ASUS ROG Ally Officially Revealed
Jakob Aylesbury / 4 months ago
The ASUS ROG Ally
The ROG Ally is a brand new handheld ushering in the new generation of handheld gaming technology thanks to the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme APU allowing users to play the latest AAA games with smooth frame rates on a high quality 1080p screen. Handheld devices allow you to play games on the go and the small size and weight at just 608g allows for the ALLY to be perfect for playing AAA games on the train. The Ally uses Windows 11 as well so should be very familar to most depending on how well it has been implemented.
Intuitive and Comfortable Design
ASUS has spent years iterating, adjusting and perfecting the ROG Ally’s shape until they had created a design that felt just right for your thumbs, fingers and palms. The Ally features the tried and test Xbox-style asymmetrical stick layout providing users with a familiar and easy to reach layout. All the buttons utilise a flat face design which provides a more comfortable feel with distinct tactile feedback plus the D-pad uses a dish shape, giving flexibility to gamers who neeed to make quick imputs without taking their thumbs off the joysticks for too long. Alongside the standard left and right trigger and bumper buttons is two paddles on the back of the device which by default act as modifiers for easy shortcuts and can be remapped to suit your desires. All of these buttons have been tested and rated for more than 10 million presses ensuring longevity.
Going back to the shape and ergonomics which are highly important for handheld devices to sell, ASUS has created the top chassis with a subtle 2 degree slant which makes the device more comfortable to the angle of your wrists. Additionally the corners use a 14-degree slant to provide the perfect resting place for your palms plus the engraved lines ensure a firm grip. Most importantly with ergonomics is the weight, as users don’t want to be holding a heavy device for a long period of time. The Ally weighs just 608g which is 61g lighter than the Steam Deck at 669g making it very light for transport and play.
The Ally sports a 7″ 1080p display with an impressive 120Hz refresh rate and supports AMD FreeSync Premium for smooth and tear free motion. As a handheld the Ally is ready to be used wherever you go and to support this ASUS has pushed the brightness of the panel to 500 nits allowing you to see the screen in even bright and challenging scenarios. The screen also uses Gorilla Glass Victus offering best in class protection from nicks and scratches during every day use. Further protecting the screen is Cornigns’s DXC coating which minimizes fingerprints, adds surface hardness to the glass and minimises the intensity of specular reflections when out in the sun.
Powerful Z1 Performance
Powering the ROG Ally is the AMD Ryzen Z1 APUs with up to 8 cores and 16 threads on the Extreme variant of the chip. The chips are built upon the 4nm Zen 4 architecture and feature the latest RDNA 3 graphics which utilise AMD’s latest upscaling technologies such as FSR and RSR really providing a boost for this small console’s performance. The Z1 series has been specifically designed for handhelds and offers best in class power efficiency and incredble performance. Paired up with the processor is 16GB of ultra-high speed LPDDR5-6400 MHz memory keeping the machine nimble and snappy.
Ensuring this powerful hardware cool and maintaining its compact size has been achieved thanks to ASUS’s years of expertise in cutting-edge thermal systems. For the ROG Ally ASUS has created something they call Zero Gravity thermal system which has been designed to be quiet and able to function in whatever orientation the Ally is positioned in. The cooling system uses a heatpipe with a special wick and extra powdered copper, both of which create extra capillary pressure that allows fluid to continue cycling when held upside down. The cooling system is equipped two fans which use fluid bearings to allow them to function better at different angles. Using two fans also allows for both of the fans to run at a lower RPM and in turn keep the noise levels down. Dust filters on both of the intakes ensure the devices is clean and remains clean for years to come ensuring cooling isn’t compromised by dust.
Storage is a big concern for gaming devices especially with many games nowadays demanding into the triple digits when it comes to storage requirements. The Ally comes equipped with a single 512GB M.2 2230 PCIe Gen 4 drive which hasn’t been made clear wether this can be easily upgraded or not, but there is also a microSD card slot which in testing performed within 4% of the SSD during gaming.
Armoury Crate Customization
Armoury Crate has been redesigned to suit the ROG Ally providing you with a way to seamlessly launch games, manage your librarys as well as change and customise your ROG Ally. With so many different launchers on PC it can get overwhelming and users would love a one stop location for all their games and ASUS has done just that for the special edition of Armoury Crate for the Ally. Armoury Crate will regularly scan for new installed games no matter the launcher and allow you to launch them quickly and easily.
Armoury Crate also allows you to remap nearly every button to your exact tastes plus the rear paddles allow every button to have a secondary function attached to it providing effectively double the amount of possible actions. Customization isn’t limited to just button mapping either as you can easily adjust the joystick’s deadzone and range as well as the trigger range. Armoury Crate allows you to make your Ally uniquely yours and can also use Aura Sync to modify the dual light rings around the triggers.
Price and Availability
The ASUS ROG Ally Extreme is available for Pre-Order now in the US for $699 at Best Buy whilst the lesser Z1 variant will be available later on this year for $599. Both models of the ROG-Ally come bundled with a 90-day Xbox Game Pass Ultimate code giving you a huge library of games to play right out of the box.