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$289 Switch/Steam Deck Alternative AyaNeo Air Plus Announced

cormack12

Gold Member
Source: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/aya-neo-plus-handheld-mendocino

Inside, you’ll find one of AMD’s new Mendocino APU(opens in new tab)s, which are a fusion of Zen 2 and RDNA2 designed for thin and light laptops and produced on TMSC’s 6nm manufacturing process. This combo is the same as the custom Aerith(opens in new tab) processor in the Steam Deck, but in different proportions - while Aerith has eight GPU cores, Mendocino may have as few as two. At least the four CPU cores can match the Steam Deck chip’s numbers.



Being a mainstream part rather than a custom design means the Mendocino APUs could give AyaNeo a way to undercut the Steam Deck on pricing, and by offering its own Linux based AyaNeo OS, alongside the possibility of running Windows or SteamOS, it can save money on licensing fees.

We currently know very little about the handheld - indeed the APUs themselves were only just recently announced at Computex - but a six-inch, 1080p OLED screen and a removable M.2 2280 SSD have been mooted, alongside a Micro SD card reader, but the amount of RAM included is a mystery. It’s clearly too soon to start making comparisons with the Steam Deck, which is already shipping, but that’s not going to stop anybody. The Mendocino silicon is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of this year, however, so AyaNeo has plenty of time to flesh out the details.
 

gundalf

Member
Just buy a steam deck.

They’re incredible.

I dunno, I have the steam deck and I find it uncomfortable to hold and a tad too expensive for just wanting to play emulators. But the future for x86 handhelds is bright and I can see the price for those going down to $199 in the future which will give you much more entertainment than that overpriced cringe playdate thingy.
 

mrcroket

Member
I think that maybe en 2 years (with something like "RDNA4") we can have a portable, cheap and powerful handheld that will be capable of run AAA games like a PS5 but at 1080p.
 

CrustyBritches

Gold Member
I'm reading this has 5.5" screen, 8GB RAM, Vega GPU, 128GB SSD, 28Wh battery, and starts at $549. Is there another cheaper unit I'm missing?
*EDIT* There is a cheapy Air Plus not included in the article I read.
 
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Fredrik

Gold Member
I dunno, I have the steam deck and I find it uncomfortable to hold and a tad too expensive for just wanting to play emulators. But the future for x86 handhelds is bright and I can see the price for those going down to $199 in the future which will give you much more entertainment than that overpriced cringe playdate thingy.
It’s expensive but why are you just playing emulators? I’ve been playing at least 30 hours of Elden Ring on mine 👌
 

Grildon Tundy

Gold Member
Just buy a steam deck.

They’re incredible.
I put my reservation in for the Steam Deck back on Day One (July 16th, 2021). Store page says I should get mine by the end of June. Does that seem right? I find it hard to believe everyone else who has one got in before I did on Day One.
 

BigBooper

Member
I put my reservation in for the Steam Deck back on Day One (July 16th, 2021). Store page says I should get mine by the end of June. Does that seem right? I find it hard to believe everyone else who has one got in before I did on Day One.
Yes, depending on what time your ordered. You can follow a thread on reddit that pops up every Monday and Thursday to track reported orders. Each day, the orders are only moving at most 3 minutes (at least on the 512gb model) at a time and usually much less than that.

I ordered about 42 minutes after preorders started and haven't received mine yet either.

 
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BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
I put my reservation in for the Steam Deck back on Day One (July 16th, 2021). Store page says I should get mine by the end of June. Does that seem right? I find it hard to believe everyone else who has one got in before I did on Day One.

I ordered day 1 and got mine like 2 weeks ago. Also depends which model you ordered.
 

CrustyBritches

Gold Member
I was reading the liliputing article on Aya Neo Air lineup. I was confused because they had 5 variants listed, but no Air Plus.

There is a Aya Neo Air Plus that's different than the other models. My bad.

Mendocino APU has a 2CUs, so that's why it's priced at $289. Steam Deck has 8CUs.


This thing has potential as an emu system, but it's not in the same class as Steam Deck.
 

Filben

Member
Hmmm... smaller and an OLED, exactly what I wish the Steam Deck would have. I actually don't that much performance the Deck's offering and would gladly have it smaller and with an OLED display.

But by the time this here reaches Europe at a reasonable price (they usually convert Dollar to EUR 1:1 or even add something on top of it) there's probably Steam Deck 2 around the corner.

But if I could really get something very similar to the Steam Deck with an OLED screen for under 300 EUR this would actually be amazing.
 

