Joining the ever-increasing roster of Radeon 780M-powered handhelds like the ROG Ally, the Orange Pi Neo has joined the fray as a high-end handheld competitor [h/t VideoCardz]. Since it has the same iGPU and 7-inch screen as the Ally and the same 7840U CPU as competing handhelds (Ally uses the near-identical Z1 Extreme instead), it has a considerable performance advantage over the Steam Deck, which is still capable of pushing many modern titles with low-resolution scale, FPS cap, or both.
Unlike past devices from manufacturer Orange Pi, the Orange Pi Neo is not a Raspberry Pi alternative. Instead, it's joining a competitive market in (most likely, specs considered) the $600-$1000 handheld PC range, where one begins to make a major choice between the Steam Deck OLED's gorgeous display and the more powerful Radeon 780M handhelds which trade-off OLED for still-vibrant but less-accurate IPS panels.
The Orange Pi Neo does have a few features that help it stand out among its contemporaries. For example, while both it and the ROG Ally have Hall Effect analog triggers, only the Orange Pi Neo boasts Hall Effect analog sticks, which are more infamous for being short-lived. And of course, it has two nice, visually-distinct Black and White alternative models.
Other specs listed on Manjaro's Orange Pi Neo page are mostly a match with what we've come to expect, though, including RGB lighting on the analog sticks, a 1080p-class (technically 1200p) 120 Hz display, and a 16GB LPDDR5 starting RAM configuration. Compared to the 16GB of 6400 MT/s RAM on the Ally, the Orange Pi Neo's starting 16GB is actually faster at 7500 MT/s and can be boosted to a 32GB configuration.
Advertising for the Orange Pi Neo also boasts a "super cooling system," though we'll have to wait and see benchmarks before praising any piece of hardware for its cooling performance.
Unlike the ROG Ally, which runs on Windows, and the Steam Deck, which runs on the Arch Linux-based Steam OS, the Orange Pi Neo also (seemingly) runs on Manjaro OS. Manjaro OS is another Arch Linux-based distribution, meaning most Steam OS applications (including Proton for game compatibility) should still work perfectly fine on the Orange Pi Neo.
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