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ASUS ROG Ally 7" 120Hz FHD 1080p Gaming Handheld - AMD Ryzen Z1 Processor - 512GB - White

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$599.99

$599.99

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Product Features

  • Easier to play More games. Better graphics. Higher performance. Wherever the limit is with gaming, you’re closer to it with Windows 11.
  • Stunningly beautiful visuals No tearing, no stuttering, and games are crisp and clear on the ROG Ally's 7-inch 1080p, full HD touchscreen display with a smooth 120hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync technology.
  • Incredible power Equipped with the latest AMD’s Ryzen Z1 processor on Zen4 architecture (6-cores, 12 threads), get a groundbreaking 2.8 TFlops of computational power within your hands.
  • Amazing graphics AMD RDNA3 Architecture-based Graphics (4GB VRAM, 4 compute units)
  • Blazing fast memory Swap through your applications and have multiple tabs running with 16GB LPDDR5 6400 RAM.
  • Ample storage A 512GB NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 SSD gives you room to store your favorite games and keep load times snappy. Easily upgrade and replace with another M.2 2230 SSD with a single pop-open screw. Insert a UHS-II MicroSD card into the built-in slot for even more storage and playing options.
  • Play the way you want Game anywhere with handheld mode or use the ROG 65W HDMI adapter to hook up to your TV, then connect multiple controllers to play with friends, or even transform the ROG Ally into a gaming PC using a keyboard and mouse with just one plug through the ROG XG Mobile.
  • Access to PC, console, and mobile games Game on any platform, including Steam, XBOX Game Pass, Android apps, Epic Launcher, GOG Galaxy, or other various cloud gaming services. No matter where you buy your games, if it can play on Windows, you can play them on the Ally.
  • ROG DNA ROG has years of experience in engineering gaming hardware, creating powerful devices with gaming needs in mind. The ROG Ally is our evolution of a handheld - over 100 prototypes for amazing ergonomics tuned tirelessly to a 608 gram weight, all so you can play without fatigue.
  • ROG Intelligent Cooling ROG engineering is rich with heritage and experience in cooling the highest end components. The ROG Ally has dual fans, dust filters, and heat pipes that work in harmony to sustain peak performance while keeping fan noise low.
  • Always ready to go with fast charge technology With the ability to charge from 0% to 50% in just 30 minutes through the included 65W USB-C power adapter, you can always trust the ROG Ally to be by your side and ready for battle.
  • Advanced user experience with Armoury Crate SE Manage and launch all your games seamlessly from one place, or use the advance settings, to fine-tune your joysticks, remap controls, and customize the Ally your way through our special edition of Armoury Crate.
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate included Play Minecraft Legends and hundreds of other PC games on ROG Ally with 3 months of Game Pass. *Terms apply.
  • Modern security Log in using Windows Hello through the included biometric fingerprint reader and manage device and family safety settings through familiar Windows device controls and protection.
  • Immerse yourself with Dolby Atmos and smart AMP Virtual 5.1.2-channel surround sound powered by Dolby Atmos technology puts you in the center of the action. Turn up the volume and enjoy louder, more dynamic audio.

Product Description

Play your way with the ROG Ally gaming handheld. Access any game that runs on Windows across all game platforms, including Steam, GOG, Xbox Game Pass, cloud gaming services, Android apps and more. Play anywhere, anytime, using handheld mode or by connecting the Ally to a TV and linking multiple controllers to play with friends. The Ally even transforms into a gaming PC by connecting to ROG XG mobile eGPU and dock - supporting mouse, keyboard, monitor, and more of your favorite peripherals. Equipped with an AMD Ryzen Z1 processor, a smooth 7-inch 1080p 120Hz touchscreen with AMD FreeSync technology, and ROG intelligent cooling, the ROG Ally takes handheld gaming on to a whole different level.

