Aya Neo Air Plus vs Steam Deck – which one should you go for?

Aya Neo Air Plus vs Steam Deck – which one should you go for?
Rory Greig Updated on by

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We’re comparing the Aya Neo Air Plus vs Steam Deck to see which handheld gaming device makes more sense for you.

The Aya Neo Air Plus is now available for pre-order, in all of its glorious iterations. This is a seriously powerful gaming device, with the option to buy it with a Zen 3 Ryzen 7 processor, which boasts incredible power. Can it compete with, arguably the current champion of portable PC gaming, the Steam Deck, however?

The Steam Deck has proved popular ever since its release. It holds its own versus the Razer Edge and is capable of playing games like Sons of the Forest at the best graphic settings. Valve’s device offers great gaming performance for an accessible price, and is, unsurprisingly, very well integrated with Steam itself, making it the obvious choice for many gamers.

However, the Air Plus is undeniably impressive with its sheer power and we can’t wait to get our hands on it when it is released. So which one makes more sense for you?

That is the question we are trying to answer today. To try and keep things simple, we have broken our comparison down into the sections of specs, CPU, design and value for money. This will give you a good overview and allow you to make your own informed decision as to which one to go for.

Aya Neo Air Plus vs Steam Deck – Specs

SpecsAya Neo Air PlusSteam Deck
Dimensions237 x 91.4 x 23mm298 x 117 x 49mm
Display size6 inches7 inches
Refresh rate60Hz60Hz
Resolution1920 x 1080p1280 x 800p
CPUIntel i3 1215U/ Ryzen 5 7520U / Ryzen 7 6800AMD Zen 2
Storage128GB SSD/ 512GB SSD64GB/ 256GB SSD/ 512GB SSD

While specs alone can not tell you everything you need to know about a device, they are certainly a good place to start.

As you can see, spec-wise, they are quite similar and make for quite a similar overall performance. The area of most significant difference is CPU. A processor has a huge impact on performance and the latest Aya Neo Air Plus has three options, so we have dedicated a section to comparing the CPUs below.

Read more: Is Wo Long Fallen Dynasty on Steam Deck?

Both can come with 16GB of RAM, though the Air Plus also has an 8GB option. All use the latest DDR5 RAM, which is faster and performs better in gaming versus DDR4 memory.

The resolutions are comparable but the Air Plus has the higher, while also being the smaller device, coming in at 6 inches versus the 7 inches of the Steam Deck. This means you will have crisper and clearer images on the Air Plus. That said, the smaller size will be a downside for some.

As for storage, you have many more options for the Steam Deck, including a very budget friendly 64GB device. You should note though it is not just that this has a smaller memory than the other options, but also an inferior storage type. All other Steam Deck variations, as well as both the 128GB and 512GB versions of the Neo Air, come with SSD storage. This is faster and more energy efficient versus the eMMC that comes on the 64GB Steam Deck.

Aya Neo Air Plus vs Steam Deck – CPU

As we have mentioned you get multiple options for processors when it comes to the Aya Neo Air Plus. It had been hoped that there would be a budget-friendly option here. In fact, the company itself announced there would be one sold with an Alder Lake Pentium 8505 chip for a very accessible price. However, this has failed to materialise.

This has driven the prices back up because the chips that are available are all more powerful. Those chips are the Intel Core i3-121U, AMD Ryzen 4 7520U and Ryzen 7 6800U. With the Ryzen 7 chip being the most powerful.

Read more: Is Sons of the Forest on Steam Deck?

As for the Steam Deck you only have one option, AMD’s custom Zen 2 chip. This too is powerful with a base clock of 2.4 GHz and a boost speed of up to 3.5 GHz. So how does this stand up against the Aya Neo Air Plus’ offerings? We’ve listed the clock speeds of each CPU option below.

  • Intel Core i3-1215U – 1.2 GHz base, 4.4 GHz boost
  • AMD Ryzen 5 7520U – 2.8 GHz base, 4.3 GHz boost
  • AMD Ryzen 7 6800U – 2.7 GHz base, 4.7GHz boost

The Ryzen 7 chip also uses the latest Zen 3 architecture which improves performance even further. This means that the Steam Deck CPU is somewhere between the Intel Core i3 and Ryzen 5 CPUs offered by Aya Neo in the Air Plus.

Aya Neo Air Plus vs Steam Deck – Design

These are the aspects that are harder to express with pure numbers. As these are both handheld gaming devices they need to not only have great gaming specs but also a compelling, convenient and comfortable design. The good news is that both of them do.

We’ll start with the Aya Neo Air Plus. It is a sleek-looking device that is comfortable to hold. Aya Neo hasn’t compromised on hardware quality either. The Triggers have a stroke of 7.5mm and an accuracy of 0.09mm

The Mini Joystick controllers have no dead zones and also show the battery level through RBG light rings around them. This means that, at just a glance, you can know whether your device has plenty of power left, or will need to be juiced up soon.

Similarly, the Steam Deck is a sleek piece of kit, with the high-end components to back up its high-end look. The analogue trigger allows for a full range of inputs, while the thumbstick features capacitive touch sensors. These are built-in and allow for incredible levels of both precision and comfort.

Aya Neo Air Plus vs Steam Deck – Value for money

Both these devices come in a range of options, each with different prices and specs, so does one offer more value than the other?

Well as we mentioned previously, we had hoped to see Aya Neo competing head to head, or maybe even undercutting, the Steam Deck on price, but this has not happened.

The cheaper version of the Aya Neo Air Plus is $599 for the 128GB Intel i3 version. This goes all the way up to $779 for the Ryzen 7 chip.

The Steam Deck meanwhile is $399 for the 64GB version, $529 for the 256Gb and $649 for the 512 GB. All have the same CPU inside of them.

So which offers more value for money? Well, it is hard to say but in general, we are leaning towards the Steam Deck. This is because this is a tried and tested gaming device. We know it is durable, well-designed and capable of playing the latest games to an impressive level. It manages all this while still being competitive in price.

The Aya Neo Air Plus does have more brute power, so arguably earns its higher price tag, but we would have loved to have seen a less powerful version really competing with the Steam Deck for the budget category.

Valve Steam Deck

Display size



1280 X 800

Refresh rate



64GB, 256GB, 512GB



Which one should you go for?

When it comes to which one you should go for, there are merits to both. Though we won’t be surprised if the Steam Deck proves more popular overall.

This is because it has such a great mix of performance and price. If you are on a tighter budget but still want a high-performance portable gaming device, the Steam Deck is definitely the one to go for. Even if you do take gaming more seriously the 512 GB version means you can play the latest games without having to worry about filling your device.

However, if you want to play on as powerful a device as possible, those are offered by Aya Neo with their Air Plus, thanks to their superior CPUs. It also has the higher display resolution. This power is matched by design, with a flashy look and excellent build quality.

Frequently asked questions

Can Steam Deck run all games?

While all PC games can technically be run on the Steam Deck, some will offer an inferior experience. You should check on the Steam Deck site whether the game has been Deck Verified. If it has you can be sure it will play well on the device.

Does Steam Deck overheat?

The Steam Deck has been known to run quite hot, there are a few techniques you can use to try and avoid this, however.