A very good Ryzen gaming handheld, but not quite as good as the Intel handhelds which have higher performance.
User Review( votes)
- Perfect size for a handheld gaming PC
- 7″ display looks great
- Lightweight and portable
- Very comfortable to game on
- Responsive buttons
- Cheaper than the Intel i7-1195G7 handhelds
Not powerful compared to the Intel i7-1195G7 handheld PC’s
Today we are checking out the eagerly awaited revision of earlier this year’s AYA NEO. In our AYA NEO 2021 review we will be unboxing it, taking a look at the handheld gaming PC features and comparing the updates to the original model. Then we will run some system and gaming benchmarks to compare it with the latest i7-1195G7 GPD Win 3, Win MAX 2021 and ONEXPLAYER 1S models.
AYA NEO Review Video
AYA NEO Review
Let’s start with the unboxing. There’s some nice packaging to start with.
Underneath the information coverings, there is the AYA NEO which we will show in more detail shortly.
Lifting out the protective foam reveals a quick start guide. There is a USB Type-C cable. As standard it comes without a charger, but we will include a DroiX branded 65W charger.
And last but not least are two USB Type-C to USB Type-A converters which you can use to connect peripherals to such as a keyboard and mouse.
AYA NEO Overview
The AYA NEO measures 10.4 x 4.17 x 0.79 inches (25.5 x 10.6 x 2 cm) and weighs 648 grams.
It has a 7-inch H-IPS multitouch screen, it 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 toggle, 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, ESCape and to toggle the on screen keyboard.
Along the top we have the Left and Right Shoulder and 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.
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 Technical Specifications
Let’s take a brief look at the tech specs and differences between the original and new AYA NEO.
|PROCESSOR||AMD RYZEN 5 4500U|
|MAX. FREQUENCY||4.0 GHz|
|GPU||AMD RADEON GRAPHICS|
|MAX FREQUENCY||1500 Mhz|
|RAM||16GB LPDDR4x @ 4266Mhz – Dual Channel|
|STORAGE||1TB NVMe 1.3 & AHCI PCIe Gen 3.0 x 4|
AYA NEO Comparison
The immediate difference between the two windows handheld’s is the case. The plastic see through case has been replaced with a more premium finished moulded case that looks and feels far better. This is the Dark Star colour, and it is also available in Light Moon colour.
The trigger buttons have also received an upgrade. The original had digital triggers and these have been replaced with analogue triggers to keep with the standard. It is great for racing games for example, as it provides greater control.
The buttons have also received an upgrade, with improvements to the manufacturing process to ensure the button’s print does not fade over time. They also feel nicer when pressing compared to the original.
The cooling system has been improved with a new heat dissipating dual copper tube. This will provide faster and more stable heat removal.
AYA NEO System Benchmarks
We are running the benchmarks at the AYA NEO’s default TDP which is 15W. We will be showing the 20W scores further in our AYA NEO review in order to compare to the GPD and ONEXPLAYER which are default 20W.
PassMark performs a series of tests on the CPU, GPU, RAM and storage to push it to the maximum for an artificial performance rating under full load.
The AYA NEO scores 4,451 with around average scores on the tests and an above average on the storage speed. Overall they are good scores, above the i7 models.
PCMark performs a series of tests on overall usage for tasks such as web browsing, media consumption, image and video editing and much more. It provides a good gauge on overall day to day tasks.
The AYA NEO scores 4,861 with good scores across the tests, but not higher than the i7 based handhelds.
3DMark tests the CPU and GPU for 2D and 3D capabilities which gives us an indication of how it will perform for gaming.
The AYA NEO scores 1,110. It’s above average for similar CPU and GPU configurations and can go higher with some TDP increases.
AYA NEO Gaming Benchmarks
Continuing our AYA NEO review, we will check out some game benchmarks. We are running these benchmarks with the same settings as we have done with the Intel based handheld game console to ensure fairness.
Forza Horizon 4
We start with Forza Horizon 4 which is running at 720P, with the default Ultra settings and a target frame rate of 60 FPS.
The AYA NEO finishes the benchmark with a score of 34 FPS.
Final Fantasy XIV
Next we have the Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker benchmark running at 1920×1080 on the High Desktop quality settings.
The AYA NEO scores 2,876 with a rating of Slightly Low. You would still be able to play the game fine but using a small mix of lower settings than High for best performance.
Street Fighter V
We finish the gaming benchmarks with Street Fighter V running at 1920×1080 at Maximum quality settings.
At the end of the first match there is an average frames per second of 26. Will it be higher or lower than the Intel model handhelds?
