Ayaneo, the China-based handheld gaming console maker, recently announced a new console called the Air Plus. What is interesting about this new console, though, is that it is the first console to be powered by the newly announced AMD Mendocino processor.
As a quick primer, during AMD’s Computex 2022 keynote last week, the CPU and GPU marked the day with several product announcements, one of which happened to be about its new Mendocino CPUs; processors that comprise Zen2 CPU cores and RDNA2 GPU cores.
The choice of processor by Ayaneo is interesting, but not all that surprising, given the console maker’s history and relationship with AMD’s silicon, since its inception. For context, Ayaneo’s very first handheld console was powered by an AMD Ryzen 4500U.
It should be made clear that the Mendocino processor isn’t the first AMD CPU to feature the Zen2 and RDNA2 combination either. Valve’s own handheld gaming console, the Steam Deck, also uses a custom APU that is powered by the same CPU and GPU core combo, although a more recent report suggests that the Mendocino is actually less powerful, with the processor running just one WorkGroup Processor (WGP), which comes up to just two Compute Units (CUs).
Getting back to the Air Plus as a whole, other hardware specifications of the console include an M.2 2280 SSD, a microSD card reader, as well as Aya Space game launcher software. Oh, and there is also a 6-inch Full HD display, while the controller layout looks similar to the Nintendo Switch. The price of the Air Plus is also rather enticing, retailing at US$289 (~RM1262), which is significantly cheaper than the Steam Deck’s starting price of US$399 (~RM1743), although we should point out that the price is for community members.
The only detail missing right now is availability. As of this publication, Ayaneo still hasn’t said when the console will be available.