Asus 'next ROG Ally' is being unveiled today — here's the 3 improvements that would convince me to upgrade

Asus ROG Ally
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Asus ROG Ally 2? Asus ROG Ally 2024? Whatever the next generation model is called, the company is going to unveil it today. You can watch it happen in real time today at 3pm ET / 12pm PT.

In our Asus ROG Ally review, we called the handheld a “solid but imperfect Steam Deck challenger.” The gorgeous ergonomics and colorful display made it a joy to play on, but the battery life is lacking and Windows 11 is a bit of a plague when it comes to actually using the device.

One update that we are confident about, given how Asus teased it themselves, is a gorgeous new black finish to the handheld. As for other features, it’s all up in the air. While I’ve made a wishlist of the five features I want this and the next Lenovo Legion Go to get, here are three I’m praying Asus talks about in its announcement stream. 

1. Fix the SD card slot woes

Asus ROG Ally

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Expandable storage is critical in gaming handhelds — especially given the sheer size of some certain AAA tiles (looking at you, Forza Horizon 5). But an issue has been spotted by some unfortunate gamers, as SD cards were being damaged in use.

Asus confirmed there was indeed an issue back in July, stating that the SD card reader may malfunction “under certain thermal stress conditions.” In short, the thermal management wasn’t good enough. Hopefully the SD card slot is placed in a better insulated position from the heat coming off that Ryzen chipset.

2. Time to clear the air (vents)

Asus ROG Ally

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

And speaking of, one of our key criticisms of the Asus ROG Ally has been just how hot it gets around the back. In personal experience, I’ve even noticed hints of thermal throttling bringing the framerate down.

Put simply, this iteration of the Zero Gravity thermal system needs to seriously up the amount of ventilation to get the heat out of the chassis as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, an additional fan won’t go amiss. If I was to dream big, a device like this would be a perfect fit for the AirJet Mini airflow system.

3. Windows 11 needs a handheld facelift

Asus ROG Ally

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I’ve ranted about it before, and I’ll always take another chance to rant about it again. Having a desktop-sized UI for the mini display on gaming handhelds is a terrible idea. Asus has tried to work around this with Armoury Crate being a centralized library to access your games.

But you can’t go far without interacting with Microsoft’s OS. And to anyone who has tried to tap the tiny start button multiple times in frustration, you’ll know Windows is desparately in need of a small screen-friendly visual update. Oh, and stop asking me if I want 12 months of Microsoft Office 365 on a damn gaming handheld.

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Jason England
Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.