. I think that the Air Pro is in a weight class of PC handhelds that has very little competition.. Only the GPD Win. 3 and the upcoming GPD Win 4 are in the ballpark., But despite the weight class, despite the absolutely premium feel despite the better overall compatibility than a Steam Deck and despite the absolutely gorgeous display, it still has some hurdles that prevent it. From being my personal, daily, driver. Im going to tell you all about it, because some of these hurdles are incredibly personal and Im curious to know what you think by the end of my review., So lets get into it. Whats good Deck Gang Plenty of people have Reviewed the Air Pro and many of them are in fact on to the AyaNeo 2. But in my mind the Air Pro remains special because of its power to size, ratio. Its much smaller than a Steam Deck and still considerably smaller than an AyaNeo 2. But its strong, like bull., Of course, the power isnt enough to dethrone the current champions, but again its the power to size, thats impressive. Well get to benchmarks and specs later, but the chip thats powering this device is a Ryzen 5825. U and the tldw is that its quite capable I can reasonably play Spider Man Remastered on this.. The caveat, I suppose, is that, even though the Pro model has an upgraded battery, the 38Wh on here is barely enough to get an hour of playtime out of a game like that.

. Of course, you can tinker with the settings and tdp to stretch it further, but thats the baseline youre working with. Still its the fact that you can play Spider Man Remastered on a device that you can genuinely put in your pants pocket, thats pretty phenomenal.. By the way, these are not recessed, analog sticks, so you probably dont, want to actually put this in your pocket. Im. Just saying it fits., Just as impressive as the power on the Air Pro is. The effortAya Neo has made towards making PC gaming as streamlined as possible. Now dont get me wrong. This is nowhere near what Valve has done with the Steam Deck., But its leaps and bounds beyond what other PC handheld manufacturers have done. Aya Neo has a central software called Aya Space, which has a robust set of features which can at times be buggy. To start Theres, a control panel that has some features similar to the Quick Access menu on the Steam Deck.. You can get to it with the press of the Aya button on the bottom right. From here. You can quickly slide volume and brightness. You can set the resolution TDP and the fan curve. You can see some hardware metrics at a glance and you can even add custom buttons here for quick access to things like the virtual keyboard, FSR and screenshotting.. You can hold the same button to pull up the full version of Aya Space.. You get more hardware metrics from here.

. You can also calibrate and customize the controls, and these options are surprisingly robust.. And finally, you have a game library, aggregator.. This tries to pull all the games from various launchers and uses the metadata to find images and media for these games.. This functionality is pretty hit and miss.. Your mileage is going to vary with any library aggregator, but Aya Space trails, pretty far behind what Playnite and Launchbox have in terms of functionality., But to be honest, its the effort that Im impressed with. Aya Neo has been developing Aya Space for a few years now, And despite the shortcomings, theyre clearly committed to making PC gaming as accessible as possible., SteamOS is perfecting PC gaming on Linux and Aya. Space is the closest thing we have on Windows, so I not only find it commendable, but it did in fact enhance my experience over other Windows handhelds.. Similarly, the hardware buttons that are provided to navigate Windows are helpful too.. I already mentioned the Aya button in the bottom right, but to the right of that is a Show Desktop button.. There are also these buttons to the inside of the bumpers that are referred to as LC and RC.. You can configure these for up to 4 additional Windows based actions., So, for example, I currently have it set so that pressing LC brings up the on screen keyboard, while holding LC brings up the Task Manager. Once again, the options that work are awesome, but some options, Like binding a button to opening Steam, doesnt always work.

, In any case, the controls also automatically toggle between mouse controls and game controls. Somewhat seamlessly. Other handheld PCs, like the GPD Win series of devices, have a dedicated button to toggle these, but the software on the Air Pro attempts to determine if youre, in a game or not, and if youre not it, will automatically toggle to the left analog serving. As a mouse pointer and the A button becomes left click., The problem with this sort of automatic toggling is that if it fails even one time, it can be very jarring and very annoying.. Generally speaking, the controls and the system itself has a really premium feel.. In comparison, the Steam Deck feels utilitarian. Form follows function on the Deck., But on the Air Pro they went the extra mile to make the look and feel of everything top notch.. The analog sticks are hall sensor based the d pad and buttons are clicky and feel better to my touch than the Steam Deck.. Even the touch screen feels much more accurate than the Steam Deck.. Finally, all of the accents, including the LEDs on the sticks, are a touch above whats offered elsewhere., So lets get back to the performance of the Air Pro. By default. Aya Space provides you with 4 options for setting the TDP 5W for saving power 8W as a balanced mode 12W, as a gaming mode and 14W for Pro mode.. The middle two 8 and 12 are the most realistic options for gaming on this device.

