The ROG Ally X has the potential to be the new king of handheld PCs — here's why

The Asus ROG Ally X being held playing a game on a bright day.
(Image credit: Asus)

Watch out Steam Deck OLED. You have a new competitor coming for your crown as the potential best handheld gaming PC on the market. After various recent leaks and rumors, Asus has finally officially announced the ROG Ally X. Following on from last year’s decent but not class-leading OG Ally, the Taiwanese company has packed its new portable gadget full of drool-worthy screen tech and other desirable features. 

The ROG Ally X is available to buy right now in the U.S. and will set fans of the best PC games back $799. If you’re reading this in the U.K. you’re going to have to be a little more patient, as Asus’ handheld won’t be out on our frigid shores until June 22, when it will launch at $799. 

Though Asus has decided to stick with the same AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor of its predecessor, the Windows 11-powered ROG Ally X now boasts a number of key improvements over last year’s model.

The headline selling points of the new handheld? A Full HD screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz that’s capable of reaching 500 nits of brightness; a new 80wh battery that offers a claimed 200% battery boost over the 40wh one you got in the Ally; Dual USB-C ports; an updated version of Armory Crate (called SE 1.5) that lets you customize your game library; front-facing Dolby Atmos speakers; with a more precise D-Pad and more durable joysticks rounding off an exciting package. 

Can it down the Deck?

A man fist pumping the air while playing the Asus ROG Ally X.

(Image credit: Asus)

On the storage front, you get a 1TB of M2. 2280 SSD out of the box, and Asus claims you can easily increase this capacity with a larger SSD via a process that doesn’t sound much more complicated than swapping out the drive of Sony’s PS5 Slim. 24GB of on-board LPDDR5X 700 memory should also help boost frame rates in your favorite games.

Though the Asus ROG Ally X will be 11.5% heavier than the vanilla Ally, it looks like heat dispensation on the new backpack-friendly console will be much improved. Brace yourself for a lot of slightly tiresome buzzwords (so apologies in advance), but here goes… The Ally X sports “Anti-Gravity Heat Pipes'', an “ROG Dust Filter” and a “Zero Gravity Thermal Solution” also represents upgrades over last year's unit. If you don’t speak fluent Asus, in real-world terms, this means the Ally X will run cooler and more efficiently than its predecessor.

As a diehard Deck fan, I’m still of the opinion there still isn’t a Windows handheld on the market that can be classed as anything close to essential. Yet I can’t deny the specs of the Asus ROG Ally X are making me rethink my Valve-loving opinions… at least a little bit. Right now, I’m super keen to get hands-on with a gaming device that ticks almost every box on paper.

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Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal. 

  • Ginh
    How is it "coming" for Valve when it's achieving the same intent of the Steam Deck and bringing more people in to PC gaming and subsequently, bringing more people to Steam?

    Steam is still the most trusted, most used PC gaming platform that people buy games from - on a singular basis. Game Pass is a volatile service that has proven to not be helping the industry in the long term, EGS is for Fortnite and freebies and everything else is either niche or only used for a few games.

    If anything, it's another reason to not buy any 3rd party multiplatform games and Indies for the upcoming Switch 2 and just buy them for Steam, instead, where you can now play the games across a myriad of devices.

    Since Nintendo are going to be relying more heavily on 3rd party software sales, to keep them afloat between longer 1st party development cycles for the Switch 2, all these handheld PC's actually pose a greater threat. Plus, you can straight up emulate a lot of their games on them.
    Reply