The next batch of AYA Neo handheld gaming PCs will have improved hardware (update: free upgrade kits for the first 500 supporters)

The AYA Neo is a handheld gaming computer with a 7-inch touchscreen display sandwiched between a number of game controllers and an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor with Radeon Vega 6 graphics for the system.

It was pre-ordered earlier this year as part of a crowdfunding campaign, and the developers have shipped more than 500 units to backers and other customers. But according to a recent update from the AYA Neo Indiegogo site, some of these customers have encountered hardware issues. Hence, the people at AYA are working to ensure that the next batch that rolls off the production line is more reliable. On July 7th, the company also announced that it would offer free upgrade kits to the first 500 supporters of the crowdfunding campaign who had already received the original hardware.

In short, AYA says that some users have noticed issues including:

  • Visible glue on the corners of the display (this will appear gradually over time)
  • Backlight bleeding on the edges of the display
  • Problems with the color calibration of the screen
  • Speakers that are too quiet
  • Friction between the fan blades causes the back of the Neo to get hot
  • Rough seams around the case
  • Bad printing of labels on buttons

AYA plans to address all of these issues with the next batch of Neo hardware through improvements to the design of the bezel, case shape and buttons, and the color calibration profile for the display.

The new design includes a more even seam between the top and bottom of the case, buttons that incorporate the labels directly into the shape instead of having them painted on, and the company is upgrading the D-pad and controller buttons with new ones, it will be more durable, have an improved feel and have labels that shouldn’t fade.

The company is also adding analog shoulder buttons, updating the vibration motor, and enhancing the audio experience with a new speaker and larger sound chamber inside the case.

Aya says it is also replacing the Intel AX200 wireless card with a MediaTek module, not because one is necessarily better than the other, but because the AX200 was sold out. Other changes include updates to the aluminum frame and heat dissipation.

This all sounds like good news for customers waiting for new AYA Neo units to ship out (it’s available on the AYA website for $ 925 and up, but the new hardware won’t ship until August at the earliest). But what about the over 500 people who already own the original AYA Neo?

The company says it will offer upgrade kits that include a new screen, frame, buttons, speakers, cooling module, and circuit board for the joysticks. Users can choose to have the upgrade kit shipped to them or have their devices returned to AYA so that the company can upgrade and ship the upgraded units back to customers.

You’ll have to pay for shipping to and from China if you’d like AYA to do the upgrade, but it’s nice to have the option if you don’t want to follow the company’s directions for performing operations on your own hardware.

Upgrades will be available after AYA prepares its second generation hardware, likely sometime in September.

In a separate update, AYA states that they are working on a docking station for the Neo, which is expected to take 2-3 months. But an early pattern with a 3D printed case gives a rough idea of ​​what it will look like and what kind of functionality the dock will bring.

It supports HDMI output to a 4K 60 Hz monitor, has a Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB Type-C ports and two USB Type-A ports for connecting speakers, storage, keyboards , Mice, or other peripheral devices.

There are also SD and microSD card readers on the side that you can use as removable storage. And because the dock is designed to plug into the bottom of the computer, the USB-C ports and headphone jack on top of the Neo are accessible even when the computer is docked.

Please see the updates posted on the AYA Neo Indiegogo campaign page for more details.

This article was originally published June 30, 2021 and was last updated on July 7, 2021.

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