AYANeo Air Pro Handheld’s Tiny PCB Exposed Showing AMD Barcelo APU Ready For Action
Started as a company by a man with a vision for powerful handheld PC gaming, AyaNeo has blossomed into a whole brand with multiple product categories. If you gloss over headlines about the handheld PCs and are confused about the models, don't worry; your author had to do a lot of research to get this story straight.
The company is offering five basic lines of handhelds: the "Next" series, the "Air" series, the "Slide", the "Flip," and then the base models that are simply numbered. The original models offer a balanced experience, the Next family is larger but offers uncompromised performance, the Slide includes a full QWERTY keyboard underneath a slide-out screen (reminding the author of his beloved Sidekick), and the Flip has only just been teased but will apparently have a flip-up display like a Game Boy Advance SP.
In a marathon six-hour livestream yesterday, AyaNeo's CEO showed off the progress that the company has achieved towards the production of the Air family. Livestreams like this, with their exceptional transparency and casual atmosphere, are a significant part of why enthusiasts have taken to the company. During the stream, the CEO showed off numerous games running on what looks like a final AyaNeo Air Pro console.
To emphasize the minuscule size of the handheld, he showed the system alongside both Valve's Steam Deck and a Nintendo Switch. As you can see for yourself, it's quite tiny, even in "Pro" form. He also showed the motherboard for the Air Pro, packing up to 32GB of LPDDR4X memory and an option exclusive to the Air Pro: a "Barcelo" Ryzen 7 5825U processor.
For those unfamiliar, Barcelo is a revised form of Cezanne sporting slightly higher CPU clocks, but also with the full 16MB of L3 cache on the Cezanne die enabled. The Ryzen 7 5825U specifically has eight Zen 3 cores running between 2 GHz and 4.5 GHz, 16MB of L3 cache, and an 8-CU (512 shader) Vega GPU running at up to 2 GHz.
Despite being much more expensive than Valve's Steam Deck, the AyaNeo machines are a bit more credible as "handheld PCs" versus Valve's decidedly gaming-oriented handheld. They usually have several USB ports as well as increased memory and storage over Valve's machine. Of course, none of that matters if you just want to play Terraria on the go—and the Steam Deck's RDNA 2 graphics give it a big advantage in gaming.
AyaNeo says the Air Pro will begin shipping in August, but the models with a Barcelo CPU will have to wait until September. You can head over to the company's Indiegogo campaign to pre-order, where the Pro model with the Cezanne Ryzen 5 5560U starts at $649 USD, while the AyaNeo Air Pro with the Barcelo Ryzen 7 5825U starts at $969. If that's too rich for your blood, there's also an Air Plus model with more meager specs coming for under $300 in December.