The portable PC space has been moving at an even faster rate to what we’d been seeing previously. Just five months after reviewing the AYANEO 2, the company has followed up with the AYANEO 2S which really improves on the original, and takes it to the ASUS ROG Ally.
I’ll probably spend less time than I have in other reviews explaining how these portable PCs work but I’d highly recommend you check out my AYANEO 2 or AYANEO Air Plus review if you’re new to the space, and more time talking about the actual improvements on offer here as well as an early look at AYASPACE 2.0 that we’ve just received.
Many of the core AYANEO 2S features are the same as before. You’ve still got that gorgeous 1200p bezel-less display that is one of the best I’ve seen on any handheld, great ergonomics and a larger battery than what’s on offer in the ROG Ally.
The big reason for AYANEO releasing the AYANEO 2S is performance, and it definitely delivers that big of extra performance to bring it in line with the ASUS ROG Ally. The new AMD Ryzen 7 7840 processor as well as 32GB of ram is enough to really give it that extra bit of juice necessary for AAA gaming.
Whilst benchmarking five AAA games at 25w on high, I saw a 15-20% increase in performance on average, which was that little bit of extra juice required to really make the experience a lot smoother when playing AAA games.
Whilst the AYANEO 2 was fine in its performance, this really made me feel like I could push each game to the limit, with confidence that they’d perform well without any stuttering or having to further tweak settings. This might have to do with the extra 32GB of ram on offer as well in this particular version of the AYANEO 2S.
AYANEO 2S BENCHMARKS
25W TDP / 1200P / FSR 2 BALANCED / HIGH
Forza Horizon 5 – 55 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 – 33 FPS
Horizon – 53 FPS
Returnal – 32 FPS
F1 2022 – 62 FPS
A big part of the increased performance is that you can now get better performance at lower TDPs which in turn has a greater effect on battery life, particularly with indie games or whilst playing on lower settings.
When playing at 25W with 80% brightness, you can expect to get about an hour and 20 minutes of gameplay, which still isn’t great, but dropping that to 10-18w will put your mileage at 2-3 hours, which is acceptable.
Other improvements in the AYANEO 2S include the triggers, which have had their travel distance changed and are a lot less clicky than before.
The unit also runs a lot less hot due to a graphene patch and three copper heat dissipation. I noticed it was a lot less hot to touch whilst playing and the unit also runs quieter because it’s not as hot.
When I reviewed the ASUS ROG Ally, one of the things I really liked was the software, which I was so excited to get hands-on with an early beta version of AYASPACE 2.0. I’m really happy to report that it brings over many of the things that I loved about Armory Crate and really improves the overall experience.
Firstly, the whole experience just runs smoother even on 5w. Even though it’s still in beta, I didn’t experience a single crash or freeze. You can now easily control a lot more of the settings in the quick settings overlay, including changing TDP on the fly between presets. You can now also turn on a performance overlay with just one click in the quick settings menu.
The entire library system also just seems to be a lot cleaner and quicker to load games and also add them in as soon as they’re downloaded. It’s really fantastic to see AYANEO moving on this space, as I don’t know if anyone has ever questioned how fantastic their hardware is.
I’ve mentioned it in other reviews but the AYANEO docking station is a must-have if you’re using one of their devices. It can work with any of its products, but I can’t tell you how much this improved the experience. Not only did it mean that I could easily charge the device at all times, it also made connecting a monitor via HDMI as well as keyboards/mice a breeze.
As far as pricing goes, the AYANEO 2S is in early access at Indiegogo at the moment, and the prices are a lot more reasonable than they’ve ever been. You can expect to pay about $1,100 AUD for the entry level Geek 1S model and about $1,400 AUD for the entry level 2S model.