Asus ROG Ally Review: What Should You Know Before Buying?

Asus ROG Ally Review: What Should You Know Before Buying?

Asus, the renowned technology company, has finally unveiled the much-anticipated full specifications and pricing details for its latest innovation, the ROG Ally handheld gaming PC. This device, powered by the AMD Zen4 architecture, is poised to directly compete with Valve’s Steam Deck, offering gamers an impressive package for enjoying their favorite games on the go.

ASUS ROG Ally 7" 120Hz Gaming Handheld - AMD Z1 Extreme Processor - 512GB -...
  • Amazing graphics: AMD Radeon RDNA3 graphics (4GB VRAM, 12 compute units)
  • Ample storage: A 512GB NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 SSD gives you room to store your favorite games and keep load times snappy....
  • Stunningly beautiful visuals: No tearing, no stuttering, and games are crisp and clear on the ROG Ally's 7-inch...
  • Blazing fast memory: Swap through your applications and have multiple tabs running with 16GB LPDDR5 6400 RAM.

Video Review of Asus ROG Ally

Asus ROG Ally: Design and Build Quality

The ROG Ally handheld gaming PC from Asus features a durable aluminum chassis, combining a sleek design with robust build quality. Weighing in at 608 grams, the device strikes a balance between portability and durability, making it comfortable to hold during long gaming sessions. With dimensions of 280 x 111 x 21.2mm, it offers a compact form factor that is easy to carry and fits comfortably in hand.

Running on full-fledged Windows 11 Home, the ROG Ally provides users with the complete Windows experience in a portable gaming device. Asus has also included a special edition of Asus Armoury Crate, which offers additional customization options and features specifically tailored for gaming on the ROG Ally.

One notable feature of the ROG Ally is its compatibility with Xbox Game Pass. Each purchase of the ROG Ally comes with a three-month trial of Xbox Game Pass, granting users access to a vast library of games across various genres. Furthermore, the device supports games from other major game launchers and game streaming services, ensuring a wide range of gaming options.

For precise controls, the ROG Ally offers two analog thumb sticks with capacitive touch and RGB lighting, allowing for precise movement and intuitive gameplay. It also includes a D-pad and ABXY buttons, providing familiar console-like controls. The left and right Hall Effect triggers and bumpers offer responsive input for in-game actions, while two assignable grip buttons on the back provide additional customization options.

To enhance user interaction, the screen of the ROG Ally is flanked by the command center and view buttons on the left side, providing quick access to key functions during gameplay. On the right side, users can find the menu and Armoury Crate buttons, allowing for seamless navigation and customization options. Asus has also integrated six-axis gyro support, enabling motion controls for specific games or applications.

So, the ROG Ally delivers a comprehensive and immersive gaming experience with its Windows 11 compatibility, support for Xbox Game Pass, and compatibility with major game launchers and streaming services. The device’s ergonomic controls, RGB lighting, and assignable buttons offer intuitive and customizable gameplay, while the inclusion of gyro support adds another layer of interaction possibilities. The ROG Ally is designed to provide gamers with a powerful and versatile gaming platform in a portable form factor.

Asus ROG Ally: Display and Hardware

The ROG Ally handheld gaming PC boasts a cutting-edge design and exceptional performance capabilities. It features a vibrant 7-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, providing gamers with immersive visuals and crisp details. The device’s compact and portable form factor makes it ideal for gaming on the move, enabling users to indulge in their favorite titles wherever they may be.

Asus claims that the ROG Ally has a quick 7ms response time, minimizing input lag and providing a more responsive gaming experience. Additionally, the device boasts 100% coverage of the sRGB color space, ensuring accurate and vibrant color reproduction for a visually immersive gaming environment.

Under the hood, the ROG Ally is powered by AMD’s Zen4 architecture, ensuring a powerful and seamless gaming experience. It is equipped with an AMD Ryzen processor, which offers impressive performance and efficiency. The exact specifications of the processor, such as the core count and clock speeds, are yet to be revealed by Asus. However, given AMD’s track record, it’s safe to assume that the ROG Ally will deliver exceptional performance in handling demanding games and multitasking.

