
Moving on to the gaming benchmarks now. We start off with Forza Horizon 4, hopefully in our next video we will be trying Forza Horizon 5 as it is out by the time this video is live. We are running at 1280×720 on the default Ultra Settings.
The AYA NEO Pro reaches a very impressive 47 frames per second. That’s the highest in our Windows gaming consoles.
Street Fighter V
We are running the Street Fighter V benchmark at 1920×1080 on the maximum graphics settings.
At the end of the first match, the Pro gets an average of 32.5 frames per second. It’s not the highest score in the Windows handhelds category but definitely not the worst.
Final Fantasy XIV
Next we are benchmarking Final Fantasy XIV at 1920×1080 with the Highest Desktop settings.
The AYA NEO pro scores 3,372 with a slightly low rating. Reducing a few graphics settings should get the game up to speed just fine.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
For our final benchmark we are running Shadow of the Tomb Raider on the Lowest and Highest graphics settings to see the difference in performance.
The Lowest graphics benchmark scores 58 FPS average. And the Highest graphics benchmark scores an average 28 frames per second. This is a newer benchmark we are running so we can’t compare it to previous handhelds.
|AYA NEO 2021||ONEXPLAYER 1S||AYA NEO 2021 PRO|
|FORZA HORIZON 4||34 FPS||40 FPS||47 FPS|
|STREET FIGHTER V||26 FPS||44 FPS||32 FPS|
|FINAL FANTASY XIV||2,876||4,297||3,372|
|SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER||N/A||N/A||Lowest Graphics: 58 FPS|
Highest Graphics: 29 FPS
Naturally the AYA NEO Pro beats the AYA NEO by a fair margin, with 12.6% difference in performance on PassMark and 32% difference on Forza Horizon 4 for example.
Compared with the ONEXPLAYER 1S which came out overall top of the Intel 1195G7 based handhelds, it is a mix of who wins. In terms of performance, the Pro beats the 1S in PassMark with 23% difference, and Forza Horizon 4 with 16%.
But on other benchmarks it falls behind. On 3DMark there’s a 25% difference and Final Fantasy XIV there’s 25% difference.
It can depend on which games you are playing for whether or not you will get great performance. Generally games which take advantage of multiple cores and threads will see better performance on the AMD processor than it does on the Intel.
I am definitely torn between the AYA NEO 2021 Pro and ONEXPLAYER 1S as to which I would use every day. The Neo Pro’s size is just right in my opinion, it handles games well and feels great in your hands. Whereas the 1S screen is larger and more immersive, but it’s also physically larger and not as comfortable to hold or as portable in comparison.
Both have their wins and loses for system and gaming performance. I feel like for gaming, the 1S would overall be the better performing device for gaming in general. But for games that are optimised for multi cores and threads, the Aya would be the ideal choice.
I am still very much undecided between the two. In our next video and blog post I will be taking a closer look at gaming and higher end console emulation. There will be plenty of actual gameplay footage to get a better understanding of the differences in overall performance.
Where to buy the AYA NEO 2021 Pro
Aya Neo 2021 Pro handheld gaming PC announced
Originally posted by DaveC on: 23/08/2021
The Aya Neo 2021 Pro has officially been announced! We take a look at and discuss the system specs, new designs and improvements over the original Aya Neo AMD Windows gaming handheld.
Aya re expanding their range of gaming handhelds with a new model which features a faster processor as well as a new retro themed model and accessories.
Aya Neo 2021 Pro Technical Specifications
|Aya Neo 2021||Aya Neo 2021 Pro|
|CPU||Ryzen 5 4500U||Ryzen 7 4800U|
|SPEED||2.3Ghz Base, 4.0Ghz Max Boost||1.8GHz Base, 4.2GHz Max Boost|
|GPU||AMD Radeon Graphics||AMD Radeon Graphics|
As you can see from the technical specs, the Aya Neo 2021 Pro improves over the original in all areas with more CPU cores and threads and a higher maximum CPU speed. In addition, the Radeon Graphics also benefits from an upgrade with two additional cores and faster clock speed.
We can expect to see a considerable jump in performance between the two devices. Depending on the benchmarks this could be anything from 5% to 60%. For instance, we have seen from previous benchmarks that the percentages vary due to whether or not they take into account the extra number of cores and threads.
As an example, PassMark scores 11,220 on the 4500U and 17,277 on the 4800U, that’s around 54% difference. This type of benchmark tests all available cores and threads to give a more accurate test of performance.
In gaming performance, there may be less of a gap as some games are only designed to use a set number of cores, say six for instance. Above all, the 4800U will come out on top every time, although the gap may not be as large as 54%
The Aya Neo 2021 Pro will feature a 7 inch IPS Screen with a colour gamut of 78% NTSC. It has a peak brightness of 500 nits and a PPI of 215.
In terms of RAM and storage, the new Ryzen handheld will have the same 16GB LPDDR4x RAM. In our tests we found it to be very fast! The storage is available in 1TB and 2TB m.2 NVMe. This is a step up from the 512GB and 1TB offered on the original.
Following on from the original Aya Neo, it will feature at 47Wh large battery for long battery life. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are also present for fast data transfer.
Aya Neo Improvements
The new Aya Neo Pro continues to build on the improvements since the launch of their original Aya Neo Founder Edition.
New multi-level linear triggers, aka analogue triggers, are part of the new design. For instance, this gives gamers more control over their games like Forza Horizon 4 and Dirt 5. With analogue triggers it would be more similar to gently pressing an accelerator pedal, rather than foot slamming it.
The built-in vibration motor sees improvements with a new X-axis linear motor instead of a standard linear motor. This will bring a greater degree of vibration accuracy.
One of the complaints of the original was that the button prints faded very soon after using them. Aya has improved the way the buttons are manufactured, which should improve the durability of them.
The cooling system has also been improved with a new heat dissipating dual copper tube. This will provide faster and more stable heat removal.
Aya Neo Pro Design
The Aya Neo 2021 Pro will have the two colour schemes found on the original which is Dark Star and Light Moon.
In addition, a brand new design called ‘Retro Power’ has been announced. This is based on the U.S. model Super Nintendo style colour scheme. Featuring the famous light grey shell, purple gaming buttons, and darker grey additional buttons, it really does look great!
Aya has announced a retro themed charger. The GaN PD charger supports up to 108W fast charging, has three USB Type-C ports and one Type-A port. It has a retro inspired design and colour scheme representing the original Gameboy which we love!
The Aya Neo 2021 Pro dock also continues the retro theme with a Gameboy inspired gaming handheld design. The dock features a pressable D-Pad and gaming buttons. Although sadly they are only for show and not used as a mini controller.
And finally there is a retro themed mechanical keyboard. Aya mentioned that a non-engraved version will be initially released. This will be followed by side or positive engraved key caps in the future.
Aya Neo 2021 Pro Release Date
The Aya Neo 2021 Pro is expected to start shipping around mid September. We will have more details on exact dates very soon!
Aya Neo 2021 Pro Price
The Dark Star and Light Moon models will cost $1,215. The Retro Power gaming handheld PC model which comes with the retro themed docking station will cost $1,315. These prices are based on purchasing from China directly. As such you may incur higher postage costs and import taxes to your country.
The Aya Neo 2021 Pro is shaping up to be a big release in the gaming handheld market. It faces fierce competition from GPD Win 3 & Win MAX 2021, and the One Laptop ONEXPLAYER. There is definitely a sense that each company is trying to have the fastest handheld gaming PC on the market!