AYA NEO Benchmark Results
Lets first have a reminder of the benchmark results. The scores for the default 15W TDP are shown, as well as the tests for 20W to keep more in line with the GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices.
|15W TDP||20W TDP|
|FORZA HORIZON 4||34 FPS||39 FPS|
|STREET FIGHTER V||26 FPS||27 FPS|
|FINAL FANTASY XIV||2876||3020|
There are some improvements using 20W TDP in games that take advantage of multicore CPUs, especially with Forza Horizon 4 seeing a very good increase in frames per second.
Now, let’s take a look at the benchmark results and compare them with the GPD Win 3, Max 2021 and ONEXPLAYER 1S. The scores in brackets are the 20W scores for the Win MAX 2021 and AYA NEO.
|GPD WIN 3||GPD WIN MAX 2021||ONEXPLAYER 1S||AYA NEO|
|PASSMARK||3878||3728 (3355)||3988||4451 (4454)|
|PCMARK||5384||5499 (4949)||5250||4861 (4922)|
|3DMARK||1588||1393 (1253)||1818||1110 (1130)|
|FORZA HORIZON 4||41 FPS||43 FPS (38.7 FPS)||40 FPS||34 FPS (39 FPS)|
|STREET FIGHTER V||35 FPS||40 FPS (3939)||44 FPS||26 FPS (27 FPS)|
|FINAL FANTASY XIV||4209||4377 (3939)||4297||2876 (3020)|
Comparing the scores, we can see that the ONEXPLAYER 1S still remains overall the best performing device at 20W.
In terms of performance versus price difference, compared to the ONEXPLAYER 1S, the AYA NEO at 15W performs as much as 30% slower for 8.5% less price.
So is the AYA NEO worth buying? While it is a good handheld in its price range, by spending a little more you could buy a more powerful Intel based handheld. Or if you wanted to sacrifice some battery power, you could simply increase the TDP to a higher amount to get more in that target performance.
Ignoring the performance differences, the AYA NEO itself is just the right size for a handheld gaming PC. It is larger than the GPD Win 3 and smaller than the ONEXPLAYER 1S. So it is not quite pocket portable, but far more convenient to carry around in a bag and take it out for gaming sessions while travelling, when compared to the ONEXPLAYER.
I like the AYA NEO a lot, it feels very comfortable to handle and play games on, And it is not too heavy when holding it unaided, for example resting on your lap or table. The screen size is also just right, large enough to be able to see smaller text. Aya have done a great job with the Neo and we can’t wait to see how the AYA NEO Pro model with faster processor performs.
Stay tuned for the second part of our AYA NEO review in which we will test some popular and recent Windows games and show how they perform.
Where to buy the AYA NEO
AYA NEO FAQ – Everything You Need To Know So Far
Originally Posted by benjamin on: 28/07/21
Welcome to our FAQ for the AYA NEO. Here we’ll compile everything you need to know about this up-and-coming ryzen handheld, where to buy it, and more!
What is the AYA NEO?
The motivation behind the AYA NEO is a simple. “The [Switch] is a cool device. What if there was a [Switch] that could run AAA games?”. Shortly thereafter, the AYA NEO came into existence.
The market for handheld gaming PCs that can play AAA games is still a relatively untapped one, so right now the space is ripe for innovation and new developments.
AYA NEO 2021 Technical Specifications
The full list of specs, taken from the kickstarter page, are as follows:
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 4500U|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon Graphics|
|Memory Type||LPDDR4x @ 4266Mhz|
|SSD Form Factor||M.2 2280|
|SSD Interface||PCIe Gen 3.0 (NVMe)|
|Wi-Fi||WiFi 6 (802.11/a/b/g/n/ac/ax)|
|Ports||3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C|
3.5mm Headphone Jack
|Speakers||2x Stereo Speakers|
7-inch 1280x800p H-IPS
|Leds||1x Charging Indicator|
|Game Controls||Clickable (L3/R3) analogue sticks|
D-Pad w/ independent buttons
Face buttons (A/B/X/Y)
Bumpers/Triggers (L1/R1, L2/R2)
|Dimensions||255mm x 106mm x 20mm approx.|
The AYA NEO is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U. A Ryzen series mobile processor that “officially” launched in June 2020 (but as with most “official” launches of hardware, it usually takes some time for them to worm their way into the market).
The 4500U is not a standard processor, but rather it is an “APU”. This is a fancy term for a combination of the graphical (Radeon) and general processing (Ryzen) technologies that AMD develop. Practically, this can be considered a more “efficient” version of integrated graphics.
There are also rumours that there is a Ryzen 7 4800U version in the works, but this is currently unconfirmed.
