ASUS is the latest brand to jump onto the handheld gaming bandwagon. The company’s new ROG Ally makes a grand entrance as the first major player to join forces with Microsoft and AMD to come out with a powerful handheld gaming device.
The ROG Ally is an absolute game-changer since it is packed with AMD’s cutting-edge Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor and RDNA 3 graphics technology. This sort of configuration will take your gaming experience to a whole new level.
Windows 11 also emerges as a game-changer – it offers lots of benefits to gamers. The compatibility factor is a standout, as virtually every game runs seamlessly without the need for emulation. In addition, game streaming works flawlessly, enhancing the overall gaming experience. However, ASUS has taken this goodness to a step further by incorporating its Armoury Crate SE software on top of Microsoft’s OS.
What’s more, the ROG Ally surpasses the Steam Deck in a remarkable fashion. It boasts a vibrant 1920-by-1080 display that makes very detail pop onscreen. Not only is the resolution top-notch, but the screen also excels in speed, offering a swift 120Hz refresh rate, further enhancing your overall gameplay. The 7-inch FHS IPS display also offers an aspect ratio of 16:9, 500 nits of peak brightness, and a 7-ms response time. In addition, the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.
ROG Ally also comes with the Adaptive Sync technology, which guarantees a crystal-clear viewing experience, whether you’re engrossed in an intense gaming session or indulging in a movie marathon. The display’s vivid colours, high resolution, and lightning-fast refresh rate work together to deliver an excellent visual experience. You also get a virtual 5.1.2-channel surround sound, powered by Dolby Atmos technology, that immerses you completely into the gaming world.
Under the hood, you also get 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD storage. In terms of I/O ports, you get one ROG XG Mobile, one USB-C, and one 3.5mm audio jack. Wireless connectivity the handheld gaming console supports include WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. The gaming console also comes with a wide range of controls – these include ABXY, D-pad, two triggers, two bumpers, two back buttons, two thumbsticks, View, Menu, Command Centre, and Armoury Crate buttons.
From the moment I picked up the Asus ROG Ally, it was quite clear that this device was designed to provide a sturdy and robust feel without compromising on portability. The intelligently placed angled curves along the back perfectly contour to fit the hands, while the gently sloping corners on the front create an exceptionally comfortable resting place for the palms.
Even though it has some of the most powerful specs on a handheld gaming console, the ROG Ally strikes the perfect balance in terms of thickness, form factor, and weight. The ROG Ally weighs just 608 grams. Each joystick on the Asus ROG Ally is adorned with RGB light rings, which according to Asus, should react to in-game effects. You also have the option to disable or modify the lighting effects using the Command Center or Armoury Crate SE.
The Asus ROG Ally also has a holographic stripe running down its back, accompanied by vents shaped in the iconic ROG logo. The Ally, however, does not include a kickstand. However, Asus compensates for this by providing a separate stand in the box, constructed from molded cardboard.
With Armory Crate SE providing customisable controls, the ROG Ally ensures a comfortable gaming experience, catering to your preference. You can either use the controller on the device, the touch screen, or even a mouse and keyboard, to play games on this thing. And once you connect the XG Mobile featuring an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU to the ROG Ally, the overall performance just peaks.
Also, with the ROG Ally, you are not limited to just one game library. This device is fully compatible with most gaming platforms out there, including Steam, Xbox Game Pass, Epic, GOG, and many others. No matter where you purchase your favourite games, Ally has you covered. Simply log in to your account, and you’ll have access to all your games.
In terms of performance, the ROG Ally truly has a very good range of capabilities. You can adjust its power consumption down to a mere 7W TDP or ramp it up to an impressive 35W TDP for short bursts when connected to a handheld battery pack. This flexibility allows you to optimise battery life, achieve excellent performance, or even play games that many handheld consoles out there may struggle to handle. To top it off, there’s an added advantage of occasionally gaining a slight boost in speed by utilising the bundled 65-watt USB-C power cord.
The ROG Ally was also able to finish our benchmarks with flying colours. On Geekbench 6, it earned a single-core score of 2,518 and a multi-core score of 11,236. On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider Benchmark, the ROG Ally ran the game at 48 fps at 720p and 31 fps at 1080p. Battery performance was also quite good, averaging anywhere between 2-3 hours of continuous gameplay before it needed recharging.
After a couple of days of gaming on the Ally, I can say that the comfort it offers is truly remarkable. I usually use a handheld device for mobile gaming rather than hooking it up to a television. Hence, my gaming sessions were very enjoyable. The Ally’s ergonomic design, with its gentle curves, fits perfectly in my hands. I did not encounter any issues, even during long gaming sessions.
For a price of AED 2699, you get a very powerful handheld gaming console that can easily turn into a powerful gaming desktop, once you connect it to a power outlet, a mouse, and a keyboard. The ASUS ROG Ally really paves the way forward for handheld PC gaming.
Price: AED 2699
ASUS ROG Ally 2699
ROG Ally also comes with the Adaptive Sync technology, which guarantees a crystal-clear viewing experience, whether you’re engrossed in an intense gaming session or indulging in a movie marathon. The display’s vivid colours, high resolution, and lightning-fast refresh rate work together to deliver an excellent visual experience.