Skip to main content

There’s a new ROG Ally competitor, and it’s even more portable

Highlight features of the AYA NEO AIR 1S
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Planning to buy the newly launched Asus ROG Ally? Hold up, because there’s a new competitor in town. Ayaneo has announced the Air 1S, a brand-new handheld gaming console that has some interesting tricks up its sleeves.

Rather than emphasizing how powerful this console is, the company focuses on its size and design. It is arguably the most compact and lightweight handheld, AMD-based Windows console on the market. Available in two variants, the standard edition weighs 450 grams with a 21.6mm thickness, while the limited edition weighs only 405 grams and has a thickness of 18mm.

For comparison, the Asus ROG Ally comes in at 608 grams with a thickness of 21.2mm. This means that the Air 1S is not only easier to transport, but it shouldn’t put a lot of strain on your hands and wrists during long gaming sessions.

AYA NEO AIR 1S size comparison
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Coming to the specifications, the console runs on Windows 11 and is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U processor that is based on the 4nm Zen 4 architecture paired with RDNA 3 graphics. This makes it comparable to the Z1 Extreme chipset that we saw on the ROG Ally, as it features the same core count, clock speeds, and TDP.

The 5.5-inch display isn’t the largest, but it is an AMOLED panel with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and wide color gamut coverage, which should translate to sharp and punchy visuals. For some weird reason, the company doesn’t mention the refresh rate of the display. We are assuming that it is only 60Hz (why else they would not mention it?), which is where the ROG Ally might have an upper hand.

The standard edition of the Ayaneo Air 1s will be available with either 16GB of LPDDR5X memory with a 512GB M.2 2280 PCIe SSD or 32GB memory that can be configured with 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB storage drives. The ultralight limited edition model, on the other hand, will be available with 32GB memory and a 2TB SSD.

Other notable features include built-in Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, two USB 4 Type-C ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD storage slot. There is also a fingerprint reader embedded in the power button, hall-sensing joysticks with electromagnetic induction to eliminate drifting, tasteful RGB lighting, dual six-axis gyroscopes, and a lot more.

It is noteworthy that the company doesn’t sell its consoles in retail stores, but relies on crowdfunding. In case you are interested in this product, you can get more information on Indiegogo or the official Ayaneo webpage. Pricing is currently listed as $799 for the base variant, which is similar to the Z1 Extreme-equipped ROG Ally. Initial backers will also get access to special retro color options, which start at $999.

With similar core hardware and pricing, the upcoming Ayaneo Air 1S is basically a mini version of the ROG Ally. In fact, the company is even planning to launch a dedicated dock so you can convert the console into a full-fledged PC and support external GPUs. While we cannot comment on the performance, the AIR 1S does sound promising.

Editors' Recommendations

Kunal Khullar
Kunal is a Computing writer contributing content around PC hardware, laptops, monitors, and more for Digital Trends. Having…
WD’s new SSD is the Steam Deck upgrade you’ve been waiting for
The WD Black SN770M hard drive on a Steam Deck.

The SSD upgrade you've been waiting on for the Steam Deck and ROG Ally is here. Western Digital revealed its WD_Black SN770M, which is an M.2 2230 SSD that's built specifically for handheld gaming devices.

The new drive is available in three capacities: 500GB, 1TB, and the coveted 2TB size. It's tough to find M.2 2230 SSDs for the Steam Deck, and even tougher to find them at 2TB. Up to this point, popular options have included the Sabrent Rocket and Corsair MP600. Otherwise, you'd have to stalk retailers like Newegg and Amazon to find a good deal on a Micron drive repurposed from another device.

Read more
After four months with the ROG Ally, I’m going back to my Steam Deck
Final Fantasy VII Remake running on the Steam Deck.

By nearly all objective measures, the ROG Ally is better than the Steam Deck. It has solid battery life, a nicer screen, more power, and Windows 11, allowing it to access a much wider library of games than the Steam Deck offers. After four months of using both devices, though, I'm fine keeping my Steam Deck.

That might surprise you, especially if you caught my ROG Ally review when I first took a look at the device nearly four months ago. I even tried replacing my desktop with the device on the strength of Asus' impressive XG Mobile. But after using the ROG Ally for just about every purpose possible, I've been picking up my Steam Deck to play games.
What you want, what you need

Read more
A major Asus ROG Ally challenger could be in the works
Asus ROG Ally with the Windows lock screen.

Handheld fever is ramping up. Lenovo is working on a handheld competitor to the Asus ROG Ally and Steam Deck, according to a report from Windows Central, which is called the Legion Go.

The report says that the device will launch with an AMD Phoenix processor along with an 8-inch display. It's not clear if it will use the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme as the ROG Ally does, but the report suggests it will launch with one of AMD's Zen 4 mobile processors.

Read more