AyaNeo has announced that it has launched an IndieGogo campaign for its AyaNeo Next/Pro series. The team also revealed the early bird and regular pricing for the newly refreshed AMD Ryzen 7 5800U-powered PC gaming handhelds.
The cheapest early bird offer starts at an eye-watering $1,285. Depending upon the configuration you are interested in. For later backers, some AyaNeo Next Pro models cost up to the towering sum of $1,535.
We reported upon the full specs of the AyaNeo/Pro Next last month, when they went public. These portable handheld Windows PCs are based around a 7-inch IPS LCD touch-enabled display with a 1280 x 800 pixels, which is similar to Valve's Steam Deck.. The new AyaNeo Next/Pro develops the offering by upgrading the specs to an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U with eight Zen 3 cores as well as Radeon RX Vega 8 GPU.
This is a light upgrade, with the updated AMD Ryzen 5000-series 'Cezanne' APUs being broadly compatible with the designs it had. They don't, however, promise the newest AMD Ryzen 6000-series 'Rembrandt' APUs with their tantalizing mix of Zen 3+ CPU architecture CPU cores and RDNA 2 integrated graphics.
However, the new AyaNeo Next/Pro have some punchy specs. Platform highlights, beyond the screen and SoC, include a standard 16GB of LPDDR4x-4226 (32GB for the Pro), a choice of 1 or 2TB NVMe storage built-in, Wi-Fi 6E, twin full-function USB-C ports with PD 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4, 4K 60 fps capability and more. The AyaNeo Next/Pro offers the same comprehensive set of joypad style controls (plus the touchscreen), which seems adequate for an incremental update.
Pricing, and the Existence of the Steam Deck
The entry level price of the AyaNeo Next/Pro is well above $1,000. If no alternatives existed then it might be considered reasonable with its custom design and miniaturization. However, there is an elephant in the room, and the elephant has Steam Deck written in neon on its side.
Valve's Steam Deck starts to roll out to consumers soon, and the entry price is pretty reasonable in comparison. Moreover, the Steam Deck isn't a laggard by any means. Its AMD APU has older Zen 2 cores, but it will probably be better balanced in gaming with RDNA2 GPU cores at its disposal. Steam Deck pricing ranges from $399 for the 64 GB version, through $529 for the 256 GB, to $649 for the 512 GB. Admittedly, the storage quotas are a bit stingy, but you can also extend storage with micro SD Cards.
As with all Kickstarter, IndieGogo or other crowdfunding projects, we advise readers to be careful with 'backing' projects, as unfortunate things can occur before projects come to fruition. AyaNeo's revamped handheld looks like it has been extremely popular so far, garnering over $276,000 in backing within a few hours of the project starting (it smashed its goal in 10 minutes), and nearly four times the funding goal. Devices are supposed to start shipping from mid-April.