Asus has just joined the race to make a handheld PC gaming advice that looks legally distinct from a Nintendo Switch. However, unlike the Steam Deck, this is one you’ll actually be able to buy in stores in Australia. So, here is everything you need to know about the ROG Ally.
What is the ROG Ally?
The ROG Ally is a handheld gaming PC. It runs an AMD Ryzen Z1 chip, has 16 GBs of RAM, a 1080p 7” screen and weighs 608g, which is a very specific number of grams. You can see the full specs below, but the most important thing is that it runs Windows 11 and almost any game that can run on Windows 11 in a variety of launchers.
PC? Does it have a keyboard and mouse?
No, no it does not. But you can pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and even use it docked with a screen to get that full PC experience. While some other handheld PC gaming solutions have trackpads and other mouse replacements, the ROG Ally has gone all in on the controller experience and generally ignoring the PC of it all, though there is a touchscreen.
How does the ROG Ally compare to the Steam Deck?
There are a few key differences, the key one being that Asus is actually selling the ROG Ally in Australia, while Valve’s feelings still sting from being reprimanded by the ACCC, so the Steam Deck isn’t available here. Also, the Ally is around 5-20 times more powerful than the Steam Deck, depending on which metrics you’re using, which is pretty significant.
But also, the Steam Deck is a device to play Steam games on Steam. The ROG Ally is a PC trapped in the body of a heavy Nintendo Switch Lite, so you can play games from:
- Xbox Game Pass for PC
- Epic Games Store
- Ubisoft Connect
- EA App
- Xbox Cloud Gaming
- Amazon Luna
So, it’s got more options and means you can play Fortnite and Fall Guys anywhere you have a good enough internet connection. The Ally also has 512GB SSDs across the board (potentially, sounds like the specs for the base model are still being discussed). The Ally is also 61 grams lighter than the Steam Deck.
On the side of the Steam Deck, though, it has little touchpads that you can use to play point and click games for a ‘mousier’ experience, and there is also a bigger range of price points ranging from a base model that seems ‘fine enough’, up to a premium model.
How much storage does the ROG Ally have?
The Extreme model has a 512GB SSD, and also has a UHS-II SD card slot for extra storage.
Can I upgrade the storage and RAM in the ROG Ally?
An Asus representative has confirmed that you can switch out the SSD for a larger size without voiding the warranty. They also confirmed that it is impossible to upgrade the RAM. Win some, lose some.
Can I plug the ROG Ally into my TV?
You sure can, bucko. You just need to buy the official dock, which includes the truly massive proprietary cable that lets you plug it into HDMI. Seriously, it looks like the thing they beat Jesus with. Truly a hideously ugly solution, but a solution nonetheless.
Can I use the ROG Ally as a PC replacement?
Shockingly, yes. You can connect it to a monitor, keyboard, mouse and XG Mobile with an up to RTX 4090 graphics card if you want. In the demonstration with Forza Horizon 5 it could handle 120fps OR 4K with a 4090, but not both. It’s not going to replace a high-end PC any time soon, but you can’t take a high-end PC with you to play on a plane.
Because it’s Windows 11-based, it’ll also run all the usual Windows 11 apps like Office, or Photoshop. Someone is going to do something deeply weird with this, and I look forward to seeing it.
How many models are there?
Two. There’s the basic model, for which we don’t have confirmed specs or pricing, and the Extreme, which is the one I’ve had hands on time with and am mostly talking about in this article.
How long is the ROG Ally warranty?
Officially, it’s one year. But that’s irrelevant because Australian Consumer Law will mean you get at least two years warranty. Don’t let companies cheat you out of your consumer law rights (not that I’m suggesting Asus would fall afoul of the ACCC, it’s just a handy general reminder).
How long is the battery life?
Around 2-3 hours, depending on the game you’re playing. Could be more, could be less.
When does the ROG Ally come out?
While I am uncertain about the Ally’s sexuality, the Extreme version will be in stores on the 13th of June. The base model is a mystery.
How much does the ROG Ally cost?
The Extreme ROG Ally is $1299AUD. The base model ROG Ally will cost a lower amount of dollars, but Asus doesn’t appear to have decided how many dollars yet.
Where can I buy a ROG Ally?
In Australia, the ROG Ally is available from JB Hi Fi and the Asus online store. In New Zealand is available in those places and PB Tech.
ROG Ally Extreme Specs:
Processor: AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme Processor
CPU: “Zen 4” architecture with 4 nm process, 8-core / 16-threads, 24 MB total cache, up to 5.10 GHz boost
GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics (AMD RDNATM 3, 12 CUs, up to 2.7 GHz, up to 8.6 Teraflops) Power: 9-30W
Display: 7″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9, IPS-level glossy display 500 nits peak brightness
Gorilla® Glass VictusTM
Gorilla® Glass DXC
Touchscreen (10-point multi-touch) Refresh Rate:120 Hz
Response Time:7 ms
Support Dolby Vision HDR
AMD FreeSyncTM Premium
Memory: 16 GB LPDDR5 on board (6400 MT/s dual channel)
Storage: 512 GB PCIe® 4.0 NVMeTM M.2 SSD (2230)
Ports: 1 x ROG XG Mobile Interface and USB Type-C® combo port (with USB 3.2 Gen 2, supports DisplayPortTM 1.4)
1 x 3.5 mm Combo Audio Jack
1 x UHS-II microSD card reader (supports SD, SDXC and SDHC)
Control inputs: Gamepad controls:
A B X Y buttons
L & R Hall Effect analog triggers L & R bumpers
Command Center button
Armoury Crate button
2 x assignable grip buttons
Thumbsticks: 2 x full-size analog sticks with capacitive touch Haptics: HD haptics
Gyro: 6-Axis IMU
Audio: AI noise-cancelling technology
Built-in array microphone
2-speaker system with Smart Amplifier Technology
Network and Communication: Triple band WiFi 6E (802.11ax) 2 x 2 Bluetooth 5.23
Battery: 40 Wh
Power Supply: 65 W USB Type-C® PD 3.0 power supply
Adapter: 65 W AC Adapter, Output: 20 V DC, 3.25 A, 65 W, Input: 100~240 V AC 50 / 60 Hz universal
Weight: ~608 g
Dimensions: 28.0 x 11.1 x 2.12 ~ 3.24 cm
3 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate included
Security: Built-in Fingerprint Sensor Microsoft Pluton security processor