Valve’s Steam Deck changed people’s perception of what PC gaming can look like on a handheld device. As such, it’s no surprise to see a good load of handheld gaming PCs following in its footsteps. The Asus ROG Ally is the latest device to plan its foot in the gaming handheld ring and it’s looking fit to give Valve’s hardware a run for its money.
No, it’s just another cloud-based gaming handheld, but an actual full-fledged gaming PC just like the Steam Deck. Except, instead of running a Linux flavor, it runs a full build of Windows 11, so you can use it with any games or software that you would otherwise run on your desktop.
The Asus ROG Ally is a gaming handheld with a 7-inch screen flanked by gamepad controls consisting of asymmetric analog sticks, a disc-shaped D-pad, four action buttons, and small system buttons. It’s got two shoulder buttons, a pair of triggers, and even a pair of paddles in the back, so it’s got the full set of controls you typically find in modern controllers. The screen comes with 1080p resolution with a whipping 314ppi pixel density, which, Asus claims, is double the pixel density of a 32-inch 4K display, so this thing packs a lot of detail in limited screen real estate. Additional, the display gets a 120Hz refresh rate, multi-touch support, and AMD’s FreeSync Premium technology.
Inside, it’s powered by an AMD Ryzen Z1, which boasts eight cores, 16 threads, and 8.6 teraflops of graphics performance. Running on AMD’s RDNA 3 engine, it comes with full support for the outfit’s upscaling technologies (RSR and FSR), which, Asus claims, will allow it to rival the graphics power of standard game consoles. They pair that processing muscle with 16GB of DDR5 RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a microSD card slot for extra storage on the entry-level, with higher-spec versions likely scheduled for later.
The Asus ROG Ally is supposedly powerful enough to run games like FIFA 23, Moving Out, and Street Fighter V at over 60 fps, all while achieving similar performance in many story-driven single-player AAA titles. For more demanding games, you can also hook it up to any of the outfit’s external GPU systems (Asus ROG XG Mobile eGPU) to get desktop-level performance. It comes with dual front-facing speakers, too, complete with Smart Amp tech and Dolby Atmos virtual 5.1.2-channel surround sound. So far, the outfit hasn’t listed battery life, although the fact that it’s running full Windows 11 with a high-quality display means it’s probably not going to last long between charges. On the upside, it does come with a 65W USB-C power adapter that charges it from 0 to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.
Despite its compact size, the handheld comes with built-in cooling, courtesy of the outfit’s “Zero Gravity” thermal system, which combines dual fans, a heat pipe, ultra-thin heatsink fins, and dual air intakes with dust filters. Other features include Armoury Crate SE (Asus’ custom game launcher), a light weight of just 608 grams, built-in mic, and a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello.
The Asus ROG Ally is available now, priced starting at $699.