The Ayaneo Air 1S is a thin and light ROG Ally competitor

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Highlight features of the AYA NEO AIR 1S

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

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.

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