Under the hood, the ROG Ally comes in two chipset versions: the AMD Ryzen Z1 and Ryzen Z1 Extreme chips. The Z1 variant features a six-core Zen 4 CPU with twelve threads, while the GPU side is handled by four RDNA 3 cores. This configuration delivers a balance of power and efficiency, enabling smooth gameplay and multitasking capabilities.

For those seeking even more power, the ROG Ally offers the Z1 Extreme version, which packs an eight-core Zen 4 CPU with sixteen threads. On the GPU side, it features twelve RDNA 3 cores with a significant 24MB cache. This configuration is designed for users who demand top-tier performance and are looking to push the boundaries of gaming on a handheld device.

One notable feature of the ROG Ally is its support for external GPUs. Users have the option to connect an external GPU, and the device is compatible with the ROG XG Mobile docking station. This docking station can accommodate the powerful GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, providing desktop-level graphics performance for gamers who require the utmost graphical fidelity.

Both models of the ROG Ally handheld gaming PC come equipped with 16GB of LPDDR5 dual-channel memory, ensuring smooth multitasking and efficient performance. Additionally, they offer ample storage capacity with options of 256GB or 512GB PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD in the 2230 size, allowing users to store their favorite games and media.

To complement the powerful processor, the ROG Ally handheld gaming PC features integrated AMD Radeon graphics, promising stunning visuals and smooth gameplay. Whether it’s exploring vast open worlds or engaging in fast-paced multiplayer battles, gamers can expect exceptional graphics performance from this handheld device.

Storage is a crucial aspect for gaming enthusiasts, and Asus has taken this into consideration. The ROG Ally offers ample storage capacity, with options ranging from 128GB to 512GB of solid-state storage. This ensures that gamers can install and store their favorite games without worrying about running out of space. Furthermore, the device also supports expandable storage via a microSD card slot, allowing users to add more storage as needed.

In terms of connectivity, the ROG Ally handheld gaming PC provides various options to accommodate gamers’ needs. It features built-in Wi-Fi for online gaming and updates, Bluetooth for connecting peripherals, and a USB Type-C port for charging and connecting external devices. Additionally, it includes a 3.5mm audio jack, enabling users to connect their favorite headphones or speakers for an immersive audio experience.

To power the device, the ROG Ally features a 40Wh battery pack, providing sufficient battery life for extended gaming sessions. Asus claims that the device can last up to two hours in heavy gaming titles when running under the 15W performance mode, ensuring uninterrupted gameplay without the need for frequent recharging.

To address the thermal requirements of a high-performance handheld gaming PC, Asus has incorporated dual fans and a copper heat pipe into the ROG Ally. These cooling solutions help dissipate heat efficiently, allowing the device to maintain optimal performance even during intense gaming sessions.

The console ships with a 65W PD (Power Delivery) charger, enabling fast and convenient charging when needed.

The ROG Ally also comes with an impressive battery life, ensuring extended gaming sessions without interruptions. Asus claims that the device can deliver up to 6 hours of gameplay on a single charge, which is quite impressive for a handheld gaming PC.

In terms of connectivity and I/O options, the ROG Ally offers a Type-C combo port with support for USB 3.2 Gen2, providing fast data transfer speeds for peripherals and external devices. The device also includes a dedicated port for connecting external GPUs, expanding the graphical capabilities of the console. Additionally, a microSD card slot with support for UHS-II cards allows users to expand the storage capacity further. A headphone/microphone combo jack is also included for audio connectivity.

For an immersive audio experience, the ROG Ally features dual-firing stereo speakers with support for Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res Audio. This ensures high-quality audio output, enhancing the overall gaming experience.

In terms of wireless connectivity, the ROG Ally offers Wi-Fi 6E, which provides fast and reliable wireless internet connectivity, allowing gamers to play online games without interruptions. It also supports Bluetooth 5.2, enabling easy connection to various peripherals and accessories.

Overall, the ROG Ally handheld gaming PC delivers a comprehensive range of I/O options and connectivity features, ensuring seamless integration with external devices and providing an immersive audio experience. The device’s battery life, cooling system, and storage options cater to the needs of gamers, enabling them to enjoy high-performance gaming on the go.

