ROG Ally, the most anticipated handheld console from ASUS, just got released. And judging by the immediate impression, everyone assumed it would take over the place of everyone’s favorite Steam Deck. However, there are a few drawbacks such as questionable battery performance, wacky buttons, and a few other notable issues which need to be addressed. Let’s go through it in detail, shall we?
First Impression After Launch
Although, the immediate response is pretty great, but it wasn’t as clean as fans thought it would be. According to many reviewers, it came out with several notable flaws which certainly might push it back toward its goal.
Under the hood, it is powered by Ryzen Z1 Extreme Zen 4 processor with a maximum boosted clock speed of 5.10 gigahertz, which is really powerful compared to Steam Deck’s custom Zen 2 APU. But this is a really power-heavy processor, and it drains away a huge chunk of the battery within an hour. Also, It is powered by the same 40-watt-hour battery as the Steam Deck. According to “Wired”, “most PC games weren’t designed to account for hardware like the Ally”, which eventually caused a lot of power draw even whenever any game is running. Users also complained no matter what games they were playing, AAA or 2D games, the battery was just not capable of lasting even for nearly two hours. Apart from the battery, reviewers also reported a few other issues, such as a glitchy interface, and Wifi connection errors.
As for the built quality, Rog Ally is really appealing to look at. The entire chassis is made of plastic with premium feels all over it. It features an XBox-style ABXY button layout, which made many fans happy. But unfortunately, these buttons are not as smooth as fans thought it would be. “The Verge” also reported this same issue earlier in their review, saying “Three of them kept getting stuck while pushing them from an angle”. Also, if we compare the overall button layout to Steam Deck, it lacks the additional trackpad, which might not be a big deal, but it definitely adds an extra perk to the device when it comes to playing games such as RTS and MMO.
On the bright side, the display is sleek and smooth that every handheld gamer could ask for. The 7-inch touch screen with 1080p resolution, featuring a 120-hertz refresh rate and 500 nits of brightness, looks and performs absolutely stunning. And, since ASUS is officially in partnership with Microsoft, users will also get the first three months of Xbox game pass for free right out of the box.
In the end, Rog Ally is a portable handheld console, which might not be as same as their competitor, but it is much closer. Yes, it does provide a powerful processor with decent internal hardware, but it’s not perfect. In short, it has the potential and still has so much work to do, if ASUS really wants this handheld to become the next Steam Deck. So that was all about ROG Ally, and its truth.