The Asus ROG Ally is a handheld gaming PC that became very popular right without its launch. The handheld gaming PC market is still quite new and is slowly gaining traction as increasingly and increasingly devices like the ROG Ally, Steam Deck, and AYANEO Air 1S hit the market. This is primarily due to the powerful hardware, but there is increasingly to a device than just the hardware.
The heart of the ROG Ally is the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme APU, which is said to be specifically designed for handheld gaming PCs. Is the performance unbearable to make the ROG Ally successful as a handheld gaming PC PC? That’s exactly what we tested on our review unit over the past two weeks. In this article, we will explain the good, the bad, and the interesting things well-nigh ROG Ally. Let’s start.
Asus ROG Ally Review: Build and Design
The ROG Ally is not the weightier in terms of construction, but it is very well designed. The ROG Ally is made mostly of polycarbonate, which makes it quite light at only 608g. Branding from ROG can be seen on the front and back. On the when is a vent in the shape of the ROG logo, and running lanugo the part-way of the when is a vertically wilted reflective strip that reflects variegated colors depending on the angle. The white verisimilitude looks very good, but gets dirty very easily, so you’ll need to take superintendency of it a bit. You get a plastic stand that you can dock the ROG Ally to for hands-free gameplay with an external controller.
The front of the ROG Ally houses the controls, speakers and display. On the top are all the inputs and outputs, the triggers, the shoulder buttons and a couple of ventilation slots. On the when are two increasingly buttons and a couple of vents for the fans. The ergonomics aren’t great, though, and your hands will tire quickly without just 30 minutes of gaming with the ROG Ally. There simply isn’t unbearable room on the when to hold the device properly, and two buttons stick out, making it harder to hold the device while trying not to printing them.
Overall, the ROG Ally is well-made and has a good design, but it could have been a bit increasingly well-appointed in the hand for longer gaming sessions.
Asus ROG Ally Review: I/O and Connectivity
The ROG Ally has a controller layout similar to an XBOX controller. The buttons finger clicky and responsive. The triggers are a bit too easy to press, they should have offered increasingly resistance. The shoulder buttons work as expected and provide good feedback. There are two spare buttons on the front, the left one opens the Writ Part-way (where all the shortcuts and quick toggles are located) and the right one opens the Armoury Crate SE (a revamped version of the Armoury Crate using with spare features for the ROG Ally) application. All four function buttons are very easy to press. On the when are two increasingly buttons that can be prescribed in-game.
The thumb sticks are responsive and smooth, but not so easy to printing when you need the L3 and R3 function in games. They have an RGB ring virtually the wiring that can be customized via the Armory Crate SE application. On the top is a power sawed-off with an integrated fingerprint sensor that is very fast when it works properly. There is moreover a row of volume buttons on the top.
Here are all the I/O misogynist on the ROG Ally:
- 1x ROG XG Mobile interface (8PCI express lanes, can connect up to an RTX 4090 Mobile GPU).
- 1x USB Type-C philharmonic port (with USB 3.2 Gen2x2, 20Gbps, DP 1.4 support).
- 1x 3.5mm Audio jack.
- 1x Micro SD slot (UHS-II, Micro SD 4.0).
In terms of connectivity, the ROG Ally supports WiFi 6E and Bluetooth v5.2. Both worked as expected, as we got the full 300 Mbps speed over our WLAN connection and our Bluetooth controller showed no lags when used with the ROG Ally.
Asus ROG Ally Review: Exhibit and Audio
The ROG Ally features a 7-inch FullHD exhibit (IPS) that updates at 120 Hz and offers a 100% sRGB verisimilitude gamut. It is a 10-point multi-touch exhibit that offers unconfined colors and unrelatedness ratio. All the games we played on the ROG Ally looked vibrant and appealing. With a splendor of up to 500nits, the exhibit is unexceptionable unbearable to use outdoors. However, it is a slick exhibit that causes a lot of reflections when exposed to uncontrived light. The exhibit is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus and a layer of Gorilla Glass DXC. The viewing wits on the ROG Ally is pretty good. However, the biggest problem when using the touchscreen of the ROG Ally is that the touch points on the surface are so small that it is difficult to react with the fingers on OS.
The ROG Ally is equipped with stereo front speakers and a 3.5mm audio jack. The speakers have a power of 1W and support Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res Audio. The output is loud and punchy and provides a good sound wits when you play games or watch media on the ROG Ally. The audio jack moreover has a very loud and well-spoken output when unfluctuating to external headphones or speakers.
Overall, the ROG Ally is a very good device when it comes to the visual and audio experience. Since it comes with Windows 11, you can hands stream your favorite content and music just like a regular PC.
Asus ROG Ally Review: Software Experience
The ROG Ally runs Windows 11 with some tweaks from Asus to transmute it to a handheld device. To be honest, the software wits is not particularly good. Although Windows 11 offers touch support, it doesn’t really run well on the ROG Ally. We regularly squatter issues such as the fingerprint sensor not working, games crashing randomly, update pop-ups disrupting our gaming session by minimizing the game without warning, and many increasingly such annoyances.