Product Details

Manufacturer ASUS Model Number RC71L-ALLY.Z1_512
SKU 6543664 UPC 197105197732
Color White Product Weight 1.34 pounds
AC Adapter Included Yes Storage Type SSD
Color White Maximum Video Resolution (Streaming) 1080p
Storage Capacity 512 gigabytes Touch Screen Yes
Charging Interface(s) USB Type C Type of Memory (RAM) LPDDR5
Manufacturer's Warranty - Parts 1 year Maximum Graphic Quality 1080p
Memory Card Compatibility microSD Product Width 4.37 inches
Screen Size 7 inches Product Length 11.02 inches
Integrated Speaker(s) TRUE System Memory (RAM) 16 gigabytes
Rechargeable Battery Yes Wireless Connectivity Wi-Fi
Product Height 0.83 inches Display Type LED
Memory Card Slot Yes Games Included No
Model Number RC71L-ALLY.Z1_512 Product Name ASUS ROG Ally 7" 120Hz FHD 1080p Gaming Handheld - AMD Ryzen Z1 Processor - 512GB
Surround Sound Supported Dolby Atmos Smart Capable Yes
Manufacturer's Warranty - Labor 1 year Brand ASUS
Compatible Platform(s) Windows Console Type Handheld Video Game Consoles
Central Processing Unit AMD Ryzen Z1 Processor Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) AMD Radeon RDNA 3 Architecture-based Graphics (4GB VRAM, 4 compute units)
Power Source Battery-powered Battery Chemistry Lithium-ion
Number Of USB Port(s) 1 Color Category White
Integrated Microphone Yes Screen Type IPS
Digital False Pre-Owned False
Release Date 2023-09-17 Height 0.83 inches
Width 4.37 inches Depth 11.02 inches
Weight 1.34 pounds Shipping Weight 2.90
Warranty Labor 1 year Warranty Parts 1 year
Type HardGood Sub Class GAMING HANDHELD HW
Department COMPUTERS