RAM & Storage
The AYA NEO features soldered-on LPDDR4x RAM clocking in at 4266MHz, highly suited for gaming applications. The high frequency enables quick loading and de-loading of assets during gameplay.
The NVMe SSD – while nothing new to the world of windows gaming handhelds – is still a welcome addition as well, as this boosts the load times across the device in general.
AYA NEO Peformance
How does the AYA NEO perform in games? Surprisingly well!
Thanks to the power of the power of AMD’s Ryzen line, coupled with the hyper-fast speeds of the LPDDR4X RAM, the AYA NEO is fully capable of playing various AAA games at stable frame-rates. Ranging from 30FPS to 60FPS on normal/high settings depending on the game.
It is also possible to adjust the TDP (Thermal Design Power i.e., power consumption) in order to squeeze more performance out of the device.
AYA NEO Battery Life
The AYA NEO will have around 2 to 5 hours of battery life, depending on the game it is being used to play (more intensive games will equal less battery life). You can also change the TDP of the AYA NEO to further adjust the battery life.
What chargers does the AYA NEO support?
The AYA NEO only supports chargers that can supply a minimum of 60 watts. Anything less than this will not work.
Docking & External Displays
The AYA NEO can be connected to various docks and USB hubs in order to expand its number of interfaces. By using the bottom-most port or the central-most top port, you can connect a USB-C to HDMI hub or dock, and enable HDMI connection to most modern TVs and monitors.
Despite two separate ports being capable of display output, it remains yet to be seen if the AYA NEO can support multiple displays.
AYA NEO’s Design
Like many of the [Switch] inspired gaming handhelds currently, the AYA NEO’s design is fundamentally no different from its contemporaries.
It features a large, vibrant touchscreen that is flanked on either side by physical controls. Two joysticks in total, and various face buttons that perform different functions (A/B/X/Y, D-Pad, Start/Select, etc.).
The 7-inch display is what sets it apart from its most immediate counterpart, the GPD Win 3. This does mean that the AYA NEO is slightly larger, but still ultimately very portable. It is also approximately 100g heavier.
Beyond that, the AYA NEO is relatively plain in design. The shell has small bumps beneath the triggers to aid ergonomics, but there are no real stand-out features beyond that.
Is there an AYA NEO Hardware Revision (AYA NEO 2021)?
The initial batch of AYA NEO units – which we’ll refer to as the “founders edition” – were shipped out in May 2021 to approximately 500 backers. After receiving feedback, AYA have decided to revise the specifications of the device and improve the overall user experience.
Some of the updates being made to the AYA NEO include the addition of analogue triggers, new speakers, a new cooling fan, and more. Note that all newly received AYA NEO units after these first 500 will be the upgraded version.
The first 500 backers are also eligible for an “AYA NEO Upgrade” program. Where they will be supplied with following items:
Backers can either have the above components sent to them for self-upgrading, or they can send their founders edition units back to AYA to upgrade the device. Unfortunately in both cases the backers will bear the shipping costs.
This revised version of the AYA NEO is known as the “AYA NEO 2021”.
Is the AYA NEO Pro real?
AYA recently announced the AYA NEO 2021 Pro. An upgrade to the AYA NEO 2021 that features a more powerful processor, as well as an (optional) larger SSD, and an (optional) limited edition colour scheme.
For the full details on the AYA NEO 2021 Pro, check out our blog post covering the AYA NEO 2021’s announcement. See below for a small table outlining the difference between the various AYA NEO models too:
AYA NEO 2021 vs 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|
When is the AYA NEO release date?
The most common question we receive (and one of many that prompted us to make this AYA NEO FAQ) is: “When is the AYA NEO being released?”
The AYA NEO was expected to finalize production and begin shipping in June 2021. Due to a combination of delays (due to the global squeeze on semiconductors at the time), and the “updated” model causing delays, the estimated release date is now currently towards the end of August 2021.
AYA NEO 2021 Pro Release Date
The AYA NEO 2021 Pro is expected to begin shipping at some point in September. We’ll update this section as more information becomes available.
What is the AYA NEO’s Price?
Currently, you can purchase the AYA NEO for £849.95 from DroiX. This will be shipped from the United Kingdom and features a 30-day returns window and a free 1 year warranty.
The device can also be purchased directly from AYA themselves for approximately $1000. However, this only features a 7 day returns window, and warranties will be need to sent to mainland China.
AYA NEO 2021 Pro Price
The AYA NEO 2021 Pro’s launch price is $1,215. There is also a model with a retro motif that comes with a custom docking station which can be purchased for $1,315.
Aya Neo Preview – What to expect on this handheld gaming PC
Originally posted by DaveC on: 17/08/2021
In our Aya Neo preview, we take a look at the handheld gaming PC which the final version is due for release mid to late September. We will be taking a look at the technical specifications, an overview of the device and what changes are expected in the final model. As well as a brief look at some games for their performance.