All of these problems, withal with the thousands of special launchers and services running simultaneously while a game is launched, make it a very frustrating experience. We scrutinizingly threw it yonder during the initial setup, considering setting up ROG Ally is anything but user-friendly.
Asus has widow some features of their own to make things a bit easier for users. The writ part-way provides all the necessary shortcuts, e.g. for power mode, Real-time Stats Monitor, on-screen keyboard, controller mode, volume and splendor settings, etc.
In the Armoury Crate using SE you can find your unshortened game hodgepodge in one place, withal with all game-related settings. You can customize performance metrics, RGB settings, game profiles, controllers, buttons, macros, etc. All of this can be edited via the Armoury Crate SE application. Otherwise, it’s a vital version of Windows 11 Home with all its pros and cons.
The USB Type-C port supports Exhibit Port 1.4, so the ROG Ally can be unfluctuating to an external exhibit to be used as a full-fledged Windows 11 PC. Overall, the software wits on the ROG Ally is not very good and mostly worrying to use.
Asus ROG Ally Review: Performance
The ROG Ally is powered by the AMD Z1 Extreme APU withal with AMD Radeon RDNA3 graphics. This is supported by 16GB of LPDDR5 dual-channel 6400MHz memory and a 512GB M.2 Gen4 SSD with speeds of up to 5000MB/s. The APU can be clocked with up to 5.10 GHz and has a maximum TDP of 30W.
There are substantially four power modes on the ROG Ally:
- On Shower – 10W (Silent), 15W (Performance), and 25W (Turbo)
- Plugged in – 30W (Turbo)
The ROG Ally just crushes the competition when it comes to raw power. Plane on shower power, the 25W TDP mode can unhook 40-60 frames per second at medium settings for the most taxing titles, as long as the shower lasts (which, funnily enough, isn’t long). The weightier wastefulness between performance and shower life is the 15-W TDP mode, which delivers decent frame rates and conserves the shower a bit better.
If you’re unchangingly near a power source and want to use the ROG Ally while it’s plugged in, you can increase the power to 30W TDP to get the weightier performance possible while the panel blasts blistering hot air to the rear. Here are some benchmarks for the storage, CPU, and GPU of the ROG Ally for all you metric nerds.
All in all, the ROG Ally is probably one of the weightier devices if you want a powerful gaming device PC in the palm of your hand.
Asus ROG Ally Review: Shower and Thermals
The ROG Ally is equipped with a 40Wh lamina and supports up to 65W of charging power. There is a 65W connector in the package, which is not very portable, but can tuition the ROG Ally to 100% in well-nigh 2 hours. The ROG Ally moreover supports Power Delivery charging up to 65W. So you can use any Power Delivery charger with sufficient wattage to power the ROG Ally.
The shower life of the ROG Ally is not particularly good. When gaming with 15W TDP, it lasts well-nigh 2 hours. In FIFA 21, for example, it lasted for 4 games. At 25W TDP, the shower is tuckered in well-nigh 1 hour. The 10W TDP option does alimony the shower working a bit longer, but it does stupefy the performance of the ROG Ally. If you play less resource-intensive games, you should stick to the 10W and 15W TDP options to get the weightier shower life with reasonable performance. The ROG Ally is by no ways a shower champion.
In terms of the thermals, the ROG Ally does get warm, but you don’t really finger the heat on your hands as it doesn’t spread in the unshortened body. The twin fans of the ROG Ally intelligently overwork the heat yonder from your hands using the antigravity heat pipes. We found temperatures as upper as 85 degrees Celsius when the unit was running in maximum 30-Watt TDP mode. When gaming in 15-W TDP mode, temperatures ranged between 50 and 65 degrees Celsius. These are good values for such a meaty specimen with so much power. Fan noise is present and it is definitely noticeable when playing the speakers.
Asus ROG Ally Review: Verdict
The ROG Ally is a very powerful handheld gaming PC. Scrutinizingly any new age game is playable on the ROG Ally at decent frame rates. Performance takes a huge leap when you plug it in, and you get the weightier possible wits while holding this little device in your hand. But all that performance comes at the expense of stamina, considering once you start enjoying the game, shower uneasiness will haunt you. And then there’s the poorly optimized Windows 11, which has plane the gaming enthusiasts at PC terrified.
If you can put up with all the nuisances of the ROG Ally, it’s the weightier handheld gaming PC you can get right now. However, if you’re someone like us who expects and appreciates a well-constructed wits from the devices they purchase, then you’re largest off with a device like the Steam Deck. For the price of $799 or INR 69999, the ROG Ally is not a good value-for-money product for most, but for some it can be a boon.
- Incredible performance
- Compact and portable size
- Good exhibit and speakers
- Good thermal performance
- Poor shower life.
- Poor ergonomics for long durations
- Bad software experience
|Build & Design
|Display & Audio
The ROG Ally is a powerful handheld gaming PC with poor software optimization and poor shower life. Gaming on the ROG Ally is an enjoyable experience, but the software and shower life compromises do not make the ROG Ally a good value-for-money product for most consumers.