Customer Reviews

Customer Top Rated: False

CraigB

10/2/2023 3:04:51 AM

Fun if Z1 Extreme edition is not in your budget

Pros Great 120Hz screen with V-Sync Great speakers SD card slot Upgradable NVME SSD Quiet Decent battery life for the form factor Charges via USB-C Works with external GPU for more horsepower Supports multiple game platforms Windows OS allows Xbox emulators Can be used as your regular pc Heat stays away from your hands Thumbsticks support Aura Sync Buttons haven’t stuck like early Extreme units did Controls feel good quality Asus is creating game guides to help find the best settings per game Cons Performance much lower than Extreme version NVME Size limits upgrades RAM or Wi-Fi not upgradable Buttons placement makes reaching some a bit awkward SD-Card slot reliability questionable Buttons get blocked from working in certain games, including volume Flashes thumb sticks when asleep while plugged in The Asus Ally is a surprisingly light portable PC. You can call it a portable gaming console, but it can do more than that with Windows installed. The advantage of this is also that Xbox emulators work on it or it can be your primary PC. The palm rests have a slightly textured grip on the back but only a small amount on the front where your thumbs would rest. The bottom has no ports or switches to be a problem if you game with it in your lap. All ports and plugs are on the top of the unit with the SD-Card slot sandwiched under the left heatsink. This explains why some have reported SD-Card failure in early units. Reports have said Asus issued a firmware update to adjust the fan curve at the expense of noise to improve reliability. The power button has an integrated fingerprint reader that caches your fingerprint so that on startup it passes it to Windows Hello. This means if your finger is registered correctly the system will start up and be fully logged in with one button press instead of two. The speakers are forward firing directly at the user and placed inboard where it would be highly unlikely your hands would every block them. Setup Setup is the standard Windows setup but slightly clumsier due to the poor touch and tablet support of Windows. When you have a box to type in you can tap it and sometimes the onscreen keyboard comes up and sometimes Windows does nothing. If the text box is on the bottom half of the screen, Windows overlays the keyboard on top of it where you can’t see what you are typing. Asus has some tools in Armory crate to help this as well as some shortcut buttons to smooth things out a bit but there is no getting around deficiencies in Windows with this layout. Rumor is Microsoft is working on a gamepad interface which would be nice to see in a future update. Once set up Armory Crate launches full screen and looks different than what you see on laptops. It is redesigned specifically to accommodate the Ally and scans looking for game stores as wells as installed games making them easier to find and launch via the gamepad controls. You can configure system wide gamepad profiles or set game specific profiles via Armory Crate. This way games for Xbox, Epic, and Steam see an Xbox type controller but emulator games via something like retroarc or desktop games can see keyboard and mouse inputs. Usage and Performance When starting up you will find the one step nice but in need of refinement. It is nice that you don’t have to log in or press more than one, but the button is flush with the case making it hard to feel out. Unlike handheld games the power button the Ally feels soft and indistinct. It would be nice if Asus had the button slightly raised and with a distinct click so you would know you pressed it correctly. The other control buttons have a familiar clicky feeling like a good quality game controller giving good feedback with the exception being the thumb sticks. While they feel good, the thumb sticks have a slightly rough texture as you roll them around. It’s possible this is due to the type of plastic used to create the light rings at the base that are controlled via Asus Aura Sync. The overall feel in the hands is nice but at times the paddle buttons on the back feel a bit awkward to reach in the normal grip. The screen is probably one of the best aspects of the Ally. While it isn’t an OLED with inky blacks it gets very bright, and the colors are very accurate. Combine that with the speakers and the gaming experience feels more immersive. Of course, the speakers aren’t going to have amazing range for their size but the fact that they point directly at you means surround sound affects are more engaging. If you keep your head in between the left and right speakers the surround sound effects work surprisingly well with some sounds seemingly coming from the sides. They also get loud enough to be heard even when the cooling fans are running on high. Depending on your priorities the main letdown is going to be the downgrade from the Z1 Extreme Processor to the Z1. For triple A titles you are going to notice the performance drop. Test have shown anywhere from a 15% lower performance to sometimes half the performance. The one place the Z1 processor may occasionally have a slight edge is games that favor the processor more and don’t require many cores. In some rare cases it seems the Z1 with less cores can run those cores at a slightly higher clock speed with less power. Overall, the Z1 Extreme wins by a large margin. That said, if your main interest is older titles, emulation, or you don’t mind lowering settings the Z1 can still be fun. For instance, Tomb Raider GOTY set to Ultra turned in an average of 24.1FPS with the Ally on 30-watt turbo mode. Change the settings to Normal and you get an average of 65.8 FPS and a far more playable game. Borderlands 3 returned a low but playable 30FPS set to medium quality with the Ally set to Turbo while plugged in for the full 30 watts. Performance seems to be the sweet spot for battery performance but at this setting Borderlands turns a barely playable 25FPS at medium quality showing how the Z1 processor struggles to keep up. It’s possible with more tweaks and using dynamic resolution scaling this could be improved but it is unlikely to make a dramatic difference. An unfortunate downside of this is that great 120Hz screen is unlikely to be used to the fullest. If there is any chance this will happen it looks like Asus is going to do the work to find out. They have created Ultimate Guide to the ROG Ally where Asus is creating guides of how to configure specific games to get the best performance vs quality for both the Z1 Extreme and Z1 editions. They are even including FPS targets to help you verify if things are working as expected. If you are ok with the decreased performance, gaming on the Ally is distinctly different and fun. It’s hard to describe but the experience of how playing games just feels more satisfying than the same games on a console or PC. Even games such as Minecraft that usually feel more comfortable with a keyboard and mouse just felt better when you could play anywhere you wanted. While Asus can adjust the fan curve to help protect the SD-Card slot, it seems like your best bet is going to be to buy a more durable card. With the slot sandwiched behind the heatsink the slot easily reached 119 degrees without being used while on the latest firmware. The upside is Asus did a great job of keeping the heat away from the hand grips. Even during extended gameplay, the hand grips never seemed to get very warm or even close to uncomfortable. While the fans were audible at times they were never distracting, and the heat was always pushed up and away. It does seem like they were able to address the concerns of buttons sticking on earlier units. During several days of use none of the buttons stuck or gave the indication they are binding. Actuation was smooth and very similar to a good quality console controller with good response times and consistent activation even with faster paced games. You can press them fast enough to where they can miss but it is unlikely you experience that in normal gameplay. There was one odd behavior though in Doom where the right thumb stick would cause the weapon to fire if you flicked the joystick quickly to left. There wasn’t anything mapped to fire on the right joystick and this is the only game where this occurred but it is worth noting. At first it was thought to be accidentally trigger by the shoulder buttons because in rapid movements it is challenging not to bump them but with further testing this occurred when the only thing moved was the right thumbstick. Final Thoughts There is so much more that could be said about the Asus Ally Z1. It isn’t as polished as a dedicated gaming handheld but offers far more versatility in a nice package. It certainly feels like Asus has put together a winning combination that is likely to become very popular in future generations. If you don’t want to wait, the main question would be can you afford the Z1 Extreme edition of the Ally. If you can, get that one. If you can’t or just prefer to save some money because you play older titles or don’t mind dropping the quality, this Ally with the standard Z1 processor could be a a good fit for you.

SteveL

9/29/2023 1:01:04 PM

Portable Gaming Powerhouse!

