ASUS has officially revealed more info about the ASUS ROG Ally, complete with specs, news about the operating system, and much more.
In This Article
The ASUS ROG Ally runs on a modified version of Windows 11.
Going with Windows 11 is a smart call. Although the Steam Deck’s SteamOS operating system is great and easy to use, the fact it’s Linux means it runs into issues, namely not all Windows games will work out the box. By going with Windows 11, ASUS should be able to sidestep this problem by offering native support.
It’s important to note the Ally doesn’t feature dual trackpads like the Steam Deck, but ASUS says navigating the device is possible through the Ally’s joysticks or through the touchscreen.
What’s more, ASUS Armoury Crate will let owners customize the device and change performance modes on the fly. Armoury Crate also features a game launcher, statistics, Aura Sync, and more unannounced features.
There’s also going to be a bundle that comes with 90 days of Xbox Game Pass for those looking to get into AAA gaming from the off.
ASUS ROG Ally Specifications
- Chipset: AMD Ryzen Z1 with RDNA 3 graphics
- Resolution: 1080p
- Refresh Rate: 120Hz
- Weight: 608g
- Brightness: 500 nits
- Operating System: Windows 11
- Cooling: Zero Gravity
Cooling System Explained
Given the sheer power the ASUS ROG Ally offers, it makes sense ASUS is going with a more robust cooling solution to that of the Steam Deck.
The Ally’s Zero Gravity thermal system makes use of a dual-fan setup combined with heatsink fins and heat pipes. ASUS also notes that this design allows the ASUS ROG Ally to stay cool regardless of how it’s being used.
It’s an interesting setup for sure. The Steam Deck, which isn’t as powerful on paper as the ASUS ROG Ally, uses a single fan as its main cooling solution, and while that works, it can be quite noisy. ASUS is keen to point out the Ally is quieter than the Steam Deck, so it’d make sense that the extra fan is playing a large part in that claim.
Steam Deck vs ASUS ROG Ally Comparison
I need to preface this with “on paper” just to emphasize the point. The ASUS ROG Ally is more powerful than the Steam Deck on paper. How that will translate in action, though, remains to be seen. Windows 11 is a nightmare on the Steam Deck due to how unoptimized it is.
If ASUS really has gotten the Windows beast under control, and everything works to its fullest, we could be seeing a device that comfortably eclipses the Steam Deck’s power.
Of course, I haven’t heard any rumblings of a price yet. To compete with the Steam Deck, ASUS will need to price within the same ballpark. Part of the appeal of the Steam Deck is the price. It’s cheaper than both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and is much cheaper than a gaming PC.
ASUS could easily charge more than the Steam Deck thanks to the stronger internals, but going too far in the opposite direction is sure to add a barrier of entry and keep the Deck as the strongest high-powered, budget handheld option.
Is that something ASUS would be fine with? Could the ROG Ally be a premium option rather than something affordable? Those are the questions ASUS needs to answer to make the case for the Ally.
|Feature||ASUS ROG Ally vs Steam Deck|
|Chipset||AMD Ryzen Z1 with RDNA 3 vs AMD APU Zen 2 and RDNA 2|
|Resolution (handheld mode)||1080p vs 800p|
|Refresh Rate||120Hz vs 60Hz|
|Brightness||600 nits vs 500 nits|
|Operating System||SteamOS (Linux) vs Windows 11|
|Weight||608g vs 669g|
|RAM||Up to 16GB vs 16GB|
|Storage||Up to 512GB SSD vs Up to 512GB SSD|
ASUS is yet to reveal the price or release date of the ASUS ROG Ally, but I have been told where you’ll be able to pick it up.
In the US, you’ll be able to grab the handheld at Walmart. In the UK, however, the ASUS ROG Ally is exclusive to Currys.
ASUS will be showing off the Ally at a launch event on May 11, 2023. The keynote kicks off at 10 am Eastern Time followed by a panel with Shawn Yen from ASUS, Roanne Sones of Microsoft, and Frank Azor from AMD. They’ll all be there to talk about the design story of the ASUS ROG Ally.
Little is known about the event, but I’m hoping we get a few more concrete details, and hopefully, a release date.
Pricing info is due to come before the event on May 5, 2023.