New AMD Ryzen 7840U handheld gaming device to compete with ROG Ally and Steam Deck

A scan of the AOKZOE A2 handheld, which can be configured with an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U with Radeon 780M Graphics based on RDNA 3.
A scan of the AOKZOE A2 handheld, which can be configured with an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U with Radeon 780M Graphics based on RDNA 3. (Image credit: AOKZOE)

AOKZOE launched their A2 handheld on Indiegogo, the latest of many handheld gaming devices coming to market with an onboard AMD Ryzen 7 7840U CPU and Radeon 780M iGPU based on RDNA 3 architecture. This puts it in the same performance class as the ROG Ally with the Z1 Extreme CPU, as well as every other 7840U or Z1 Extreme handheld.

Compared to the Steam Deck, which mostly targets 720p (1280x800) gaming, most of the devices with the Z1 Extreme or Z840U use 1200p displays. That potentially improves fidelity with the increased hardware power, and it's good for older titles that can be easily run at native resolution, or for 2D games that have more room to scale with the increased pixel density. The AOKZOE A2 continues that pattern.

The standout features of the device are its use of hall-effect analog triggers and joysticks, as well as a no-bezel, 7-inch, 1200p (1920x1200) IPS display and RGB lighting around the joysticks. Hall-effect triggers and joysticks refer to the sensors, which use magnets instead of physical contacts in order to greatly increase long-term reliability and eliminate the possibility of wearing down contacts over time. Compared to the ROG Ally, which has a larger bezel size but only hall effect triggers, these are two considerable upgrades.

Unfortunately, no official documentation for the AOKZOE A2 details the display refresh rate. Considering the ROG Ally is using a similar 1200p IPS screen that runs at 120 Hz, the omission of this information makes 60 Hz a real possibility for the A2 handheld.

If correct, the AOKZOE A2 would be making some interesting trade-offs. For example, the device boasts 32GB of LPDDR5X RAM running at 7500 MT/s, which is double the capacity of the Ally's 16GB. Truthfully, we're not sure such a RAM upgrade does anything meaningful for a handheld like this, but 120 Hz on the ROG Ally is also pretty questionable when trying to run modern games on these devices — it's basically only useful with 2D games or very light 3D games.

Some other decisions being made with this handheld are a little more questionable, though, especially allocating so much budget for RAM when a lower price or better screen could be possible instead. But full details aren't currently available, so we'll have to wait and see about a few of the items on the specs list. There's also the question of whether the A2 can stand out in what is becoming a crowded market, one that's currently dominated by the Steam Deck (and new Steam Deck OLED), with other big OEMs like Asus and Lenovo also in the fray.

Overall, the AOKZOE A2 does have some potential, particularly if its design or hall-effect sensors appeal to your sensibilities. The device is set to launch on December 21, with "Early Bird Pricing" for the 7840U model starting at $699 for a 32 GB RAM + 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD configuration. That's comparable to the ROG Ally at $650, with the aforementioned tradeoffs. The top-end configuration comes with a rather obscene 64 GB RAM and 4TB of storage for $1,199 — note that it could be a 2TB 2230 SSD plus a 2TB MicroSD card, as we're not presently aware of any 4TB M.2 2230 SSDs. Early Bird Pricing will be available for 96 hours after launch.

  • spicy_cat
    The Asus Ally runs a lot of games much better with video memory set to 6GB instead of the default 4GB. Having enough RAM to set 8GB to video and still have 24GB left for system would be nicer than having to choose between 6GB/10GB or 8GB/8GB.
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    "Truthfully, we're not sure such a RAM upgrade does anything meaningful for a handheld like this"

    Well, seeing as the ram is shared for the iGPU, you're left with around 4Gb once Windows has superfetched everything. If, like I do, you use your handheld as your main PC, 32Gb ram IS required. I have an Ayaneo Air Plus, which is more than fast enough to edit video etc. Think ahead... why define and confine your device's use?

    "But it's a game console!" Yeah, it is. It's also a full pc, once connected to a mouse, keyboard and monitor.
    Reply
  • jc1211
    Their Indiegogo states that they are using 2280 ssd so a single 4tb ssd is not out of the question.
    Reply
  • jc1211
    excalibur1814 said:
    "Truthfully, we're not sure such a RAM upgrade does anything meaningful for a handheld like this"

    Well, seeing as the ram is shared for the iGPU, you're left with around 4Gb once Windows has superfetched everything. If, like I do, you use your handheld as your main PC, 32Gb ram IS required. I have an Ayaneo Air Plus, which is more than fast enough to edit video etc. Think ahead... why define and confine your device's use?

    "But it's a game console!" Yeah, it is. It's also a full pc, once connected to a mouse, keyboard and monitor.
    Yeah I absolutely hate that "it's a game console" argument, that is just so lame.
    Reply