ROG is one of the most recognisable gaming brands in the world, but Asus has never made a handheld console… until now.
The ROG Ally was initially thought to be a joke when teased on April Fool’s Day, although it’s since been confirmed as a real product. As a Windows 11 handheld powered by AMD, comparisons to the $399/£349 Steam Deck are inevitable.
But could the Ally be significantly more expensive? Asus has only confirmed it’ll be under $1,000 so far, with specific pricing not revealed until a separate launch event on 11 May.
Performance is clearly a top priority, though, with the new Ryzen Z1 and Z1 Extreme processors supposedly the fastest we’ve ever seen in a handheld console. In an official press release, AMD describes them as “the ultimate high-performance processor[s] for handheld PC gaming consoles”.
Alongside RDNA 3 graphics and up to 16GB of DDR5 RAM, AAA gaming is expected to be a key strength of the Ally.
Like Valve’s Steam Deck, it has a 7in display. But the Full HD (1920×1080) resolution is higher, while the device has a 120Hz refresh rate rather than the standard 60Hz. A maximum brightness of 500 nits, as opposed to 400 on the Steam Deck, should also improve visibility in strong light.
It’s also a touchscreen with 7ms response time, but the Ally is designed to predominantly be used with the controls on either side. These are set up in the familiar Xbox-style layout, but unlike the Nintendo Switch, can’t be detached for modular gaming.
Instead, you can use the ROG XG Mobile eGPU to stream games to your TV, using the Ally as a wireless controller. It’s the same accessory that’s available for the ROG Flow Z13 gaming tablet but remains an optional extra.
Running Windows 11 means the ROG Ally has access to all the same games as any PC or laptop, whether it’s via the Steam Store, Epic Games Store or elsewhere. But all purchases include a 90-day free trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, after which it costs $14.99/£10.99 per month.
Other features of note include dual, front-facing speakers, an advanced dual-fan cooling system and a fingerprint sensor built into the power button. You also get up to 512GB of internal storage, which can be expanded further via a microSD card. It weighs just 608g, but the white finish you see here is the only colour option.
Battery capacity is something we still don’t know, and it could make or break the ROG Ally. This is expected to be revealed at the launch event on 11 May, alongside full pricing and availability. But Currys is already confirmed to be the exclusive retailer for the ROG Ally in the UK.