The Aya Neo — a Nintendo Switch-style handheld gaming PC that promises to offer a full-fledged PC gaming experience in the palm of your hands — is now available to back on Indiegogo, starting at $6,120 HKD (~$789 USD) for the 500GB model.
This version of the Neo is technically the second, following the limited, sold-out run of the “Founder’s Edition” that Aya offered back in January. The new, broader release promises several improvements over that initial version, including:
- An improved operating system
- Reduced weight
- The option to toggle rumble
- Better buttons
- Better power consumption and performance presets
- Improvements to issues that caused resolution scaling problems or blurry screens
The company also showed off a new optional $47 dock that adds two USB 3.2 Gen 1 type-A ports, one HDMI port, one SD card slot, one MicroSD card slot, and an ethernet jack — another similar concept to the Switch.
The rest of the specs for the Aya Neo are still the same: a 7-inch 1280×800 IPS display, a 10-25W AMD Ryzen 4500U CPU, 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM, three USB-C ports, and up to 6 hours of estimated battery life. Don’t expect to play triple-A games at high settings, but we were able to competently run Star Wars: Squadrons at 60fps with the Founder’s Edition, and it had nearly enough power to play the unfinished Valheim on the go.
All that said, the Aya Neo is still a crowdfunded product from a first time company. And while it’s certainly encouraging that Aya has managed to ship its initial Founder’s Edition run of Neos, there’s still the usual elements of risk when it comes to crowdfunded products — even ones that are technically second-generation models.
But if you are willing to roll the dice, you can back the Aya Neo on Indiegogo for $6,120 HKD (roughly $789 USD) for the 500GB model or $6,750 HKD (approximately $869 USD) for the 1TB model, which is about 10 percent off of what the products are planned to sell for after the crowdfunding campaign. Shipping is planned for May.
A note on crowdfunding:
Crowdfunding is a chaotic field by nature: companies looking for funding tend to make big promises. According to a study run by Kickstarter in 2015, roughly 1 in 10 “successful” products that reach their funding goals fail to actually deliver rewards. Of the ones that do deliver, delays, missed deadlines, or overpromised ideas mean that there’s often disappointment in store for those products that do get done.
The best defense is to use your best judgment. Ask yourself: does the product look legitimate? Is the company making outlandish claims? Is there a working prototype? Does the company mention existing plans to manufacture and ship finished products? Has it completed a Kickstarter before?
And remember: you’re not necessarily buying a product when you back it on a crowdfunding site.