In a surprising twist Adata had the most interesting handheld computer at Computex 2024

There were a lot of new handheld gaming PCs floating around the Computex show this year, whether it was newbies like the Zotac Zone, or companies trying to fix initial mistakes with their first devices, such as the ROG Ally X and MSI Claw 8 AI. . But in an almost Shyamalanian twist it was Adata who presented the most interesting handheld of the show.

Now, I’m not going to say it’s the best because we’ve only been shown a few prototypes of the Adata Nia so far, and silicon hasn’t been finalized either. But there’s a great ethos behind it, some interesting new tech options, and even some eye-tracking tricks that could improve performance.

But it’s the approach to pricing that’s also exciting. I would suspect that the Zotac Zone will come in cheap with its trackpads and OLED screen, and not the Ally X or MSI Claw 8 AI. But Adata is at least looking for normalized Steam Deck pricing, and trying to keep its own user price down to $500.

However, another matter and far from certain at this early stage. Chatting with Luca Di Fiore, Adata’s head of product, at the show, he points out that Adata has a bit of an advantage over some of the other handheld manufacturers. Outside of the screen and SoC costs, you can shave a fair chunk off the price if you’re getting manufacturing pricing on your storage and memory.

And storage and memory are Adata’s bread and butter, so the theory is that fitting a handset on that side should cost a lot less. It is also getting a little more technical about it, because, instead of using standard soldered LPDDR5x, Adata is a prototype board with LPCAMM2 support.

That’s an interesting move, and it’s definitely the first handheld I’ve heard of using it. The idea is to provide a level of upgrade that most other devices don’t have. This is also why Adata is planning to release the CAD documents around it so that people can 3D print different cases and buttons, etc.



It’s also a possible component of what Adata is calling a planned second life for Nia. There will always be something new and shiny in PC hardware, so these things have a limited shelf life, but instead of dumping them in the trash, Adata wants people to use them for various other projects .

That’s an ambitious goal, and probably won’t be met if a 3D printer is one of the requirements, but Adata hopes to attract enough hackers and modders to make the Nia useful beyond its initial function.

Another way Adata is trying to cut costs is by not shipping Windows with the device; instead it’s looking at shipping a SteamOS clone with the device, or SteamOS if it can manage a sweet-talking Valve. So yeah, a SteamOS clone, then…

The Nia is set to come with a 1080p, 120 Hz panel, with a peak rating of 500 nits, and is designed to be tilted on a sliding mechanism. As well as giving the game a different angle, it allows more room for airflow behind it, too.

Above the screen is an eye-tracking webcam, which is where the potential performance boost could come. The labeling of Nia’s position at the show definitely AMD didn’t mention or foveated rendering in the same sentence, so I have no idea what the eye tracking could be used for when a Ryzen 8000 series or later SoC is in it.

If so was to use foveated rendering however, a technology straight out of improving the performance of ground VR, then the assumption is that it tracks where your eyes are looking and then significantly reduces the rendering levels in your peripheral vision. To be honest, it’s easier to do that on a headset, because with a small 7-inch screen there isn’t much on the edge when it comes to handheld gaming. However, if he can boost performance it would be a real feather in Nia’s cap.

In terms of ergonomics the Nia prototypes feel good in the hand, and despite being around 720 g they feel a bit lighter. The angle you hold the device at takes some of the pressure off your wrist, and makes the offset thumbnails easier to use.

Adata XPG PC gaming handheld NiaAdata XPG PC gaming handheld Nia

Adata XPG PC gaming handheld Nia

I prefer that Xbox stick layout, but I’ve definitely struggled with some handhelds that use it when trying to use the right-hand thumbstick. There’s a certain absurd thumb wobble that requires a lot of effort – not so much in my short time with the Adata Nia. At the moment we are looking at Hall effect sticks, but Adata is also looking at capacitive technology from an Israeli company that could sneak into the final design.

It will likely find its way to market in the same way that the likes of Ayaneo and OneXPlayer do, through crowdfunding campaigns to more accurately measure the amount of manufacturing needed to put it in place. Depending on how this phase of testing goes it could happen by the end of the year, or soon after.

How it ultimately fares will be how close it can reach its $500 price target, what the actual finish of the final product will be (the prototypes felt like prototype plastic to me), and whether Adata can really pull it off. eye tracking performance boost and real customer support for customization and modding.

It will be a tall order, for sure. Adata doesn’t have the brand recognition of some of the others, but I’ll be interested to see how it rolls out.

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