AYANEO has been absolutely on fire this year, most recently with the AYANEO 2S which is without doubt my favourite portable Windows handheld, but the AYANEO Air 1S is also a very special device for some different reasons.
Just like the AYANEO Air Pro that released earlier this year, it takes a similar form-factor to that device with it’s absolutely gorgeous 1080p 5.5-inch AMOLED display, except now, it has the same internals of the AYANEO 2S, the 7840U processor which means that it’s in-line with the most powerful Windows portables on the market.
It’s really hard to go past that screen. It’s an AMOLED and it’s super vibrant, even next to the 2S which has a fantastic LED screen. The blacks are perfectly black, and it just absolutely makes games shine. Given it is 5.5-inch, it is definitely on the smaller side, so it really depends on whether you prefer a larger handheld or something that is super comfortable to hold.
The other major change is that due to battery size and cooling, it can only go to a TDP of 20w on battery and 25w whilst on charge, which is well below the 33 TDP top of the AYANEO 2S, but surprisingly, because it’s only driving a 1080p display, the performance is near identical to that of the AYANEO 2S running at 1200p at 25W, so the performance was fantastic.
AYANEO AIR 1S BENCHMARKS
Running at 1080P/High/20w TDP/FSR Balanced
Cyberpunk 2077 – 33 FPS
Forza Horizon 5 – 51 FPS
Returnal – 33 FPS
Horizon 53 FPS
F1 – 64 FPS
I’ve spoken about it in other tech reviews this week, but playing Starfield on this was incredible. It ran like a dream, and it was so easy just to whip this out and continue playing due to Xbox Game Pass being on the device.
I’m never going to stop talking about how much these devices running Windows 11 is an absolutely game-changer, especially for any game that’s on Xbox Game Pass that you can instantly boot up and have your save sync across devices.
Given the smaller size of the Air 1S, battery life lasted about 50-60 minutes when playing on a 20w TDP, so it’s definitely not going to last the longest time, but for short train trips, the portability makes it perfect, and you can drop that TDP down (and the resolution with it) in order to increase your milage.
In the hands, the unit feels great, with your normal dual analogue stick setup, a great D-Pad, nice face buttons and four extra shortcut buttons on the top of device for quickly getting to your desktop or pulling up task manager.
I did notice a little bit more fan noise than when playing on the AYANEO 2S, although that’d to be expected given the unit is a lot smaller and doesn’t have as much fan capacity.
I’ve said many times that Windows isn’t the best OS to use when it comes to navigating around these devices, but the experience has never been better thanks to AYASPACE 2.0.
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. AYANEO has always had the best hardware in this space for me, so it’s so good to see that the software has caught up as it truly matches the experience.
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.
Honestly, above-all, I’m really just shocked that a unit this small can run the latest AAA games at 1080p at more than 30FPS. It’s a really exciting time for AYANEO and other hardware developers in this space, and it’s just moving so quickly.
The AYANEO Air 1S is another fantastic handheld release. It has a gorgeous AMOLED display, flagship performance and a high build quality.