Ogbert

Member
I put my reservation in for the Steam Deck back on Day One (July 16th, 2021). Store page says I should get mine by the end of June. Does that seem right? I find it hard to believe everyone else who has one got in before I did on Day One.
Should be about right.

I got mine last week; just keep checking for the email :).

Wait is worth it. Absolutely incredible piece of kit.
 
The specs don't sound that great TBH. Will it even be the four-core variant? And what's the specific GPU config?

I was reading the liliputing article on Aya Neo Air lineup. I was confused because they had 5 variants listed, but no Air Plus.

There is a Aya Neo Air Plus that's different than the other models. My bad.

Mendocino APU has a 2CUs, so that's why it's priced at $289. Steam Deck has 8CUs.


This thing has potential as an emu system, but it's not in the same class as Steam Deck.

Yeah that GPU config looking a bit sus. Even for emulation it's probably gonna be limited to Dreamcast and earlier, maybe not much more room for upscaling and shader options.

But a lot of people seem to be digging the OLED screen and smaller form factor.
 
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SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
This and the AYN Loki are appealing to me for being smaller and a bit cheaper. I think they would make sick emulation handhelds.

Steam Deck is just way too physically large for me to consider.
 
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CrustyBritches

Gold Member
The specs don't sound that great TBH. Will it even be the four-core variant? And what's the specific GPU config?



Yeah that GPU config looking a bit sus. Even for emulation it's probably gonna be limited to Dreamcast and earlier, maybe not much more room for upscaling and shader options.

But a lot of people seem to be digging the OLED screen and smaller form factor.
Looks like Air Plus/Mendocino has dual x32 LPDDR5 channels instead of quad like the Deck. Aya Neo has a whole "Air" lineup, which is what confused me at first. This the spec sheet via Videocardz via Liliputing...

If they're selling that base model for $499(crowdfunding)/$549(retail), then I'd have my doubts about the Air Plus packing very much power at $289(i.e. 4CUs instead of the 2CUs from the Mendocino slide leak). They have a video of the Aya Neo Air running Dirt 5 at 720p/Low(unknown if it's using dynamic res), and it's hitting 35-40fps.

Deck is more in the 40-50fps range at these settings, but it's still good performance considering the form-factor. That 28Wh battery is able to get about an hour in "AAA" games.

This is the $500-630 unit. That leads me to believe the Air Plus is really 4c/8t, 2CUs, and dual x32 LPDDR5 at that $289 price point. I don't know a lot about the mobile APUs, but Steam Deck with 4c/8t, 8CUs, and quad x32 LPDDR5 is just barely able to pull off heavy WiiU games like Smash in Cemu, so like you said, that means something like DC or PSP, tops.
 
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Boss Mog

Member
I wouldn't call it a steamdeck alternative since the mendocino APU only has 2CUs compared to the Aerith APU's 8CUs. This thing will be WAY below the power of a steamdeck so the price is not that good at all.
 
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billyxci

Permabanned.
doesn't have games like zelda, pokémon, mario, animal crossing, smash, etc. so eh no thanks!! the deck is not great but i'd rather buy that. not some crappy cheap trash piece of plastic
 
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Xyphie

Member
It's too powerful (needs active cooling, bad battery life) for most emulation needs and too weak to be a Steam Deck competitor. Maybe if you really want a portable to play emulated GC/PS2 games.

Really hope there's a SBC with the Mendocino SoC though, will make a fantastic HTPC.
 

Redneckerz

Those long posts don't cover that red neck boy
Remains to be seen how 128 RDNA2 cores stack up, but it should (by linear improvement) atleast outperform Vega 3, and i am more leaning towards a Vega 6 for comparison reasons.

Vega 3 does Doom Eternal at 720p low 40-45. Ironically, that's already better than Switch.

Mendocino gaming handhelds are clearly looking at outperforming Switch and think these are great for:
  • PS360-era games.
  • Early PS4/XBO (Don't expect Elden Ring, but early PS4/XBO titles)
  • The slew of indie titles/shooters that have specs like a Geforce GTX 660
I think Mendocino will do fine there, even with just 2CU. This isn't the era of GCN-based APU's anymore where only 512 cores would net somewhat good performance in games. Vega did a lot to improve performance per CU and judging by Steam Deck, RDNA2 does a significant jump in that regard aswell. So even 2 CU's can net some gaming.

I'd love to see a comparison with Anbernic's Win600 though when it arrives. It will probably be the cheapest x86 handheld (2c/2t or 2c/4t) (Zen 1 + Vega 3) when it arrives, being an Atari VCS-like machine but as a handheld.

