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Portable PC gaming could be just around the corner thanks to these crowdfunded devices

GPD Win 3 Handheld 4
GPD Win 3 Handheld 4 (Image credit: GPD)

What you need to know

  • Aya and GPD each have portable gaming PCs and will be part of crowdfunded campaigns.
  • The Aya Neo runs on an AMD Ryzen 4500U and AMD Vega 6 graphics.
  • The GPD Win 3 runs on up to an Intel Core i7 and Intel Iris Xe graphics.

The Nintendo Switch is a unique and incredibly popular gaming device that allows you to take console games wherever you'd like. Unsurprisingly, companies other than Nintendo are trying to jump onto the popular form factor. While we've seen concept devices like the Alienware UFO and the Lenovo LAVIE MINI, we haven't seen many devices that you can actually get your hands on. That could change soon with the GPD Win 3 and the Aya Neo. Both devices are portable gaming PCs that take design inspiration from the Switch, or at least the Switch Lite since neither PC features detachable controllers.

Before we dive in any further, it's important to note that both of these are crowdfunded projects. You should always take caution when investing in crowdfunded projects and do your own research. The GPD Win 3 is on Indiegogo with an early price of $799 for the Core i5 model. The Aya Neo website states that it will come to Indiegogo and it has an early price of $699 (via The Verge).

The GPD Win 3 has a 5.5-inch display and runs on an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor. The device pairs its CPU with Intel Iris Xe graphics. It has 16GB of LPDDR4x 4266 RAM and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. Battery life isn't rated that highly, with GPD only claiming between two and three hours of battery life.

The GPD Win 3 also has a unique design that allows you to pop the screen up to show a keyboard. You can also use an optional Thunderbolt 4 dock to connect the device to a Windows 10 PC.

The Aya Neo takes a different approach in a few key areas. The Neo has a larger 7-inch display. It runs on an AMD Ryzen 4500U processor and AMD Vega 6 graphics. It also has 16GB of LPDDR4x 4266 RAM but has a smaller 512GB of NVMe SSD storage. Aya claims that the Neo gets up to six hours of battery life but YouTuber Taki Udon states that you get between two and three hours of battery life on the Neo.

Both of the portable PCs support Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. They also both have a headphone jack and stereo speakers.

While these devices are from smaller companies, they could be the start of a wave of portable gaming PCs. We've seen larger companies take a stab at the form factor with concepts and peoples should soon have their hands on devices from GPD and Aya.

While crowdfunding campaigns are working to deliver standalone devices, Microsoft and other large companies have taken a different approach. Microsoft allows you to stream Xbox games to phones, tablets, and other devices. With an attachment like the Razer Kishi, you can have a mobile gaming experience on the go without having to buy a dedicated PC.

Of course the great thing about technology is that it provides us with options. If you want a standalone portable gaming PC, you can check out the Aya Neo or GPD Win 3. If you prefer to stream your games with hardware you already have, you can check out the best phones for Project xCloud and Xbox Game Streaming.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

4 Comments
  • All these handheld PC devices coming out are like a dream come. Just waiting on a larger company to out with an actual product as customer support can always be iffy on devices from smaller companies.
  • I have had several handheld gaming PC's from GPD and enjoyed them all. However, this round I will likely skip the IWn 3 in favor of the new Aya Neo. The small 5.5" screen on the Win 3 will be almost unusable for the Windows OS. It just doesn't scale down that small very well at all.
  • These are awesome, looks like we are slowly getting back to UMPCs, but better. GPD has been in this game do for quite some time, so they are safer bet with these crowd funding, but still take caution. What really lacks is on Windows side. It would be great OT have a mobile UX that is optimised for these smaller screens from 8 inch and below. Well Tablet Mode will work best here, but sadly that has been abaonded for a while. Windows 10X is a long way and without Win32 support, that won't be attractive either for these UMPC. But the UX would be more suited here except when docker where full desktop UX with floating windows would be preferable. Snapdragon would be best suited in these devices in terms of form factor. But many wilk get this for emulation and playing PC games, and ARM may not work with emulators or not work well. Some PC games may not work with ARM either or not optimised due to difference of hardware architecture.
  • > If you want a standalone portable gaming PC, you can check out the Aya Neo or GPD Win 3.
    > If you prefer to stream your games with hardware you already have, you can check out the
    > best phones for Project xCloud and Xbox Game Streaming.
    Or, if you also want to run XPA games natively when streaming isn't an option, you can check out Aya Neo. too.