AYA Neo Next II handheld gaming PC features integrated touchpads and external GPU support

Chinese handheld gaming PC maker AYA has unveiled another new model to join the company’s growing range of portable gaming devices.

That AYA Neo Next II has a few features that set it apart from the rest.

First, the AYA Neo Next II has two built-in touchpads in addition to D-Pads, analog sticks, action buttons, and shoulder buttons. The only other modern handheld PC manufacturer to currently include touchpads is Valve, which uses them for its Steam Deck.

Touchpads theoretically open the door to playing games designed for keyboard and mouse input rather than controllers. They might also make navigating Windows or Linux based operating systems a bit easier without a mouse. But despite the Steam Deck’s popularity, I’ve seen mixed opinions as to whether the touchpads are really that helpful.

Another thing that sets the AYA Neo Next II apart? It was developed with support for an external graphics card. In theory, any handheld gaming system with a Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 port that supports 40Gbps data should also be able to work with external graphics docks, but it looks like AYA is positioning the Neo Next II as a device that specifically designed for eGPUs.

All I know for now is that there seems to be a button on the front of the device that allows you to toggle between onboard and external graphics. It’s unclear if the company will go further and offer its own graphics dock, dedicated connectors, or other features to make using external graphics easier.

However, this opens the door to using the handheld gaming PC as yours only gaming pc Connect it to an external GPU and display it while gaming from home for the best experience. Or unplug it and take it with you to play at a lower resolution and lower quality on the go.

AYA has suggested that the Neo Next II will be available with a choice of Intel Alder Lake or AMD Ryzen 7 6000U processor options, although the company has yet to announce specific chips.

While AYA has already shipped a few handheld gaming PCs, including the AYA Neo and AYA Neo Next, the company’s roadmap looks to be over the coming year very ambitious, with recent announcements of upcoming models including:

That’s a lot of devices. AYA says the goal is to accommodate the different needs/requests of different players. And indeed, this lineup means the company promises to offer a variety of products at different price points, some with unusual features that help them stand out in the increasingly crowded handheld gaming PC market.

But it’s pretty strange to see a company that has shipped only a few products announce so many new models in a month or two.

via AYA (YouTube & Weibo)

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