Z1 Extreme who? Ayaneo has just confirmed it will use AMD’s similar but unannounced Ryzen 7000 U-series chips in a new batch of handheld gaming PCs — including the never-before-seen Ayaneo 2S and Ayaneo Geek 1S, the previously announced sliding keyboard Ayaneo Slide, and a new version of the Ayaneo Air Plus.
What’s more, the company is now promising upgrades for its existing PCs instead of just rapidly making them obsolete — it will offer a free speaker upgrade for every Ayaneo Air and a free cooling module for every Ayaneo 2 and Ayaneo Geek that can lower its temperature by up to 12 degrees Celsius.
The new three-pipe cooler is one of the highlights of the Ayaneo 2S, which is otherwise largely a dead ringer for the Ayaneo 2 that I recently panned, though the company claims it also has a brighter, more colorful screen, smoother triggers, an easier-to-open case, and a fingerprint sensor optimized for fewer mistakes.
The other highlight, of course, is the AMD Ryzen 7000U chip, which certainly seems to be the unannounced 3.3GHz Ryzen 7 7840U that’s quietly arming an entire wave of new Steam Deck competitors. Can you make out the details?
Aya says the new “7000 Series” processor offers “significant improvement over the 6800U, with particularly substantial performance gains in the low TDP 8-15W gold range.” That sounds like exactly what Aya needs: the problem reviewers like myself identified with the 6800U was that you couldn’t run it with Steam Deck levels of efficiency and still expect it to perform properly.
Unfortunately, Aya isn’t saying anything about better battery life from the Ayaneo 2S and Geek 1S armed with that chip — only that the 7000 series will offer slightly better temperatures, too.
Like the original Geek, the new Geek 1S is simply a cut-down Ayaneo 2 with fewer components and a lower-resolution 800p screen for better battery, now with the 7000 series processor as well. Ayaneo is also promising major improvements to its software launcher atop Windows. The company admits it “encountered many difficulties in the course of development” for Ayaspace and is now developing Ayaspace 2.0.
What if you’re stuck with the company’s Ayaneo 2 and Geek? Ayaneo says it may be able to offer you a motherboard upgrade in the future — and if you’ve ordered an Ayaneo Air Plus with the 6800U chip and haven’t received it yet, it’ll let you switch to the 7000 series chip for free.
One annoying bit of news for the company’s earliest fans: Ayaneo is suggesting it will end its “free lifetime warranty plan” for the original Ayaneo Founder’s Edition, giving people a voucher for a free Ayaneo 2021 instead.
The Ayaneo 2S and Geek 1S will debut on Indiegogo by the end of April, go on sale in mid-May, and ship by the end of June. Free cooling and speaker upgrades are coming in mid-May. There’s no timeline yet for the Ayaneo Slide, but the Android-based Ayaneo Pocket Air will go into mass production in July.
Lastly, the company is teasing a new Ayaneo Kun that it claims will have the most buttons and screen yet — and the “largest battery capacity in a Windows handheld.”