ASUS ROG Ally Review

ASUS ROG Ally Review

A few months ago, Valve's Steam Deck console was announced and launched with great fanfare. A few weeks later, other handheld consoles were also launched. One of them was offered by a titan of the gaming laptop sector, ASUS, with its ROG Ally. The industry pivot came in 2022, when ideas and prototypes became the talk of the tech industry. Now that they've entered the scene, it's up to players to keep the trend going.

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The latest wave of handheld consoles hitting the market is a potential movement in the industry for where many see gaming heading in the future. And with the continued success of the Nintendo Switch, which has sold many consoles over the years to remind other console makers that they still exist. However, it did so by offering exclusive games on its platform. And with the massive success of the Zelda franchise in Breath of the Wild, it has carved out a niche market for itself. With the rest of the industry looking to carve out a piece of this market, it could change the industry whether we like it or not.

So the question on everyone's mind is whether the Asus ROG Ally is worth it and whether it's the next iteration of modern gaming. We will find out.

Conception and design

As with many other handhelds, the concept is not entirely new. However, the ROG Ally differentiates itself enough from the competition with unique design elements and a matte white finish to look good.

It fits comfortably in my hand. At first it may seem a little too wide, but a reasonably sized screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio works better than smaller 4:3 units. It also has a large number of buttons. And since it's a Windows-compatible device, you can customize every button to your liking, especially in games. As with most controllers, there are two trigger buttons on each side (four).

Then there are the two sticks, the D-Pad and the four-button configuration on the front. Added to this are two additional buttons on each side of the screen. The top two buttons on each side are similar to those on the Xbox controller, which open the menu options. However, the other two buttons provide significant added value for Windows users, launching the UI quick menu and additional ASUS settings. They allow users to quickly navigate the environment without using a mouse.

Although it is quite large, the 280x111x21.2 mm device is very light. At only 608 g, it is very practical. It fits easily into your laptop bag or even a jacket pocket if it's big enough. It's easy to carry and comfortable and lightweight enough to keep you playing for hours.

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Connectivity options

When it comes to staying connected, Asus' ROG Ally does a reasonable job. It offers a single Type-C port and a 65W power adapter for charging. The rear port also doubles ASUS's proprietary connection, allowing you to plug in some of its other devices for easier integration.

Wireless connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.2. Unfortunately, there is no Ethernet option, given the size constraints of the device.

The range of ports available is not the most extensive. If you want to dual-purpose your computer, you'll need to invest in a hub or similar device if you don't have Bluetooth devices. The inclusion of an HDMI port is the thing that is missing the most. It would have been much easier to connect it to your monitor instead of purchasing additional equipment, as there are no additional tools to assist with its content.

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Screen and display

ASUS ROG Ally review

The ROG Ally's screen packs a punch. It has a 7″ IPS panel with a glossy finish. Additionally, it has an FHD resolution of 1920x1080px with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Coming to the screen specifications, it has an sRGB rating of 100% and an Adobe rating of 75.35%. The screen refresh rate is 120Hz, the brightness is 500 nits and the screen is protected by Gorilla Victus glass.

Given its size and portability, it also has a touchscreen. This makes it easier to navigate the user interface. When you connect the device to a secondary monitor or TV, it is compatible with FreeSync Premium to minimize latency.

Overall, the screen looks great. It may not be 4K, but 1080p resolution on a 7″ screen is more than enough. The games are visually appealing, and the colors are bright and vibrant. I had no issues with the touchscreen during the testing period, and it worked well with Windows 11.

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Asus ROG Ally Features and Capabilities

The ROG Ally has great specs and plenty of features to brag about. First, the specs.

The ROG Ally is equipped with an AMD Ryzen Z1 processor, Zen4 architecture with a 4nm processor and a clock speed of up to 4.90 GHz. It is associated with an AMD Radeon graphics GPU. Specifically, an AMD RDNA 3, with 4 CUs and a clock speed of up to 2.5 GHz. This device meets all your computing and gaming needs.

