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Orange Pi Neo gaming handheld to come with Manjaro Linux

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Shown off during the recent FOSDEM 2024 event, it seems the Manjaro Linux team have buddied up with hardware vendor Orange Pi for the Orange Pi Neo gaming handheld.

The system has not been fully announced by Orange Pi directly as of yet, but the Manjaro Linux team put various (1) posts (2) on X (formerly Twitter) and they have a dedicated page on their website for the Orange Pi Neo that goes over the specifications.

We haven't seen many jump into Linux for handhelds like this yet aside from the Steam Deck. We would've had the AYANEO Next Lite, which was announced with HoloISO, but they reversed course back to Windows. So it's good to see another that will be coming to market to further push Linux in the gaming space!

Specifications:

CPU AMD Ryzen™ 7 7840U
Screen 7-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200, WUXGA) 16:10, 500nits Brightness, 120Hz Refresh Rate
Ram 16GB/32GB LPDDR5 (7500MHz dual channel)
Storage 512GB-2TB PCIe® 4.0 NVMe™ M.2 SSD (2280)
Dimensions 259mm*107mm*19.9mm
Battery 50WHrs, 3S1P, 3-cell Li-polymer battery
I/O Ports 2x USB 4.0 Type-C, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x TF card slot
Audio 2x 1W dual panoramic speakers
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
Bluetooth BT5.3
Input Dual 6-axis gyroscopes
Dual trackpads
Dual thumbsticks with RGB

The decision to go with Manjaro isn't that unexpected either, considering it's the Linux distribution Valve still suggest right now for developing specifically for the Steam Deck without having one (as SteamOS and Manjaro are both Arch Linux based).

Seems like it could be quite an interesting device, definitely worth keeping an eye on! Curious to see more on it, especially since it's an all-in-one device with Orange Pi usually being known for their small boards.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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40 comments
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Aside from the ring RGB lighting (which hopefully can be disabled) it sounds like a really interesting device! Probably the nearest I've seen to a proper steam deck competitor in my opinion. Then again I'm just biased because I wouldn't buy a handheld with windows on it. Hopefully the device is well supported. And kudos to Manjaro, winning the honour of first non-steamOS Linux distro to show up on a handheld? Wonder if this thing will be sold in Australia.
Ooooh... Nice! This one picks my interest. Let's wait and see the reviews, but the hardware side is pretty interesting. It's possible to install gamescope and gamescope-session on Manjaro. Not a bad choice.
If I was a decision maker I would not ship manjaro. A distro that $equires enduse$s to read the release notes will not go down well with people jslust buying a handheld.
But having trackpads is an excellent choice. This device looks like it solves th$ee of the reasons why I have not bought any steam deck competitors: No windows, yes Trackpads.
Should they now arrange for me suddenly not having a steam deck there will be questions.
Quoting: gaboverstaIf I was a decision maker I would not ship manjaro. A distro that $equires enduse$s to read the release notes will not go down well with people jslust buying a handheld.
But having trackpads is an excellent choice. This device looks like it solves th$ee of the reasons why I have not bought any steam deck competitors: No windows, yes Trackpads.
Should they now arrange for me suddenly not having a steam deck there will be questions.

You are right, but OrangePi, like RaspberryPi, are not targeting the masses. Those are thinkerers oriented companies. Manjaro is a good fit with this mindset, but is a handheld a good hardware platform for thinkerers? I'm not sure, but we will see...


Last edited by Mohandevir on 5 February 2024 at 1:59 pm UTC
I am a Manjaro user since before they had that "we're doing weird stuff now and now everyone hates us" phase and beyond. It's a fine distro, no matter what the haters say. Howeverrrr, a bit of a weird choice for a device like this. The A/B boot partition thing SteamOS uses is still the most perfect way to maintain a stable system.
Lofty Feb 5
Quoting: Pengling
Quoting: JuliusOdd screen resolution choice. Probably not the best for overall performance.
People keep asking for it, and won't learn until they see for themselves that you'll barely see a difference in fidelity at that size, but will lose out in performance due to the higher resolution.

I can't agree with that. people do notice the 800p resolution on the steam deck vs 1080p on the ROG for instance. Not only that but we have global FSR2.0 now, which works really well especially on a smaller screen with a higher resolution, where as FSR on an already low 800p screen (mixed with the usual terrible TAA implementation on many modern games used for anti-aliasing) doesn't look crisp at all.

1200p is the perfect sweet spot and of course it's 16:10 which is the only aspect ratio of choice :P

id of liked to see it being 7.5" to match the oled of the steamdeck or even an 8" screen but we can't have everything.

looking forward to this.
Pyretic Feb 5
Quoting: Loftybut we have global FSR2.0 now, which works really well especially on a smaller screen with a higher resolution, where as FSR on an already low 800p screen (mixed with the usual terrible TAA implementation on many modern games used for anti-aliasing) doesn't look crisp at all.

Why would a smaller screen have worse FSR? Technically speaking, a smaller screen should make it harder to see the imperfections.
I have mixed feelings about this. Considering there are only two perceptions of Manjaro: Great as f*ck and Broken as f*ck it will be interesting to see how it will turn out.

Also I feel like SteamOS is already a bit flunky from time to time I see a lot of potential of things to go wrong.

Don't get me wrong, SteamOS is perfectly fine for what it is intended to be used for as a handheld, but there are quite a few nuances and things randomly being annoying.

Like it sometimes does a full restet when going from Desktop back to gaming mode. You hear the sound of the boot video, then it stops and it starts to verify the installation.

Or Steam Link and the Steam Client crashing gamescope at least once when connecting for remote play.

Randomly not picking up external displays unless you do a full shutdown.

With some HDMI to Display port cables it's usable to read the EDIF of some devices.

And so many more little things randomly bugging out.

Considering it's done by Valve and they have all this little issues while they usually do exceptionally well software (unless you run Steam on Wayland + nvidia). What might Manjaro pull off with.

Does Manjaro have the man power to maintain such a system software wise?
scaine Feb 5
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Quoting: Pyretic
Quoting: Loftybut we have global FSR2.0 now, which works really well especially on a smaller screen with a higher resolution, where as FSR on an already low 800p screen (mixed with the usual terrible TAA implementation on many modern games used for anti-aliasing) doesn't look crisp at all.

Why would a smaller screen have worse FSR? Technically speaking, a smaller screen should make it harder to see the imperfections.

FSR takes the resolution you're playing at, then scales it down for calculations before showing you the results of that calculation at your original resolution. So the lower the initial resolution, the less impressive and fuzzier the results end up. FSR really only shines at 1080p and above. I use it on most 1440p games to keep the calculation around the 1080p mark and I honestly can't tell the difference in what's shown on the screen, but I do benefit directly either by having an extremely stable 120fps, or by not having my fans sound like an aircraft is taking off from under my desk!
Pengling Feb 5
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Quoting: LoftyI can't agree with that. people do notice the 800p resolution on the steam deck vs 1080p on the ROG for instance.
I didn't say there was no difference, though - I said there's barely any difference at that size, which is a simple fact. It's like how there's barely any difference between Coke and Pepsi - there is one, but it's really not a big deal.

Besides, people tell themselves they can see big differences in many things - that's why The Emperor's New Clothes exists.
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