Ayaneo launches motherboard upgrades for the majority of its older handhelds — refreshed new models are coming too

Ayaneo Kun handheld gaming PC
(Image credit: Ayaneo)

Per several updates released across Ayaneo's portfolio of Indiegogo pages, a wide range of Ayaneo's old and current offerings are slated to receive an upgrade to the AMD 'Hawk Point' Ryzen 7 8840U. However, the nature of this "upgrade" is quite interesting, because Ayaneo isn't just refreshing existing models with slightly newer CPUs — Ayaneo is also offering a path to fully replacing an old handheld's motherboard with a new one, at a much lower cost than buying a new unit entirely. This is a pretty environmentally friendly and consumer-friendly move on Ayaneo's part, but is already pretty confusing, so we crafted an upgrade / refresh availability table.

Ayaneo Handhelds and Ryzen 7 8840U Upgrade Options

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Motherboard Upgrade PlanRefreshed Model
Ayaneo Air 1SYes; Starts at $499Yes; Starts at $899
Ayaneo KunNoYes; Starts at $1209
Ayaneo 2Yes; Starts at $499Yes; Starts at $999
Ayaneo 2SYes; Starts at $499Yes; Starts at $1306*
Ayaneo Geek (6800U)Yes; Starts at $499No
Ayaneo Geek 1SYes; Starts at $499No

*Ayaneo is currently running a lower-price promo on the 2S' Indiegogo. Indiegogo pricing for Ayaneo units will generally be lower than the retail pricing used in this table.

So, before we proceed any further, it's important to clarify one thing. If you already own an Ayaneo handheld with a Ryzen 7840U, you really have no major reason to spend this much money on an upgrade even if it's a lot cheaper than buying a whole new refresh. The Ryzen 7 7840U and Ryzen 7 8840U are near-identical besides the addition of a stronger AI NPU in the latter, which will likely support a future version of FSR, but for now doesn't really do much. Unless you really like Copilot, I guess.

That said, this upgrade path — especially the motherboard replacement path for Geek 1S and Geek 6800U that otherwise aren't getting refreshed models — still draws our interest. The 6800U is most of the way to an 8840U, but its lacking power efficiency hurts it a lot when you wish to preserve handheld battery life.

Hopefully, this move from Ayaneo isn't just a one-time thing. Ayaneo's chaotic pipeline of constant handheld crowdfunding and releases could use more thoughtful initiatives like this to help ensure that early investors aren't left behind, or left with unwanted e-waste. For example, if some of these models can still get motherboard upgrades with AMD's proper next-generation APUs, then we might really be cooking— but this is still quite nice.

Freelance News Writer
  • cyrusfox
    Love to see the modularity and approach that framework role modeled. bit spendy but good to see options. It is odd that a company such as Ayaneo seems to be leading the way compared to the established players (Asus...)
    Reply
  • salgado18
    cyrusfox said:
    Love to see the modularity and approach that framework role modeled. bit spendy but good to see options. It is odd that a company such as Ayaneo seems to be leading the way compared to the established players (Asus...)
    "Estabilished players" follow the old book of money, for them inovation is a means to make more money and that's it. For smaller companies, inovation is a way to stand out against these big players, who have big enough pockets to sell ordinary stuff for cheap. That said, I wish all mobile and notebook vendors did this kind of thing.
    Reply
  • HyperMatrix
    Counterpoint….its not environmentally friendlier because now you have a cpu and motherboard taken out that can’t be used elsewhere. Whereas if you had upgraded, you could have sold the previous unit in working condition to someone else with less disposal income that would have been happy to use it with its performance level.

    Cheaper, yes. Environmentally friendlier? Unclear.
    Reply
  • thestryker
    I'm sure it would be possible to DIY your own solution to use the replaced board, but without any built solutions available it seems like the primary advantage is only cost. It honestly strikes me as a way for them to compete on price with the likes of Asus more than anything else given the sales pricing on the Ally etc.
    Reply
  • HyperMatrix
    thestryker said:
    I'm sure it would be possible to DIY your own solution to use the replaced board, but without any built solutions available it seems like the primary advantage is only cost. It honestly strikes me as a way for them to compete on price with the likes of Asus more than anything else given the sales pricing on the Ally etc.

    Good opportunity for them to sell a small micro-pc case you could plug them into.
    Reply
  • cyrusfox
    HyperMatrix said:
    Counterpoint….its not environmentally friendlier because now you have a cpu and motherboard taken out that can’t be used elsewhere. Whereas if you had upgraded, you could have sold the previous unit in working condition to someone else with less disposal income that would have been happy to use it with its performance level.

    Cheaper, yes. Environmentally friendlier? Unclear.
    Have you not seen the mini-pc case made for the framework? The same should be possible with this motherboard/complete system. From the ones I checked they feature USB4 ports, if not at least USB C 10GBPS with PD, might need to add custom cool solution but should be able to make a kit to continue using what are very capable platforms (NAS/Plex, OPNsense, Terminal PC, etc...). Upgrade may make sense, as well as there is likely a used market for these prior mobos.
    Reply
  • scottsoapbox
    But this discounted partial upgrade costs as much as an Ally.
    Reply
  • cyrusfox
    scottsoapbox said:
    But this discounted partial upgrade costs as much as an Ally.
    The Ally that receives this kind of stellar support
    7pMrssIrKcYView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pMrssIrKcYThe fact that Ayaneo is supporting their platforms for more than one generation is a good sign, I never thought unknown brands would surpass the established players but look at where we are today. Framework enabling reusable laptops, and perhaps ayaneo now. Provide long term support and enable consumers to upgrade the guts/innards/SOC while maintaining prior housing/batteries/controls.

    Ally device if it works will cost an additional ally to fix at the first issue thanks to a scuff
    Reply