It's too powerful (needs active cooling, bad battery life) for most emulation needs and too weak to be a Steam Deck competitor. Maybe if you really want a portable to play emulated GC/PS2 games.

Really hope there's a SBC with the Mendocino SoC though, will make a fantastic HTPC.
Agreed. I know HP has announced Elite T655 thin client with a unknown Ryzen Embedded R-Soc, so it wouldn't be all too far fetched to see a derivative of Mendocino ending up in thin clients considering HP already has Vega 3/Vega 8 based solutions there. 4x Zen 2 + 2CU RDNA2 would be plenty enough.

Even a cheap mini PC (Minisforum) would go a long way there. Zen 2 is still plenty powerful for a CPU.
 

Tams

Gold Member
🤌 Mendocino 🤌

Everyone, please format 🤌 Mendocino 🤌 properly or else we risk incurring the wrath of the Italians.
 

Maogp

Member
I wonder if whoever designs this shit has ever played in their life.

If you introduce me to such an object with the right analog at the bottom, it means that your study on ergonomics is zero.

PS: Switch is a different thing, the right joycon is detachable, they were forced to do it that way, and in any case Switch is very uncomfortable for long sessions.
🤌 Mendocino 🤌

Everyone, please format 🤌 Mendocino 🤌 properly or else we risk incurring the wrath of the Italians.

This word doesn't exist in Italian.
 
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I'm a bit angry that the first x86 gaming handheld with an OLED is coming for a low-end device.

I thought Mendocino was the Deck's Van Gogh at N6, but turns out it's a tiny chip for office use. I don't think it's very usable for windows gaming, and for retro emulation people will be equally well served for less money with one of those Android handhelds like the Ayn Odin.
 
Looks enticing but that's a lot of dough for a china tablet with iffy quality control and customer support.
That's the thing, portable PCs are a thing for a long time. They are just too expensive.
Steam Deck is the only option that is sold at a loss. They are literally the best value because every OTHER handheld PC are sold at a profit.
 
Looks like Air Plus/Mendocino has dual x32 LPDDR5 channels instead of quad like the Deck. Aya Neo has a whole "Air" lineup, which is what confused me at first. This the spec sheet via Videocardz via Liliputing...

If they're selling that base model for $499(crowdfunding)/$549(retail), then I'd have my doubts about the Air Plus packing very much power at $289(i.e. 4CUs instead of the 2CUs from the Mendocino slide leak). They have a video of the Aya Neo Air running Dirt 5 at 720p/Low(unknown if it's using dynamic res), and it's hitting 35-40fps.

Deck is more in the 40-50fps range at these settings, but it's still good performance considering the form-factor. That 28Wh battery is able to get about an hour in "AAA" games.

This is the $500-630 unit. That leads me to believe the Air Plus is really 4c/8t, 2CUs, and dual x32 LPDDR5 at that $289 price point. I don't know a lot about the mobile APUs, but Steam Deck with 4c/8t, 8CUs, and quad x32 LPDDR5 is just barely able to pull off heavy WiiU games like Smash in Cemu, so like you said, that means something like DC or PSP, tops.

Yeah, at that price with that performance, you're probably just better off getting a cheap AMD laptop. Especially by the time this thing's actually out, there should be some good options to pick from that aren't too much older and have better specs through and through.
 

Crayon

Member
No trackpads is the biggest issue for me. Otherwise, it's smaller and cheaper. I'd think about this before buying a deck if I could find one with a lieel break on the price and steamos 3 was out. This is enough power to play every game besides AAA's from the last 6-7 years. If you aren't playing those on your deck, the thing is kinda overkill. I like this performance/price target a little more for what I would want to do with it.
 

Tams

Gold Member
That's the thing, portable PCs are a thing for a long time. They are just too expensive.
Steam Deck is the only option that is sold at a loss. They are literally the best value because every OTHER handheld PC are sold at a profit.
And I'm really not sure if I'm comfortable with that. It really limits who can enter the market.

Yes, Sony and Microsoft also selling at losses/cost at times also bothers me.
 

Soapbox Killer

Grand Nagus
If you install windows, like the deck. Gamepass and the games on it are tied to windows in a way.

btw hey, you. Don't know if you remember me but I remember you! Good to see you again.
I'm curious to see what handhelds I can play Gears on and I own a Steam Deck.

I had to diversify my gaming discussion assets so yeah I'm back here more in earnest and Yes I do remember !!!!!!
 
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