. You can max it out with 14W, but youre gon na run low on battery extremely quickly., Even at a 12W TDP youre, going to draw over 20W of total power on a 38Wh battery, so thats less than 2 hours.. So lets do a comparison between this and the Steam Deck at those wattages.. What you can see right away is that comparing this to the Steam Deck is not really fair., You get around a 25 bump at 8W on the Steam Deck and at least a 10 bump at 12W.. So yeah its not fair, and I really am only even showing that, because this is a Steam Deck channel – and I know people will ask., But these are two very different chips.. Nonetheless, comparisons aside, the Air Pro is once again formidable in its weight. Class. Arkham Knight, Forza and Shadow of the Tomb Raider all have an average of over 30fps at 12W.. Even Cyberpunk could be considered playable at 12W., And the fact that I can pull a PC out of my pocket and play games like Elden Ring Spider Man and God of War, is pretty mind boggling.. So I think this review has been pretty gushing about the Air Pro, but over the last few months it never really became my daily driver or anything close to it. And its, not just because Im a Steam Deck content creator.. I think I struggled a lot writing this review and part of it is this dichotomy that I faced.

The Air Pro is objectively an amazing machine., But in my so called day to day use of it. I encountered too many hurdles that kept me from picking it. Up., Some of these are intensely personal, and some of these are things that I think many people would run into.. The first thing that was a hurdle for me personally was actually the small size.. I think most people are not going to have the same problems as I do here. I have large hands and I find say the Nintendo Switch uncomfortable to use for extended sessions. After an hour. I start to feel some light soreness. After a few consecutive days of an hour at a time, the soreness begins to compound.. It turns out the Steam Deck. Is the perfect size for someone like me. To be fair? I knew this already, but I hoped that the thickness and the ergonomic bumps in the Air Pro would make it more amenable to my hands, but it didnt work out for me.. Similarly, I think the gorgeous screen was a little too small., Because these games are designed for the PC. Even the Steam Deck occasionally requires the use of the built in magnifier., Sometimes fonts or on screen. Elements are just too hard to see.. This was even a problem on a game called Ghost Song. Ghost Song is an excellent indie Metroidvania that recently released onto Steam and its the perfect sort of game for the Air Pro, but the map was pretty hard to see on the small screen.

. I certainly made do and I got adjusted but its more of a strain than it is on the Steam Deck.. Then, on top of that, its, like, I said its unfair – to compare the performance to a Steam Deck.. First of all, the Steam Deck sort of has a higher ceiling. I mean it has a larger battery. The OS uses up fewer resources as a baseline and power used on components other than CPU seems lower on the Deck than it does on the Air Pro.. But not only does the Deck have a higher ceiling, but its more efficient per watt. Too. You get more power out of the Steam Deck even in low wattage scenarios.. This isnt surprising mind you. It just really affected what I decided to play.. Finally, despite the efforts from Aya Neo, there was some clunkiness with the built in tooling. Aya Space didnt recognize my Humble Bundle games. The control panel would sometimes just not show up. Gyro requires a whole other tool to get working properly. There really is no Guide button per se. Updating the controller driver was clunky and, worst of all, my controller stopped working as I was making this video.. That one was my own fault, but it would never have happened if the Air Pros gyro functionality was more flexible.. You see as it is, you have to configure gyro through AyaSpace and there are relatively limited options.. It can only emulate the right analog stick.

So that means I cant simultaneously use that analog stick for Flick Stick.. The gyro also requires you to hold a button, either LB or LT to use it.. All of this makes it a lot less flexible than configuring gyro via SteamInput. Theres, a solution for this by way of an app called Handheld Companion, which uses the gyro to make Windows believe youre using a PlayStation controller instead of an XINPUT controller. Long story short. It was cloaking my original controller, even after I thought I had turned it off and uninstalled it, which caused me to do some extended, troubleshooting., An error on my part, but not an unforced error. I would say. And listen. I didnt want to spend my review comparing the Air Pro to the Steam Deck, because they are very different devices., But I also couldnt neglect reality. Im lucky to be in a position where I can play both of these. But despite some of the things that make the Air Pro so damn attractive, I really couldnt find a scenario where it made practical sense for me to pick this up over what I already had. In that way, Im happy to see all the reviews for the Aya Neo 2, because this seems like more of a no compromise machine and I think that gets a lot closer to something I would actually use. Now they just need trackpads., Alright. Folks, if you want to see more of my hardware, reviews, be sure to check out my hardware reviews, playlist.

Deck Gang out.