Ayaneo’s new Air Plus portable gaming handheld features USB4 and external GPU support

Ayaneo just had its 2023 Strategy Event where the company announced its plans for the year. As part of that, we got our first look at both the Air Plus and Slide, Ayaneo’s two upcoming Windows-based gaming handhelds. The model that Ayaneo talked the most about is the Air Plus, which is the more traditional of the two announced systems with a 6-inch display, 46.2Whr battery, and both Intel and AMD configurations.

Ayaneo expands its Windows-based gaming handhelds in 2023

Leading the way is the Ayaneo Air Plus, an update to the existing base Air model. Coming in with a 6-inch display and 46.2Whr battery, up from a 5.5-inch screen and 28Whr battery, the Air Plus boasts more power and capabilities for playing your favorite PC titles on-the-go.

For configurations, Intel rules the roost for the lower-end models with a Celeron and Core i3-1215U model, while AMD takes things up a notch with a Ryzen 5 7520U and Ryzen 7 6800U version. All have the a 6-inch 1080p IPS display, USB4, fingerprint recognition, RGB lighting, and hall joysticks/triggers. One of these functions stands out from the rest though, and that’s fingerprint recognition. You’ll now be able to secure your personal portable gaming device with biometrics, which is pretty great. Another fantastic addition here is USB 4 functionality, though this is limited to certain models only (most likely the AMD versions, but that’s yet to be determined).

With USB 4, if full speed, you’ll have access to 40Gb/s transfer rates and pretty fast charging as well. Part of adding USB 4 to the Ayaneo Air Plus means that you’ll get full support for external GPUs, meaning that there’s more power available when docked at a desk, while still having enough oomph to play games on-the-go. That makes this an ideal candidate for portable gaming and playing your favorite titles at home.

The Ayaneo Slide is a fairly unique model for the company, though there’s really not a whole lot of information around for it quite yet. We know that it has a hidden keyboard under the display that slides up, and that it’ll run on AMD’s recently-released Ryzen 7000 mobile APUs with a shipping time in the second quarter of the year, but that’s about it.

Pricing and specific availability isn’t available yet for either handheld, thought the Ayaneo Air Plus should have more information released after Lunar New Year ends on February 5.

9to5Toys’ Take

The thing that really makes me like the Ayaneo Air Plus over the Steam Deck or other gaming handhelds is the fact that it supports USB4 and external GPUs. While you might not need the horsepower on-the-go with the smaller 1080p display, when at home, it’s nice that the option exists for adding an external GPU to play games at higher settings or resolutions when docked. I’ve not seen many, if any, other gaming handhelds incorporate this feature, and it’s great to see Ayaneo taking the lead here. This feature won’t come cheap, and we’re guessing a unit with these specs will cost north of $1,000. But, at that point, it’s in the realm of being the ultimate handheld capable of playing your favorite games on-the-go and at home.

Only time will tell whether the Ayaneo Air Plus will be worth the cost, but if the specs are any consideration, this will be one of the best portable gaming handhelds to pick up this year.

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