Bottom Line: the Asus ROG Ally delivers AAA gaming on the go with few compromises. Design and Hardware: the Asus ROG Ally is extremely well-designed. The unit is deceptively light - much lighter than it looks or what I expected. The 1080p touchscreen offers very good image quality, performing well under direct light and offering very good contrast. It is accurate and responsive, which is especially important for Windows. I was highly impressed with the sound quality and was surprised with how well it delivers Dolby Atmos and a cinematic audio experience. The thermal design works extremely well, with barely noticeable fan noise at max speed. Buttons are responsive, although the tension/stiffness of the sticks offer less resistance than a standard controller. My only issue is that I have small hands, and so there’s a slight tradeoff between holding the unit securely and using the top buttons/triggers. Performance: AAA games run very well on the ROG Ally, although the quality of graphics possible will depend on the game. For example, I’ve been playing Final Fantasy Crisis Core Reunion, which defaults to high quality. Gotham Knights, on the other hand, is a more graphically intense game, and the settings default to low. Still, both games run at 60 fps at their respective graphics settings. I’ve only noticed some minor lag/frame shuttering when the processor is thermal throttling, although the fans do a good job at cooling the system to maintain peak performance. In terms of battery life, I’ve been getting around two hours for continuous gaming, although that can vary higher or lower depending on what’s happening in-game. Movie watching also is excellent given the screen and speakers. Other considerations: The unit just comes with a USB-C charger, but there are several first and third party compatible accessories that can expand its capabilities. As a Windows machine, you can connect a keyboard and mouse to play a variety of games or use the machine for productivity. On the flip side, I spent a lot of time updating various Windows components before I could start using the machine, and I’ve experienced a few glitches that required a restart here and there (e.g., Windows wasn’t recognizing the speaker hardware).

GrizzlyD

9/29/2023 9:28:09 AM

Niche use case, Windows platform holds it back

First, anyone that says this replaced their gaming rig, was not a serious gamer and kidding themselves. A hobbyist for sure, but not someone that spends a lot of time and money on their gaming experience. This device sounded like a great idea. A handheld platform giving you the ability to really tap into cloud gaming options like Game Pass and Steam, etc. And it can definitely do this. But out of the box I was met with difficulties just because of the OS platform it's sitting on....Windows. Windows is made for a keyboard and mouse. I was attempting to get it setup and struggled for several mins trying to enter my wifi password just to proceed with setup. Once I got the controls sorted I was able to get around a little better. The touchscreen really helps a lot. But Windows UI is just not geared for sticks and buttons over mouse and keyboard. I love Windows overall, but having a full-blown desktop OS on a handheld like this is a real issue. Aside from controls mentioned above. Windows out of the gate attempts to activate OneDrive and so on just like it does on a PC. So because I used my shared login it's now attempting to sync gigabytes of data to this tiny device automatically. The Asus app that ties the UI into a more handheld mode didn't launch automatically when I set mine up. It does help, but then I was met with nothing but issues with their authentication service. It wanted me to create an account and offered to use my Windows login. So I tried this and it worked, but wanted me to confirm my email. When I clicked the confirm my email it failed repeatedly with an unknown error. I attempted to update my profile but the password was required and didn't sync with the same password as my Microsoft account. I then tried to create a whole new Asus account using my email vs Microsoft account. Same issue with the confirmation email. So I just gave up with this piece as it didn't seem necessary. The screen looks good, the handling is not bad, the buttons and sticks respond well and the touchscreen works great. So the hardware overall is really quite good, but the software is really where it falls short. I feel it really has a limited use case for gaming. FPS games are not going to be ideal on this platform. RTS games might not be bad. Some strategies prob ok. Anything with a lot of control options could be a real chore. Racing and Sports games are going to really shine on this type of platform. I think FIFA (EA FC) or Madden are well done here. Even Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter will fit well here. Cloud gaming tends to require a bit of bandwidth to work well. So now this means being in a place with good connectivity. Being on the road or out and about with it and using tethering or public wifi won't produce the most ideal experience. This platform will help you game on the go with sports, racing, and platformers/scroller style games. Don't expect to be crushing it on COD or Fortnite. I think my kids will enjoy it, but it's not for me.