The Aya Neo features the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor with Radeon Graphics, 16GB of fast 4266MHz LPDDR4X RAM. There will be a choice of 512GB or 1TB of M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. It has WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 support for wireless connectivity. And there’s three 4100mAh batteries to keep everything running for good gaming sessions on your Ryzen handheld.
You can watch our Aya Neo preview video below. Or if you prefer a text based version, scroll down a little further.
The model we have here is the Aya Neo founders edition which was released earlier this year. The final model will have some improvements over Founders Edition which we will discuss further on in the article.
Aya Neo Technical Specifications
Lets first take a look at the technical specifications.
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 4500U, 6 cores & 6 threads up to 4.0 GHz|
|GPU||AMD Radeon Graphics, 6 cores up to 1500 MHz|
|RAM||16GB LPDDR4x 4266Mhz|
|STORAGE||M.2 2280, capacity: 512GB & 1TB PCIe Gen 3.0 x 4 / SATA 3.0, data transfer protocol: NVMe 1.3 / AHCI|
|WiFi||WiFi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax) compatible, 2.4G / 5G Dual Band, 2402 Mbps max transfer speed, MU-MIMO support|
|Battery||47Wh 11.4V, 3 cells of 4100mAh each|
The Aya Neo has the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor with Radeon Graphics, which we reviewed in our recent ASUS PN50 benchmark blog post. It is a decent processor, and after some benchmarking we saw very respectable scores across the system and gaming tests.
The amount of RAM and storage space is what you would expect to see in a gaming handheld PC. 16GB is plenty for Windows 10 and games to run with no issues. We would recommend the 1TB storage as this will leave you plenty of space for many large AAA games.
The Aya Neo AMD windows gaming handheld measures approximately 10.03 x 4.17 x 0.78 inches (25.5cm x 10.6cm x 2cm) and weighs 650g. This puts it in the middle in terms of size, with the larger ONEXPLAYER and smaller GPD Win 3.
The 7-inch 1280x800p capacitive touch, native landscape, H-IPS 215ppi display. It has a 76% NTSC colour space and 500 nit peak brightness.
On the left side you have a clickable left analogue stick and classic digital pad. Below are a set of buttons. The furthest left, when pressed, cycles through a series of RGB colours for the case LED. Another displays the Xbox game bar which is handy for taking screenshots etc.
On the right side we have four gaming buttons and below that the right analogue stick which is clickable. There is another series of buttons including a left mouse button and to bring up the task manager. A very useful button is the on screen keyboard which should overlay on games. This can be used for entering text for example.
On the top of the Aya Neo we have left and right shoulder and trigger buttons. Along the top you can find the power and volume up and down buttons, followed by the 3.5mm headphone jack.
There are two USB type-C ports which can be used for charging, connecting to a hub or external graphics. There is also a third USB Type-C on the bottom of the device.
Improvements to the new Aya Neo model
The new model, due for release very soon, will have some improvements over the founders edition that we are currently using.
There will be two case colours, Dark Star and Clear Moon. It seems at the moment, the clear case was limited to the founders edition.
Amongst the changes are improvements to the backlight bleed, as well as glue that appeared over time around the edges of the display on some units. There was some friction with the fan blades that caused the back of the case to get very warm, so this, as well as the overall cooling has been improved. And improvements to the overall build quality including the case seams and buttons.
Other changes include the addition of analogue trigger buttons which is a very welcome addition. A new speaker has been added which improves the overall audio quality and loudness.
All in all, Aya has learnt a lot from their first batch of devices and made a good number of improvements based on customer feedback.
We will be doing a full review and benchmark of the final Aya Neo model once it is released. In the meantime we will take a quick look at some games to see the performance.
We start off with Shadow of the Tomb Raider which looks and runs great. We are using a mix of settings for the best performance versus visuals.
Up next we have Streets of Rage 4 which is running at full graphics settings. It is not a massively demanding game, but it does look and play great on these gaming handheld PC’s.
And last but not least, is me trying to play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 remastered on a controller. I am a mouse and keyboard gamer, so excuse the bad shooting! Again, we will go into more detail on graphics settings in our full Aya Neo review when it is released.
Aya Neo Release Date
The Aya Neo release date for the final model is expected mid to late September 2021 and we can not wait to get our hands on it for a full review. We will compare the Aya Neo vs GPD Win 3 vs ONEXPLAYER handheld games consoles to see how they perform against each other. From our initial tests, the Aya Neo is excellent for gaming thanks to the Ryzen processor.