When we first saw the Steam Deck in July of 2021, it was mind-boggling that we could achieve console-level performance with PC games in a handheld system. Well, AyaNeo is aiming to take on the Steam Deck with its own NEXT Advance gaming handheld, launched at CES 2022 this year. The AyaNeo NEXT Advance isn’t waiting around for AMD’s 6000-series APUs to drop later this year, but instead leveraging the current-generation Ryzen 7 5800U processor with up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of internal storage. Those are impressive specs for this little device, given that the Steam Deck is still slated to use a Zen 2 processor, and not Zen 3. What else does the AyaNeo deliver? Let’s take a closer look below.
AyaNeo leverages AMD’s Zen 3 architecture in NEXT Advance console
When it comes to gaming performance, AMD’s dominance in the space is hard to argue at this point. Intel is making solid swings with its 12th Generation processors, but AMD holds a solid lead when it comes to APU performance as we saw in our hands-on with the Ryzen 5 5600G.
Because of this, AyaNeo is opting for AMD’s latest Zen 3-based Ryzen 7 5800U APU for its NEXT Advance console. This puts it ahead of the Steam Deck, which is still slated to use the previous-generation Zen 2 lineup for Valve’s handheld gaming system. Curious what the performance looks like for the AyaNeo NEXT Advance? Well, in a chart that’s “for reference only,” Forza Horizon 5 hit around 42FPS on high settings and 67FPS on medium, while GTA V was able to reach up to 102FPS at low settings. These numbers are pretty impressive for a compact system like this that’s fully portable, and should offer a solid experience across the board for those who want to game on-the-go.
The AyaNeo NEXT Advance is also the “first console” to use “hall sensors on joysticks and triggers.” This addition offers fewer physical components which leads to less wearing over time, helping solve the drift issue many joysticks experience. The thumbsticks also have a removable, modular design so that way you can customize the feel to your liking depending on what fits your fingers best. You’ll also find that the power button has a built-in fingerprint reader for quick and easy unlocking, making even turning the system on a breeze.
For the display, AyaNeo went with a 7-inch IPS panel that has a pixel density of 215PPI, which is about half that of the iPhone and closer to the Switch in terms of resolution. When it comes to storage, the AyaNeo NEXT Advance leverages M.2 NVMe SSDs to offer up to 2TB of available space. On the connectivity side of things, you’ll find Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 in tow to deliver the best performance possible there. Of course, not to be outdone, the AyaNeo NEXT Advance also features 16GB of LPDDR4x memory that’s clocked at 4266MHz which allows the Zen 3 processor to run at its peak performance.
Continuing on, the AyaNeo has a 47Wh battery that the company claims can last for between two to six hours on a full charge, and powers back up with 60W USB-C PD, meaning any of your existing Type-C chargers with enough wattage will work with the NEXT Advance. If you’re wanting more specifics on battery life, GTA V will last around two hours while Hollow Knight can run for four hours and Celeste six hours, on average according to the company.
You can also dock the AyaNeo NEXT Advance at a desk to use a full-sized keyboard, mouse, and monitor to play your favorite games, making it an ultra-portable PC as well as a gaming system. All of this combines to offer a solid experience all around, as long as the AyaNeo NEXT Advance holds up to the company’s claims.
The AyaNeo NEXT Advance is joined by the NEXT and NEXT Pro as well, all of which are using AMD’s Zen 3 processors with eight cores and 16 threads and Vega 8 GPUs. The one thing to keep in mind is that the AyaNeo NEXT Advance will cost significantly more than the Steam Deck, coming in at $1,345. We don’t yet know exactly how much the NEXT or NEXT Pro will cost though, so be sure to stay tuned for more information there. Shipping is slated to begin near the end of February, and pre-orders are open now.
The AyaNeo NEXT Advance looks like it’s going to be a stellar portable gaming system, but at what cost? For $1,300, you can pick up a very respectable gaming desktop or laptop that will play far better then the AyaNeo. Sure, those aren’t as portable, but with services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, Rainway, or others, you can easily use your phone as a portable solution.
I see the AyaNeo NEXT Advance being more of a collectors item over a true portable gaming solution for the masses, given its price tag and performance metrics that we see right now. Only time will tell though, and I can’t wait to see this system out in the wild to find out if it holds up to the performance metrics that AyaNeo claims.
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