Curtis

9/28/2023 4:43:39 PM

Wonderful - For the Right Gamer

WHAT'S IN THE BOX? Open it up, and you'll discover the ROG Ally at the forefront. Alongside it are a paper stand to prop the Ally and a 65W USB-C charger. I'm not a huge fan of the paper stand, but hey, it'll get you started. DESIGN: The ROG Ally is beautiful, despite being a light-weight plastic build. Holding it feels good, though the bottom edge's design might strain your hands over prolonged use. For my hands personally, it fit almost perfectly. Its sleek and slim profile might be more travel-friendly tucked inside a case or bag, but it might compromise a bit on hand comfort. CONNECTIVITY & EXPANSION: Kicking things off with our I/O ports, you get a 3.5mm jack, a microSD slot, and a USB-C 3.2 gen 2 port. If you're looking to elevate the ROG Ally's graphics capabilities and convert it into your primary desktop, the ROG XG Mobile external GPU dock, albeit pricey, is an option. Keep in mind this is an ASUS proprietary system though, so you won't be able to use the external GPU dock on any 'ol handheld PC. Internally, the only component you can upgrade is the m.2 2230 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, and ASUS has a wonderful tutorial for how to complete this process on their website. I'm a big fan of how quick and easy it is to swap drives. CONTROLS OVERVIEW: The Ally's face buttons offer a tactile experience, with comfortable and reactive analog triggers. It also features an Xbox-like offset thumbstick layout. Additional rear macro buttons are customizable via the Command Center software, though with limited scope. Quick-access buttons are found on either side of the display: Command Center on the left (giving access to power profiles, real-time performance monitoring, and more) and Armoury Crate on the right (leading you to game content and specific Ally settings). However, the top-located volume controls might feel a tad out of reach during gameplay. A highlight is the power button doubling as a fingerprint reader, which has worked almost perfectly throughout my testing. DISPLAY: The Ally boasts a 7” 1080p IPS LCD touchscreen capable of 60Hz or 120Hz and backed by FreeSync. The display quality is sharp and vibrant, reaching around the 450 nit mark, and it's beautiful to see. While modern phones might have greater pixel density, the Ally’s display is just as attractive, especially with its vibrant colors and adjustable brightness. However, the touchscreen's efficiency is hampered by Windows' on-screen keyboard. Using Windows with a touchscreen in general is not a favorite of mine, but it's an option for navigating with at least. PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY: For gaming, the ROG Ally gives a decent performance, but it's crucial to maintain realistic expectations. This system is absolutely great for 2D titles and light gaming, but if you're aiming to play some AAA titles such as CyberPunk 2077, Doom, Horizon Zero Dawn, you'll need to temper your expectations a bit. My goal with any 3D game is to get closer to 30 FPS, and I can achieve that with the ROG Ally as long as I really tone down the graphical settings in-game. You'll want to try adjusting some of your performance settings, such as setting resolution to 720p and utilizing the FPS limiter. What's important here is to understand that the ROG Ally Z1 does not have the same performance as the ROG Ally Z1 Extreme. For those of you who really want to maximize on 3D gaming while on the go, you will want the Z1 Extreme. Personally - I've enjoyed playing Stardew Valley, Brotato, Turbo Overkill, and Noita on this system and achieving over 60fps consistently. I think the lighter system requirements are perfect for this type of handheld. You get the ability to "just click play" and go. Whereas, with other titles, you'll be spending a fair amount of time dialing in the performance. Also, friendly reminder that screen motion will always look better in 120hz mode than 60hz mode. Switching gears to the battery, battery life can be unpredictable. Lighter gaming might offer 4ish hours, while AAA could drain the battery within 1.5 hours. As always with devices like this, you need to tone down your settings a little bit to get the most battery life possible. I'd recommend setting the performance profile to 10w or 15w, capping frame rates, and turning down some of the game's graphical effects. If you choose to go higher than the 10w Silent or 15w Performance profile, your battery will be zapped before you know it. FINAL THOUGHTS: While I have no major complaints, there are some things I'd like everyone to keep in mind. If you need better performance for 3D gaming on-the-go, you'll want to look at the Ally Z1 Extreme. If you're savvy with a Windows computer, you'll appreciate having the full flexibility to use ANY game launcher for any Windows-based game title. But again, if you're someone who wants a portable Windows PC to game on, I'd assume that you'll be playing some AAA 3D titles. So where does this leave the ROG Ally Z1? Well... It's a wonderful system, but it's just a bit under-powered compared to the Z1 Extreme. If you enjoy playing a lot of simple titles like me, you'll appreciate this handheld, but some of you will be left wanting more.

