Is Asus ROG Ally worth it?

With gaming handhelds now a dime a dozen, many are wondering if the Asus ROG Ally is worth the $700 price tag

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The Asus ROG Ally has finally made a splash with its official launch and the reviews from experts are hot. There are many differing opinions, so we intend to answer the question: Is Asus ROG Ally worth it?

The ASUS ROG Ally is indeed a worthy piece of technology. The gaming handheld device comes equipped with the extremely powerful AMD Z1 Extreme processor at its core, which alone makes it an attractive proposition for gamers. But like all PC gaming consoles, it has its pros and cons that users must consider before making a final purchase.

The positives are plentiful. The Ally boasts incredibly fast handheld performance, so running the latest titles at smooth frame rates is not an issue. Moreover, its variable refresh screen makes everything feel more fluid and immersive, contributing to an enhanced gaming experience. The device is equipped with a quiet fan that has customizable curves, allowing you to modify the cooling system to suit your needs. Plus, it has fast charging, meaning you won’t have to wait long to get back to your game.

Asus ROG Ally: Battery life

However, it’s not all roses. One of the main drawbacks, according to various hardware reviews, is Ally’s relatively short battery life. While other handhelds, such as the Steam Deck by Valve and Nintendo Switch, can sometimes stretch their battery life up to 7 hours, the Ally seems to falter in this area, with a typical lifespan of around 4 hours.

Even when reviewers tried to extend the battery life by reducing watt consumption, decreasing FPS, dropping to medium settings, and playing less demanding games, the battery didn’t last significantly longer. ASUS has acknowledged the issue and promised a fix, but for now, it remains a downside.

Beyond the battery life, the device has a few other issues. The handheld UI has major glitches, the face buttons and inputs can occasionally get stuck while in the menu, and despite Microsoft’s involvement, Windows is still challenging to use in a handheld portability form factor.

Despite these shortcomings, the Asus ROG Ally remains a compelling choice. It outshines its competitors in terms of raw power and performance due to the Z1 Extreme chip, making it a top-tier choice for serious gamers. It also comes equipped from the start with 512GB of internal storage, which means you may not even need to add an SSD or the like to the microSD card slot.

The addition of Microsoft’s operating system out of the box allows it to play host to most gaming launchers with ease and run Xbox Game Pass without any constraints. The screen, while not OLED, still allows for a streamlined refresh rate that can be connected to a monitor and even a mouse and keyboard with the Asus ROG Gaming Charger Dock.

The battery life is a concern, but ASUS’s promise to address it gives us hope. It’s clear that ASUS ROG Ally has its drawbacks, but the cutting-edge specs and immersive gaming experience it offers make it a worthy contender in the handheld gaming market.

So, is the Asus ROG Ally worth it? In our opinion, despite its few flaws, it indeed is a worthy handheld gaming PC that stands tall with the best of them.

Camilo is a contributor for PC Guide. He's been into tech since he was a teen, surfing through the web and local stores trying to find the cheapest way to play the latest Half-Life on his old Windows