The Steam Deck Valve just has to watch out, because the AYA Neo Slide and Neo 2 arrive with a knife between their teeth with particularly snoring hardware.
If the world of mobile gaming only has eyes for the Steam Deck at the moment, Valve is not the only manufacturer to occupy the ground in this segment. There are even other competitors who seem to be quite serious, especially on the side of Aya which presents its new consoles, the Neo Slide, Neo 2 and Neo Air.
And there is no question of making the slightest concession to Gabe Newell’s troops with this machine, far from it. Judge for yourself: these machines are both entitled to a COULD Ryzen7 6800 an eight-core chip that runs on architecture Zen 3+. And the graphic part will not be outdone with a iGPU Radeon 680M which has 12 Compute Units.
To compare, remember that the Steam Deck is equipped with a less powerful AMD APU, and equipped with only 4 cores. Same observation on the graphics side, with an iGPU which has 8 Compute Units. In other words, Aya’s proposal simply seems much more powerful.
On paper, it even looks like the most powerful portable console on the market as it stands. In theory, with such hardware, the Neo 2 should be able to run pretty much every AAA game market with acceptable performance, which is no small feat for a machine of this type.
Windows 11, a fake good idea?
It is therefore a machine resolutely focused on raw performance. But it will be necessary to wait to have the machine in hand to judge its real capacities. Tweezers made essential by the chosen operating system. Indeed, Aya bet on Windows 11. On the one hand, it’s an interesting choice, because it will put the formidable power of this small machine at the service of a varied set of tasks.
But on the other hand, isn’t that like shooting yourself in the foot? Because as familiar and capable as it is, Windows remains a Generalist OS which is, by definition, absolutely not optimized for gaming. An aspect which is nevertheless critical on products where thermal, spatial and ergonomic constraints are omnipresent.
It is no coincidence that Valve ended up betting on a Linux OS supported by the Proton compatibility platform. It is thanks to this approach, which offers much more leeway in terms of optimization, the Steam Deck manages to run titles that would nevertheless seem a bit too demanding for it. It will therefore be very interesting to look at the first benchmarks.
But this is not the only element that makes these consoles machines decidedly very intriguing. There is also support for many latest-generation standards. We can thus cite the compatibility LPDDR5-6400 (!), PCIe 4.0 and USB4.0. The Verge also hints at a fingerprint reader.
Note that the 2nd variant, the Slide model, has exactly the same hardware. The construction, on the other hand, is very different. As its name suggests, it has a sliding screen that reveals a nice little keyboard. And RGB backlit too! An element that could participate in legitimizing the choice of Windows if the ergonomics are there – which does not seem guaranteed on the images.
Unfortunately, Aya has yet to share any other details about her machine. We don’t have the battery size, for example. The technology of the panel or its resolution also remain mysterious. But for the latter, there may be a clue hiding on the side of the AYA Neo Air which was unveiled by the site Lilliputing.
Aya Neo Air: the direct competitor of the Steam Deck?
Unlike the previous two, this one is much less powerful. It will have a Ryzen 3 5000 series with integrated Radeon Vega GPU. However, the exact model has not yet been specified. But according to the manufacturer, this should allow it to run AAA games in 720p. It has a nice slab for this 5.5” 1080p OLED.
If this much lower-end and more economical model is equipped with an OLED panel, we can reasonably expect that this will also be the case on the two models discussed above.
What is certain is that on the basis of the on-board hardware, a very high price is to be expected. Much more than the Steam Deck, even in the most expensive version. The Verge recalls that Aya’s previous high-end models all cost well over €1000. There is therefore little chance that these new versions will be an exception. The price of the Neo Air model, on the other hand, should be closer to that of the Steam Deck, but we will have to wait for the official announcement to know for sure.