The portable gaming PC market has been really heating up, thanks to the rise of streaming and devices like the Steam Deck allowing you to bring your PC games collection with you wherever you go. Now is the best time to make the jump to handheld, and Asus is throwing its hat in the ring with the ROG Ally.

Described as a “true Windows 11 gaming machine”, complete with support for Game Pass, a fancier display, and a neater cooling system than the Deck, the ROG Ally is sure to offer stiff competition. If you want to get in from day one, here's how you can pick one up..

RELATED: ROG Ally Review: The Steam Deck’s First True Competition

In our review, features editor Ben Sledge labeled the ROG Ally “the Steam Deck’s first true competition”, saying “Competition for the Steam Deck is a good thing. The handheld PC space is still incredibly new, and the more companies that join the fight, the better results for the consumer. The ROG Ally iterates on the Steam Deck by allowing you easy access to your full games library… the Ally is lighter, smaller, and more portable, and its screen feels brighter and games look better”.

ROG Ally Cover

The next heavy-hitter in handheld gaming, the ROG Ally hopes to take on the Steam Deck with a better screen and quieter cooling. It also runs Windows 11 natively, ensuring you'll not run into awkward compatibility issues, and have full support for Games Pass right out of the box.

28.0 x 11.1 x 2.12 ~3.24cm
ASUS Republic of Gamers
AMD Ryzen Z1 / AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme (8-core/16-threads, 24MB total cache, up to 5.10Ghz boost)
PCIE Express 4.0 SSD @ 512GB / UHS-II microSD
Wireless Connectivity
Wi-Fi 6G / Bluetooth
Headset Compatibility
3.5mm audio / Bluetooth
7-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 IPS-level touchscreen, 500nits, 100% of sRGB
12 RDNA3 CUs, up to 2.7GHz, 8.6 TFLOP, default 4GB RAM capacity
USB Type-C combo port (USB 3.2 Gen2, supports DisplayPort 1.4) / 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

Being smaller and lighter, while also having a better screen, is going to be a big draw for people who were put off by the chunkier Steam Deck. It helps that it packs some impressive specs, such as 16GB RAM, a Ryzen Z1 Extreme 8-core processor, 16GB of RAM, a Radeon RDNA 3 GPU with 4GB VRAM, and 512GB storage by default with MiscroSD slots to expand your storage. While Ben found you likely won’t be playing the newest games at the highest settings, that’s more than enough to give the Deck a run for its money and play your favourites on the go.

ROG Ally in use

It’s also much quieter, thanks to that “zero gravity” cooling system that uses two, slower fans – our review says “The ROG Ally is impressively quiet and doesn’t get too hot”.

That being said, there are still a few things to keep in mind if you’re hoping to splash out on a ROG Ally. The first is the battery life, which, much like the Steam Deck, is pretty short. If you’re maxing out games and playing on full brightness, you may only get “a few hours” out of it, so make sure you’re also taking a decent power bank with you if you’re travelling.

ROG Ally showing games

The price is also another sticking point, coming in at a much higher than even the Deck. If that screen, better cooling, and the ability to play all your Windows games with no compatibility problems is worth it to you, you’re looking at about $699.99. Is it a lot? Yes, but for the biggest shakeup in handheld gaming since the Deck itself, such a price might well be worth it to you.

If you want to pre-order the ROG Ally for its June 23 launch, you can do so at Best Buy. Not only can you spread the cost out, you can also buy additional protection through Best Buy's Geek Squad, starting at $79.99 for one year.

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