koyagumi2088

9/28/2023 7:44:15 AM

Better then the steam deck

Replaced my gaming pc and you can take your games anywhere you go

Xephyroth

9/28/2023 12:25:06 AM

Excellent for 2D Gaming; But Price Should Be Lower

UNBOXING: Inside the box, you’ll find the ROG Ally, a surprisingly sturdy paper stand for the Ally, and a 65W USB-C wall adapter. Other than that, it’s pretty simple packaging. Unfortunately, a case and screen cloth will need to be separate purchases. BUILD: The Ally is a sturdy plastic build. It fits comfortably in my hands, although perhaps over time I feel a bit more stress in my palms due to the way the bottom edges are angled. I think ASUS opted to go with an overall slimmer profile, which some may find less comfortable, although it is sleeker and perhaps more portable that some competitors if you stow it away in a case or bag. PORTS, EXPANSION & UPGRADES: The ROG Ally is unfortunately very light on ports. For most folks, you have a 3.5mm combo jack, a microSD Card Slot that supports up to UHS-II cards (although there have apparently been a lot of issues with this slot damaging customer microSD cards), and a USB-C 3.2 gen 2 port for Power Delivery, DisplayPort output, and data. Additionally, for a very high price, you can purchase the ROG XG Mobile external GPU dock which can give more graphics horsepower to your Ally as well facilitate the usage of your Ally as your primary desktop computer since it has additional USB ports, Ethernet, and display outputs. But the proprietary nature of this technology means you’re solely relying on ASUS to provide newer docks over time, not to mention the exorbitant price you’re paying for a laptop-grade graphics boost as opposed to a desktop-grade graphics boost. As far as onboard upgrades are concerned, you can really only upgrade the m.2 2230 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD. Both the RAM and WiFi modules are non-removable, so you are locked in with no options to change. CONTROLS: The face buttons and bumpers have decent tactility and the analog triggers are also quite comfortable and responsive. It uses offset thumbsticks akin to an Xbox controller which I find very natural coming from an actual Xbox Series controller. You also have rear macro buttons which can help serve secondary functions or be remapped through the Command Center software (although options are a bit more limited). You also have the Command Center button on the left of the display which can give you quick access to a variety of Ally-specific functions like power profiles, an FPS limiter, a real-time performance monitor, a quick 60Hz/120Hz toggle, and 720p/1080p toggle. I really like having these options accessible without needing to dive into deep menus to make adjustments, and I hope they expand on the user experience in the command center over time. And on the right of the display you have the Armoury Crate button which will give you quick access to your game content across all your libraries as well as many Ally-specific settings like controls, lighting and display calibration. And while perhaps not the main attraction, the volume buttons are on top of the Ally—which I do find a bit inaccessible if I want to make a quick adjustment, but you can always use Command Center to make such adjustments without taking your hands off the gamepad. Lastly, the power button actually functions as a fingerprint reader, which I like. This means your Ally can be quickly secured and unlocked by only you, and you can always unlock via pin or password via on-screen keyboard should your fingerprint fail. That being said, I found the fingerprint reader to work accurately. DISPLAY: The Ally uses a 7” 1080p IPS LCD touch screen display that can operate at 60Hz or 120Hz and with FreeSync variable refresh rate. My display had the hardware ID of TMX0002 and the monitor name TL070FVXS01-0. Subjectively, the display looks quite good and is crisp at the 7” display size. Compared to the mainstream alternatives, it’s a notable upgrade and while modern smartphones are higher pixel density, this display makes me forget about that when it’s quite vibrant and can get plenty bright for daytime use and also reasonably dim for late night gaming sessions. As for the touch-screen aspect, it’s quite responsive to input, but I feel like the biggest limitation is really Windows’ on screen keyboard experience. I simply cannot get fast at typing on a screen of this size, and the limited customization of the touch screen keyboard in windows makes improving this a challenge. For this reason, I can understand why some of the competition is using other clever methodologies through hardware for keyboard input. MICROPHONES: The onboard dual array microphones are flanking the display, positioned just above the view and menu buttons. In my testing, they are very clear and do a great job at isolating speech. If your speakers are constantly blasting noise, it might struggle to pick up your speech properly, but if you’re playing games with others and have lower in-game volume, then the Ally should do a fantastic