Asus this week started global sales of its ROG Ally portable game console. The Asus take on Valve's Steam Deck and other portables offers numerous advantages, including higher performance enabled by AMD's Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, broad compatibility with games and latest features courtesy of Windows 11, and a Full-HD 120 Hz display. Furthermore, the handheld can also be turned into a fully-fledged desktop PC.

The top-of-the-range Asus ROG Ally promises to be a real portable powerhouse as it is built around AMD's Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor that uses the company's Phoenix silicon fabbed on TSMC's N4 (4 nm-class) technology. This configuration, which is similar to AMD's Ryzen 7 7840U CPU, features eight Zen 4 cores and 12 CU RDNA 3-based GPU that promises solid performance in most games on the built-in Full HD display. 

To maintain steady performance for the APU that can dissipate heat up to 30W, Asus implemented an intricate cooling system featuring anti-gravity heat pipes, a radiator with 0.1 mm fins, and two fans. 

Speaking of performance, it should be noted that those who want to enjoy ROG Ally games in higher resolution, with higher performance on an external display on TV can do so by attaching one of Asustek's ROG XG Mobile external graphics solutions, such as the flagship ROG XG Mobile with Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU for $1,999.99, or the more moderately priced XG Mobile with AMD's Radeon RX 6850M XT for $799.99. Compatibility with eGFX solutions is a rather unique feature that sets it apart from other portable consoles and makes it a rather decent gaming PC.

As for memory and storage, the ROG Ally features 16GB of LPDDR5-6400 memory and a 512GB M.2-2230 SSD with a PCIe 4.0 interface. Additionally, for users wishing to extend storage without disassembly, the console incorporates a microSD card slot that's compatible with UHS-II.

Another feature that makes ROG Ally stand out is its 7-inch display with a resolution of 1920x1080 and a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz. To enhance gaming aesthetics, the console's display — covered in Gorilla Glass Victus for extra protection — uses an IPS-class panel with peak luminance of 500 nits and features Dolby Vision HDR support. Adding to the overal gaming experience, the ROG Ally also comes with a Dolby Atmos-certified audio subsystem with Smart Amp speakers and noise cancellation technology.

While the Asus ROG Ally certainly comes in a portable game console form-factor, it is essentially a mobile PC and like any computer, it is designed to deliver standard portable computer connectivity features. Accordingly, the console comes with a Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth adapter, a MicroSD card slot for added storage, a USB Type-C port for charging and display output, an ROG XG Mobile connector for attaching external GPUs, and a TRRS audio connector for wired headsets.

To make the ROG Ally comfortable to use, Asustek's engineers did a lot to balance its weight and keep it around 600 grams, which was a challenge as the game console uses a very advanced mobile SoC that needs a potent cooling system. Achieving a balance between device weight and potent SoC performance required a trade-off, so Asus equipped the system with a 40Wh battery, which is relatively small and lightweight. But with this battery, the ROG Ally can run up to 2 hours under heavy gaming workloads, as corroborated by early reviews.

This week Asus begins to sell its range-topping version of the ROG Ally game console based on AMD's Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, which it first teased back in April and them formally introduced in mid-May. This unit costs $699in the U.S. and is available from BestBuy and from Asus directly. In Europe, the portable console can be pre-ordered presumably for €799, whereas in the U.K. it can be pre-ordered for £899. Later on, Asus will introduce a version of the ROG Ally based on the vanilla Ryzen Z1 processor that offers lower performance, but is expected to cost $599.

Source: Asus

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  • brucethemoose - Wednesday, June 14, 2023 - link

    Will. These things be on display at Best Buy?

    I feel like that would huge. Theres a whole segment of buyers that has no idea this form factor exists outside the Switch.
  • Slash3 - Wednesday, June 14, 2023 - link

    A lot of Best Buy locations have had one on display at a kiosk for a while now, yes.
  • lemurbutton - Thursday, June 15, 2023 - link

    Imagine if Asus could use Apple Silicon SoCs instead of inefficient AMD APUs.
  • Samus - Thursday, June 15, 2023 - link

    What would someone play on Apple SoC's? iPad games? Okay...
  • meacupla - Thursday, June 15, 2023 - link

    no no, I bet he wants to run iOS sonoma, with a windows version of steam running from command line, off the back of some very hacky wine/proton translation layer.
    And then the game may or may not run well, even when using an M1 ultra.

    Yeah, I bet that'll get gamers to buy an apple handheld gaming pc.
  • Samus - Thursday, June 15, 2023 - link

    Someday, Steam and many games will be ported to Apple's ARM platform but that day isn't now or anytime soon. It took nearly a decade for Steam to come to MacOS when it was Intel. Now that it isn't even x86 the ask is pretty huge.
  • Kangal - Saturday, June 17, 2023 - link

    You're all correct, that an Apple Silicon wouldn't be able to do much since it is very restricted.
    But lemurburton's point still stands; it has A LOT of potential.

    Just look at the 2019 iPhone 11 Max with A13 chip, a pocketable device with relative performance of the Xbox One. Then if you step up to the 2020 iPad Pro with the M1 chip, a portable device with the relative performance of the PS4 Pro. And going further you have the 2022 MacBook 14 with the M2 Max chip, you have a small device and here it shows relative performance to the Xbox Series X.

    A Gaming Console using Apple Silicon, will it happen?
    Apple is the largest and most profitable gaming company in the world, and they achieve this without having to directly compete against Nintendo on software or Sony on hardware. They own the AppStore and take a sizeable chunk out of In-App-Purchases. This is their Cash Cow. There is no way they are going to risk affecting their business strategy just to make something that seems logical from the consumer perspective. Until big-budget games become more profitable, the market won't change. We see the same with big-budget movies, making way to Short-Series Shows from Subscription services. The best you can hope for in terms of Gaming Console running ARM is something pocketable (Retroid Pocket 3+), something portable (AYN Odin Pro), something small (ThinkPad X13s), and something plugged in (Khadas Edge2)... but you can see these aren't the most ideal options.
  • Thunder 57 - Saturday, June 17, 2023 - link

    The M1 compared to 8 Jaguar cores is hardly a great comparison, but I'm sure you knew that. Jaguar came out in what, 2013? It is energy efficient for sure, but it would get blown away by a PS5.
  • meacupla - Sunday, June 18, 2023 - link

    Whatever you are smoking, you do realize there is already an iphone and ipad, right?
    iphone 14 pro max is already at 6.7" screen size, while the ipad mini is a 8.3" display

    And apple thinks the A15 and A16 are perfectly adequate for gaming on.
  • ads295 - Thursday, June 15, 2023 - link

    One of my main reasons to stick to PC gaming is that I much prefer a keyboard+mouse combo for games. I own a PS3 and PSP as well and we play fighting games and Gran Turismo on those.
    This device is cool on its own but I don't know if I want to be fixed to a joystick and buttons for a PC "console".

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