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More details on the Manjaro Orange Pi Neo gaming handheld

By - | Views: 52,831

Announced earlier this month, the Orange Pi Neo is a gaming handheld coming out a bit like the Steam Deck but it will be running Manjaro Linux. Recently the Manjaro team gave out a bit more info that was all in a Q&A post on the official Manjaro forum.

This isn't something that was rushed as Manjaro project lead Phillip Müller noted they've worked with Orange Pi on this since May 2023, and the Neo will be released with the first version of Manjaro that's immutable (just like SteamOS on the Steam Deck) named Manjaro Gaming Edition. This will come with special patched versions of gamescope, handygccs, OpenGamepadUI, hhd and it will have a focus on Flatpaks for extras. It will also ship with the KDE Plasma desktop mode, just like the Steam Deck again. So overall how it will work should be very close to SteamOS.

Something many people have been asking for: more handhelds that match up to the software experience on the Steam Deck and not just sticking something on top of Windows to make it slightly less terrible. The thumbpads and an extra USB port are also very welcome.

What they're currently working on getting working:

  • RGB control still needs to be added to hhd or a dedicated application.
  • TDP control might work via OpenGamepadUI overlay mode.
  • controller support still needs to be added to OpenGamepadUI.
  • fan curves and battery control needs to be optimized.
  • Audio Equalizer might still need some work to improve audio quality.
  • Standby and Sleep needs some work in software and firmware to properly work.

They even noted the gyroscope model as a BOSCH 260, which is already supported.

Most importantly: what about pricing and release date? Well the good news on both is that it's not far away with a Q2 2024 target (April - June), and they say the price is aiming for the lower-end of Steam Deck pricing so it sounds like it's going to be really competitive there.

Here's a reminder of the specs:

Screen 7-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200, WUXGA) 16:10, 500nits Brightness, 120Hz Refresh Rate
RAM 16GB/32GB LPDDR5 (6400MHz dual channel)
Dimensions 259mm*107mm*19.9mm
Triggers Linear Hall Trigger
Ports 2x USB 4.0 Type-C, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x TF card slot
BT / WiFI BT5.3, Wifi 6E
Cooling Turbo Large Fan, Dual Copper Pipes + Aluminium Alloy Cooling Fans, extra large air vents + customised cooling system and air ducts with a subtle design
Colour White/Black
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 7840U
Storage 512GB-2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (2280)
Battery 50WHrs, 3S1P, 3-cell Li-polymer battery
Joysticks Hall Sensing Joystick with RGB Lighting
Gyro Dual 6-axis gyroscopes
Audio 2x 1W dual panoramic speakers

Really keen to see more from this! What do you think?

See more in the Q&A post. Additionally there's also the Manjaro Gaming Slimbook laptop recently launched.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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24 comments
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Pyretic Feb 16
Quoting: EikeI'm surprised. Why would you think there could be a problem for Linux on that front?

Not OP but I don't think Linux should compete on that front. Linux doesn't have as much compatibility as Windows when it comes to games. And what compatibility it does have keeps breaking thanks to some stupid DRM. I know it's not Valve's fault that it happens but it does happen.

It's sad to say but, in terms of gaming, Linux's main selling points are its low price and its better performance. We need to focus on both of these if we aim to increase its market share and get developers to start targeting our platform. Thankfully, we are already starting to see that and I can only hope that it's a sign of better things to come.
Pyretic Feb 16
Quoting: WMan22SCUF patent

Out of the loop, what's the SCUF patent?
Valve is leading the way. Looks like a company finally figured out that all they have to do is follow. And with this coming from the Manjaro team, there's no risk of Microsoft suddenly swooping in and forcing them to install Windows instead.
CyborgZeta Feb 17
I haven't heard good things about Manjaro, but this is the most promising Deck alternative I've heard of yet.
MiZoG Feb 17
They definitely need to make that immutable gaming edition their main one. It will save us so much aur+manjaro drama.
alka.setzer Feb 17
Quoting: PyreticIt's sad to say but, in terms of gaming, Linux's main selling points are its low price and its better performance. We need to focus on both of these if we aim to increase its market share and get developers to start targeting our platform. Thankfully, we are already starting to see that and I can only hope that it's a sign of better things to come.

The Linux (or any other free/gratis OS) pricing advantage is for end users on replacing an OS or installing on a bare bones. For device makers (like OrangePI, Lenovo, Clevo, etc) Linux offers only some relative pricing advantage, as the cost of development and support will have to be paid (instead of for example riding on AMD drivers for the platform), and I think we all have passed through some unbootable distro build or hardware that stopped working for reasons. Large brands like Lenovo, Asus or Valve have support figured out, a small niche company from China and a, flaky, Linux distro not so much.

But if the price is right and the device lasts one year on the wild and is still being supported after that, I'll consider adding it to my list of handhelds :p
elmapul Feb 17
from the github page:
"Open Gamepad UI is a free and open source game launcher and overlay written using the Godot Game Engine 4 "

holycrap! now im really interessed!
iHad169 Feb 17
If waydroid is the default default and supports inserting SIM card to make calls, Orange Pi will be more competitive.
LoudTechie Feb 17
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: LoudTechie
Quoting: hardpenguinMore medium- and high-end Linux-based gaming devices please.
I don't think Linux can currently compete on that front, but I look forward to being proven wrong.

I'm surprised. Why would you think there could be a problem for Linux on that front?

The middle class of gaming devices competes on ease of use.
The higher class of gaming devices competes on performance.
Linux has both.
Wine had to give up both to obtain better compatibility.
Wine's still a lot of jumps removed from regaining that.
Every day they come closer, but the distance is big.
LoudTechie Feb 17
Quoting: iHad169If waydroid is the default default and supports inserting SIM card to make calls, Orange Pi will be more competitive.
Quoting: iHad169If waydroid is the default default and supports inserting SIM card to make calls, Orange Pi will be more competitive.
Supporting SIM cards is sadly one of the still missing frontiers for FOSS devices.
There've currently to my knowledge been just two shots at fixing that.
One is still ongoing, but too closed for tinkerers to benefit(openran).
The other failed(bruce perens side project).
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