job for that circumstance. In my opinion, there’s no need to use a separate microphone while playing games on the Ally where voice communication is prominent. SPEAKERS & HEADPHONE: Audio on the Ally is one of its stronger suits. You have two front-firing speakers that deliver clear audio and it gets plenty loud for portable handheld gaming. Pushed a little too hard and you might get a touch of distortion, but overall I do feel it’s under control. Headphone performance is sufficient for most consumer headphones and some high-sensitivity audiophile headphones as well. Just be aware that by default, Audio Enhancements are enabled on the headphone output within Windows, so music may sound unnatural at first. I disabled this and found a significant improvement in clarity over headphones. With that said, this is a Realtek integrated audio chipset. It’s still not going to compete with many modern audiophile headphone dongles, but I don’t expect most folks to be running expensive IEMs or headphones through the Ally. PERFORMANCE: Game performance on the ROG Ally Z1 is decent, but you have to keep your expectations in check. Given that this variant only has 6 cores, 12 threads and 4 RDNA3 compute units, it simply does not have the same power as the Z1 Extreme variant of the Ally. I decided to focus on testing my catalog of modern 2D titles, and across the board many of these games like Gravity Circuit or Ember Knights could reach 120Hz at 1080p maxed out. Even under the Turbo power profile, 2D games which employ more advanced effects like Ori and the Will of the Wisps will not be able to yield 120Hz on High settings—especially without dynamic resolution scaling. Usually, a combination of dropping down to 720p, using 60Hz or lowering settings can get you a smooth experience for these more demanding titles. But it’s important to note that if you’re on battery, these kinds of games can draw a lot of power. Additionally, some games still need more than 4GB of VRAM to operate on higher settings, even at 1080p. So depending on the game, you might find it advantageous to tinker around with the amount of reserved VRAM through Armoury Crate, but you’ll need to restart for the changes to take effect. And in some cases where I could yield a consistent 40fps, it’s important to note that using the 120Hz display refresh rate will yield a smoother experience compared to the 60Hz mode. While on battery, I do think 120fps is really only a feasible framerate target under the 15W Performance profile or higher, while I found the Silent profile to be better suited for light gaming at 60fps. I also tried to take advantage of the built-in FPS limiter in the Command Center, but it wasn’t until I looked around online that people said you needed to set your FPS limit before you start the game, which isn’t an intuitive user experience. I also found it strange that there’s no 40fps frame limit option while the 120Hz refresh rate is engaged, but instead a 45fps option which would cause some dropped frames. BATTERY: Battery life is really challenging to gauge since this is a handheld focused on gaming. If you consider the ROG Ally as a 2D gaming machine with fantastic compatibility for different ecosystems like Steam, PC Game Pass, Epic Games Store, GOG, Itch, etc. then you may be able to yield 3-5 hours on battery if you use a manual performance profile with the lowest possible 7W power settings, lower screen brightness and stick to 720p 60Hz. But if you decide to push the limits in Performance or Turbo modes, you can reasonably only expect somewhere between 1-3 hours. CONCLUSION: Overall, I think the ASUS ROG Ally Z1 is a good product as is, but it certainly has areas where it could improve. I do think more tools to yield better battery stamina could improve the value of the Z1. But there’s no denying that having Windows installed means it has a ton of compatibility out of the box, and it does have sufficient power for a lot of gaming experiences. But it simply doesn’t have the same kind of horsepower that The Z1 Extreme variant has, although it may have an advantage in having a lower power draw. So if you’re a gamer that is focused more on indie titles without too many advanced graphical features, this could be a good option, but you will be able to get more out of it when plugged into power. But is it worth saving the $100 over the Z1 Extreme? I think most gamers probably would want the extra performance to ensure smooth gameplay while getting clear visuals on the Ally’s 1080p display. So this puts me in a bit of a bind. Most of my graphically intense games, I’d much rather do without compromise, so I tend to play those on a more powerful system, while I look at the Ally Z1 as a fantastic gaming handheld for a vast ecosystem of wonderful 2D games like Gravity Circuit, Ember Knights, Sea of Stars, and Eastward. My closing thought is that if you heavily lean towards games with low graphics demands, the Z1 Ally may be a good option for you. But if you’re an enthusiast who wants high performance, you should be looking at the Z1 Extreme variant.

