The Truth About Asus ROG Ally: A Game-Changer in Handheld Consoles

In the realm of handheld gaming consoles, a new contender has emerged, aiming to capture the hearts of gaming enthusiasts worldwide. Introducing the highly anticipated Asus ROG Ally, a device that has generated significant buzz and anticipation among gamers and tech enthusiasts alike. With its powerful features and promising capabilities, it is no wonder that many are wondering whether the ROG Ally has what it takes to overshadow the beloved Steam Deck. 

However, upon closer examination, several drawbacks become apparent, including concerns regarding battery performance, button functionality, and a few other notable issues that demand attention.

ASUS ROG Ally 7" 120Hz Gaming Handheld - AMD Z1 Extreme Processor - 512GB - White - PRE ORDER!
  • Amazing graphics: AMD Radeon RDNA3 graphics (4GB VRAM, 12 compute units)
  • Ample storage: A 512GB NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 SSD gives you room to store your favorite games and keep load...
  • Stunningly beautiful visuals: No tearing, no stuttering, and games are crisp and clear on the ROG...
  • Blazing fast memory: Swap through your applications and have multiple tabs running with 16GB LPDDR5...

Unleashing the Power within the ROG Ally

Under the hood, the Asus ROG Ally boasts an impressive Ryzen Z1 Extreme Zen 4 processor, delivering a maximum boost clock speed of 5.10 GHz. This powerhouse of a processor surpasses the custom Zen 2 APU found in the Steam Deck, granting the ROG Ally a significant edge in terms of raw processing power. However, this high-performance processor comes at a cost—a substantial drain on battery life.

 Several reviewers have highlighted that the ROG Ally’s battery struggles to keep up with the demands of power-hungry games, with a noticeable decrease in battery levels within just an hour of gameplay. The device shares the same 40-watt-hour battery as its Steam Deck counterpart, which poses challenges when running resource-intensive PC games. Wired reports that most PC games were not designed to optimize hardware like the ROG Ally, resulting in excessive power draw even during regular gameplay sessions.

Addressing Notable Flaws and Concerns

Aside from battery performance, reviewers have also raised concerns about other aspects of the ROG Ally. One notable issue revolves around a glitchy user interface and occasional Wi-Fi connection errors. While these issues may be addressed through software updates, they nonetheless contribute to a less-than-ideal user experience. Additionally, the build quality of the device has received mixed reviews. On one hand, the ROG Ally’s chassis, constructed primarily from plastic, exudes a premium feel and eye-catching aesthetics. Its Xbox-style AB XY button layout has also garnered praise from many users, offering a familiar and comfortable gaming experience.

 However, some users have reported that the buttons lack smoothness, with several instances of buttons getting stuck when pushed from certain angles. Furthermore, in direct comparison to the Steam Deck, the ROG Ally lacks an additional trackpad—a feature that enhances gameplay, particularly for genres such as real-time strategy (RTS) and massively multiplayer online (MMO) games.

A Visual Feast: Display and Entertainment Features

One area where the Asus ROG Ally excels is its display. The device features a sleek and responsive 7-inch touchscreen with a 1080p resolution, boasting a remarkable 120Hz refresh rate and 500 nits of brightness. This combination results in an immersive visual experience that truly captivates handheld gamers. 

Furthermore, in an exciting partnership with Microsoft, Asus has secured an exclusive offering for ROG Ally users. Out of the box, buyers will receive a complimentary three-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass, providing access to a vast library of games to jumpstart their gaming journey.

A Closer Look at the Price and Potential

At a price point of $700, the Asus ROG Ally positions itself as a portable handheld console that aims to compete with its rivals. While it may not match the exact specifications of its closest competitor, the Steam Deck, the ROG Ally does offer a powerful processor and decent internal hardware.

 However, it falls short of perfection. Despite its strengths, the device has several areas that require further refinement and improvement if Asus intends for it to truly challenge the Steam Deck’s dominance. The ROG Ally holds great potential, but it must undergo significant development and address the aforementioned drawbacks to establish itself as a worthy contender in the handheld gaming market.

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