Asus ROG Ally: Price and Availability

Now, let’s talk about the most crucial aspect: pricing. The ROG Ally handheld gaming PC is available in multiple configurations to suit different budgets and requirements. The base model with 128GB of storage starts at $599, offering an affordable entry point for gamers. The higher-end models, featuring larger storage capacities and potentially other enhancements, are priced accordingly.

The Ryzen Z1 version of the ROG Ally handheld gaming PC, featuring 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, is priced at $600 in the US. It has been confirmed that this version will start shipping in the third quarter of the year, providing gamers with an affordable option for portable gaming.

For those seeking more power and storage capacity, the Z1 Extreme model of the ROG Ally is available. It starts at $700 in the US, €800 in Europe, and £700 in the UK. This version comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, offering enhanced performance and ample space for games and media.

Pre-orders for the Z1 Extreme model are currently available directly from Asus and local retail partners. Customers who pre-order can expect their deliveries to start next month, ensuring that they can get their hands on this high-performance handheld gaming PC at the earliest opportunity.

With the unveiling of the full specs list and pricing details for the ROG Ally handheld gaming PC, Asus has demonstrated its commitment to delivering a powerful gaming experience in a portable form factor. As a direct challenger to Valve’s Steam Deck, this device presents a compelling alternative for gamers who want to enjoy their favorite titles on the go. The ROG Ally is set to make a significant impact in the handheld gaming market, offering impressive performance, a sleek design, and competitive pricing.

Pros of Asus ROG Ally:

  1. Powerful Performance: The ROG Ally is equipped with AMD Ryzen processors and RDNA 3 graphics cores, offering high-performance capabilities for smooth gaming experiences.
  2. Portable Design: With its compact form factor and lightweight aluminum chassis, the ROG Ally is designed for gaming on the go, allowing users to enjoy their favorite games wherever they are.
  3. High-quality Display: The device features a 7-inch IPS LCD display with a high refresh rate and FHD resolution, providing vibrant visuals and smooth gameplay.
  4. Expandable Storage: The ROG Ally offers options for ample storage capacity and supports expandable storage via a microSD card slot, allowing users to install and store a large number of games.
  5. External GPU Support: The device is compatible with external GPUs, such as the ROG XG Mobile, enabling users to enhance their graphical performance and access desktop-level graphics capabilities.
  6. Wide Range of Connectivity: The ROG Ally offers various connectivity options, including Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, ensuring fast and reliable connections for online gaming and peripheral devices.
  7. Xbox Game Pass Compatibility: Users receive a three-month trial of Xbox Game Pass with the purchase of the ROG Ally, providing access to a wide range of games.

ASUS ROG Ally 7" 120Hz Gaming Handheld - AMD Z1 Extreme Processor - 512GB -...
  • Amazing graphics: AMD Radeon RDNA3 graphics (4GB VRAM, 12 compute units)
  • Ample storage: A 512GB NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 SSD gives you room to store your favorite games and keep load times snappy....
  • Stunningly beautiful visuals: No tearing, no stuttering, and games are crisp and clear on the ROG Ally's 7-inch...
  • Blazing fast memory: Swap through your applications and have multiple tabs running with 16GB LPDDR5 6400 RAM.

Cons of Asus ROG Ally:

  1. Limited Battery Life: Despite efforts to optimize battery life, the ROG Ally may have a limited battery capacity, resulting in shorter gaming sessions without access to a power source.
  2. Availability and Pricing: As a new and highly sought-after device, the ROG Ally may face availability constraints and pricing that could be considered higher compared to other handheld gaming devices.
  3. Limited Exclusive Features: While the ROG Ally offers impressive specifications and performance, it may lack exclusive features that set it apart from competitors in the handheld gaming market.
  4. Potential Heating Issues: Gaming devices can generate significant heat, and although Asus has included cooling mechanisms, intensive gaming sessions may still lead to elevated temperatures and potential discomfort.
  5. Operating System Limitations: While the ROG Ally runs full-fledged Windows 11 Home, it may still face limitations or compatibility issues with certain applications or games designed specifically for other operating systems.
  6. Lack of Physical Controls: While the ROG Ally provides a range of physical controls, some users may still find the absence of additional buttons or customizable features limiting for their gaming preferences.

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