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ASUS puts a price on its Steam Deck competitor
The ROG Ally might be the Steam Deck alternative Aussies have been waiting for.
ASUS' attempt to ape the success of Valve's Steam Deck is almost here, with the ROG Ally slated to arrive in JB Hi-Fi stores in June.
Shown off overseas earlier this year, the ASUS ROG Ally is a gaming handheld PC that looks like a Steam Deck but runs on Windows. This means you won't get the polished end-to-end experience that's made Valve's handheld a hit among portable PC gaming fans. However, the upside of this is that you will be able to run basically anything on it rather than be restricted to stuff that runs on Steam.
Under the hood, the ROG Ally is powered by a Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, 16GB of DDR5 RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. The latter can be upgraded but the former is what it is. Other specs here include a 7-inch 1080p IPS touch display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 100% sRGB colour.
On the front, you'll find a familiar arsenal of joysticks and buttons, plus a set of front-firing speakers with Dolby Atmos. Meanwhile, the topmost edge of the ROG Ally features a power button with a built-in fingerprint sensor, a set of volume keys, a MicroSD slot and a ROG XG Mobile port with an integrated USB Type-C slot that can be used for charging. It can also be used to game on a larger monitor or TV using an external dock that ASUS will be selling as an accessory post-launch.
We had the chance to briefly play around with the ROG Ally at a hands-on event ahead of its arrival in Australia and came away with very positive vibes on it. Weighing just 608g, the unit is impressively lightweight. The fact that the fans inside it are as quiet as they are makes for a similarly pleasant surprise.
The fact that not even graphically demanding titles like Halo Infinite could get this thing to heat up? That's just more icing on the cake.
Compared to something like the recent Ayaneo Air Plus, the software experience was also a significant improvement. Managing your device's settings and jumping between games was both smoother and less intrusive.
We'll have to reserve our full judgement until we have the chance to spend more time with the handheld but as far as first impressions go, this would-be "Steam Deck killer" makes a very good one.
ASUS may have lagged behind when it comes to launching their own take on this new handheld form factor but the wait seems to have been worth it.
How much does the ASUS ROG Ally cost in Australia?
In Australia, the ROG Ally handheld gaming PC starts at a recommended retail price of $1299.
At the time of writing, there's only one model available for preorder. However, there is a second model coming later down the line that uses a Ryzen Z1 processor rather than the Ryzen Z1 Extreme. This model doesn't yet have a price, but it seems safe to assume it may be a few hundred dollars cheaper while still offering a pretty solid on-the-go gaming experience.
ASUS Australia is currently taking preorders for the ROG Ally ahead of its Australian launch on June 13, 2023.