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Aya Neo 2 Taps Rembrandt APU to Outmuscle the Steam Deck

Aya Neo 2
(Image credit: Twitter - @AYANEO__)

The creators behind the Aya Neo gaming console have officially announced a successor to the popular gaming handheld called the Aya Neo 2. The new console features a host of upgrades over its predecessor, the largest of which includes an 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 6800U (Rembrandt) APU with RDNA 2 graphics. The CPU upgrade makes the Aya Neo 2 one of the world's first handheld gaming consoles to leverage RDNA 2 graphics outside of Valve's Steam Deck.

The processor upgrade alone will give the Aya Neo 2 a serious performance upgrade over the original Aya Neo's Ryzen 5 4500U running on the older Zen 2 architecture and much slower Vega graphics. The AMD's Ryzen 7 6800U running in the Aya Neo 2 has two more cores and runs on the much more efficient and powerful Zen 3+ microarchitecture.

With this type of performance in mind, the Aya Neo 2 has the potential to outperform Valve's Steam Deck as well, and not just the older version of the Aya Neo. The Aya Neo 2 has superior APU specifications across the board, with a faster Zen 3+ CPU featuring more cores and a higher frequency RDNA 2 GPU that features more cores than the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck's Aerith APU (a custom chip based on Van Gogh) wields four Zen 2 cores with a 2.4 GHz base clock and 3.5 GHz boost clock, whereas the Aya Neo 2's Ryzen 7 6800U flaunts eight Zen 3+ cores at a 2.7 GHz base clock and 4.7 GHz boost clock. 

But the Aya Neo 2's most significant upgrade comes in the Radeon 680M RDNA 2 iGPU paired to the Ryzen 7 6800U, which is AMD's most potent iGPU to date. According to AMD, the Radeon 680M performs just under that of the entry-level discrete Nvidia GPUs such as the GTX 1650 Max-Q, making it a serious option for PC gaming at resolutions up to 1080p. In addition, the Radeon 680M has 12 RDNA 2 CUs at 2,200 MHz; meanwhile, Aerith sports eight RDNA 2 CUs that max out at 1.6 GHz.

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The Aya Neo 2 is also receiving several other upgrades besides the SoC, including support for LPDDR5-6400 memory, PCIe 4.0 SSD storage, and USB 4.0 ports. The improvements should put the Aya Neo 2 at feature parity with other modern gaming handhelds. Unfortunately, all we know about the new Aya Neo 2 is in terms of specifications. Other specs such as screen size, type, and resolution are still unknown.

Besides upgrades, the Aya Neo 2's also got a massive makeover in aesthetics. The console no longer features the boxy look of the original Aya Neo or the green and black finishes on the buttons. Instead, the Neo 2 features a far more rounded design, with grips that look very similar to the Steam Deck. The color theme has transitioned to a grey-on-white theme, identical to that of Nintendo's Wii consoles and controllers. It gives the Aya Neo 2 a more mature look than the original Neo.

The only unfortunate news is that we don't have any data about a release schedule or pricing. Given current Aya Neo Next Pro pricing, we wouldn't expect it to be particularly affordable. If the new console has broken cover, we should know more information very soon.

Aaron Klotz
Aaron Klotz

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • -Fran-
    And it's going to be over $1200. The Steam Deck will still be the better "value" for ultra portability; at least until Valve decides to upgrade the Deck to a better APU.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    And will probably feature a battery life so short as to push the definition of "portable".
    Reply
  • escksu
    On paper specs isnt important for handheld... The no.1 thing is price, no.2 is battery life... If you are going to sell it for over $1000, vast maority of the pple arent interested...

    The most popular handheld today is the mobile phone. Other than a few premium models, many are cheaper than usd500 and does gaming and more.

    If you are talking about PC games on the go... Well, many pple could live without.. play mobile phone games when on the go and swtch to pc at home
    Reply
  • _dawn_chorus_
    The Steam Decks button/joystick layout is godlike. They should have copied that if anything.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    escksu said:
    On paper specs isnt important for handheld... The no.1 thing is price, no.2 is battery life... If you are going to sell it for over $1000, vast maority of the pple arent interested...

    The most popular handheld today is the mobile phone. Other than a few premium models, many are cheaper than usd500 and does gaming and more.

    If you are talking about PC games on the go... Well, many pple could live without.. play mobile phone games when on the go and swtch to pc at home
    Another would be size, perhaps even more important than battery life. If the device is too large to easily carry with you, that kind of defeats the point of making it a "portable" device. Something like a smartphone can be discretely tucked into a large pocket when not in use, whereas this device, as well as the Steam Deck, are arguably too bulky to attain mass-market appeal. Even the notably smaller Nintendo Switch is edging into the awkward-to-transport size range, but that has some unique control features, a low entry price, and high-profile exclusives to help sell it. And the Steam Deck might be similarly bulky, but at least comes in at a moderate starting price, with the backing of the most popular PC gaming platform behind it.

    With this device, it seems the only thing it really has to offer over the competition is better hardware specs. But with a price likely to be higher than many budget gaming laptops, and a size that doesn't make it all that much more portable, it begs the question of why one wouldn't simply pay less for a faster laptop instead for their semi-portable gaming needs.
    Reply