In addition, it has 16GB LPDDR5 RAM (6400MT/s dual channel) and a 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD. The combination of RAM and NVMe SSD significantly reduces the loading time of your games, allowing you to start the next game in seconds.

The device runs on the Windows 11 operating system. This is great news for PC gamers, who can transfer their entire library. While the Steam Deck is limited to Steam OS and its games, you miss out on other options like Xbox Game Pass, Epic Games, EA Play, UPlay, Battle.Net, and many more. Also, as we already mentioned, the touchscreen works perfectly in Windows. The ROG Ally has a unique interface thanks to the Armory Crate, which allows you to interact with the buttons on the device.

What's really remarkable about the ROG Ally is that it can be paired with the ASUS ROG XG unit. Users can take their gaming performance to the next level and integrate their conventional workspace with a keyboard, mouse and monitor. This represents considerable potential for the future, with only the cost of the two devices a major barrier to next-generation modular computing.

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Performance and battery


When it comes to overall performance, the ROG Ally does well when doing what it was designed to do, which is playing the latest AAA games. By browsing my game inventory on the different platforms, I was able to test many high-end games on different graphics settings.

I tested Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales on Steam with excellent results. The refresh rate averaged over 60 frames per second at medium to high settings. Via EA Play, I was able to play Jedi: Fallen Order. Again, the device could easily achieve a frame rate above 60fps most of the time.

There were times when the FPS dropped slightly, with some lag for both games, but nothing major. However, these lags only recurred when the device was not plugged in. Therefore, the device does not perform as well when running on battery power. This is the norm for these types of devices, even for many gaming laptops.

On the other hand, when plugged in, it works like a dream. Refresh rates increased by 10-15% overall, helping to improve the visual appearance of games. In the end, I could run any game in the inventory I chose.

Most of the time the unit operated at a reasonable temperature level. However, when it's plugged in and you increase the graphics settings, it generates a bit of hot air from its vents. This is not an unsettling or uncomfortable level, but is simply noticeable over time.

Battery is always a big discussion point for any portable device. With the ROG Ally, it's no different. With a little load shedding during my evaluation period, I was able to put the device to the test. Fortunately, he managed to complete the standard two-hour cycle with ease. However, I tested the device for a few days during the 4-hour cycle in step 6. Although completing the cycle was trickier, the device was also able to complete it. And this is where the ROG Ally was able to push gameplay without a power source.

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Is the Asus ROG Ally worth it?

The PC gaming industry is vast. Shoppers have endless options to personalize their experiences, whether they have the money for high-end pieces and aesthetics or are on a tight budget focusing on personal preferences. These possibilities, coupled with the dual role of the computer, which can be converted into a daily work tool for all projects and day job, or even into a streaming device, are of considerable magnitude. You can't deny the endless possibilities that gaming PCs offer.

Like it or not, handhelds are here to stay. However, it's up to the user whether they want to shell out the R15,999 to own the ROG Ally or opt for one of ASUS' many gaming laptops. The choice between the two platforms comes down to portability and versatility. If you're looking for more options for remote gaming throughout the day, the ROG Ally is a solid option. However, a gaming laptop allows you to work efficiently from anywhere. With both units being able to scale with the addition of a screen, mouse and keyboard to varying degrees, there is no problem at this level.

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The idea behind the Asus ROG Ally and other handhelds is great to me. As we move closer to a “one device for all” approach (unit of play, unit of work, and mobile device), we are finally making the necessary progress towards the modular experience. The ROG Ally is a solid device in its own right. With a few firmware updates along the way, we'll have a great device.


ROG Ally


  • Handheld gaming
  • Windows 11 lets you access your entire PC game library
  • Many additional possibilities when connecting to other devices
  • Superb images on its 120Hz touchscreen


  • Battery life is not optimal
  • A little expensive

Distribution of comments

  • Ease of learning

  • Ease of use

  • Design

  • Performance

  • Enjoyment

  • Value for money