Ernesto

9/27/2023 2:37:14 PM

Fun and overall pretty good

In many ways, the ROG Ally is an interesting device, even though it’s not the first of its kind, it does a lot of things well. Basically, this handheld gaming machine is like a portable personal computer, it runs on Windows 11, it has a specially made CPU or “Processor” (more on that in a moment) and there is a little bit of tinkering You have to do first, you don’t just insert a game cartridge or download a game right away and start playing. There’s going to be some updates, you have to download, maybe even button mapping depending on the game. AMD Z1 Processor: So basically this is a Lower tier Ally model, for $100 less you get the AMD Z1 processor instead of the more powerful Z1 Extreme. Now while I don’t have any experience with the extreme, or how well each one competes with the other, I can tell you that this device runs pretty good on its own. It’s able to play older games and most indie games at full settings, now as for the newer AAA titles, such as Warzone 2 or Starfield, you can still play them, but the settings have to most likely go down to medium or even low. there’s lots of ways to download games to the Ally, You can go to your favorite video game website and start downloading games from there, websites like Steam, and Xbox are perfect places to start. Screen: beautiful, clean, crisp 7inch 1080p resolution, very nice screen, no complaints here. RGB lights: they look good, and are a nice touch to the Ally, I personally don’t have any problems with them. And finally the battery, overall, the Ally has a nice battery, depending on the game, you play and settings, determines how long the battery will last, there is lots of variables here, but overall it should last you an an hour or two on higher settings, but much longer than that if you play less demanding games. Oh, one more thing, the sound is outstanding on this little device.

Webzpinner

9/26/2023 6:47:57 AM

Great for what it is and what it aims to do.

This is without a doubt the hardest review I have ever done. Up front, if you are looking forward to playing the latest games at a full framerate, go with the Z1 extreme model. Performance is better in every category. With that out of the way, here is my review of this product if it existed by itself, without being in the shadow of it’s more powerful older brother… I’m a gamer to the core. I have several gaming laptops, all the consoles, as well as several portables. I bought the steam deck the second it was available. I jumped at the opportunity to review the Rog Ally. While much negative press exists about the “downgraded” model, there is very little objective information of how it performs on its own. Having an extensive Steam library as well as Gamepass, I loaded the Ally with a wide variety of current and retro titles. Spider-Man remastered, Starfield, Ninja Turtles - Shredder’s Revenge, castle crashers, stray, the Batman Arkham Asylum games, etc. Performance wise, all the heavily taxing games like Starfield, Halo, and Spider+man played flawlessly on low to mid settings. Frame rates (which is all people seem to care about these days) hovered between 37 and 45 fps. Everything looks fantastic. Colors are bright and even at mid settings the image looks great on the 7in screen. Modern technology is amazing. To go from the Gameboy of 1989 to playing Cyberpunk on a train is just a blessing people seem to take for granted today. Audio quality is fantastic on the Rog Ally. The speakers sound much bigger than they really are, and the Dolby Atmos actually manages to weakly simulate spatial sound in games. Quite amazing for a handheld device. Ergonomics are decent. The weight and grips are comfortable enough that I can game for an hour or two (maximum one can do per charge anyway) and not feel discomfort. Asus really did their homework. For storage, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND upgrading the internal memory. At the time of this review, there have been dozens of reports of the Micro SD card reader “burning out” presumably due to its close proximity to the heat exhaust vents at the top. Because of this, I didn’t want to risk damaging a perfectly good SD card. With a full suite of Windows 11 and all the game launchers, the included 512GB gives you room for about 4 to 6 AAA titles. Swapping out the SSD takes 15 minutes. The process to format the SSD and reload Windows and proprietary Asus layers takes about an hour. Windows 11. Well… it’s the operating system, for better or for worse. You can play just about any windows game, but Windows doesn’t like being constrained by touch screens or controllers. Have a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse ready for emergency use. Overall it’s a great 1st generation of hopefully a long line of mobile gaming PCs. It’s had several hiccups along the way, but it’s off to a great start. If you play independent games like Cult of the Lamb, Hades, Star Ocean, etc… or if you are fine with frame rates around 30fps on games like Farcry 6 or The Last of Us, the regular Z1 is fine. If you have any desire to hit frame rates closer to 60 or higher, or like graphics settings at mid to ultra, spend a few more dollars for the Z1 Extreme edition.

CoryM

9/22/2023 2:43:37 PM

Nintenbro GameMan

As a computer beginner, this had my head spinning for the first night I had it. IDK what drivers are man. BUT this thing was patient with me, and when I finally got all my updates in order.... WOW. This machine is strong enough to power a spaceship, and fun enough to make you put up the Xbox. Be prepared to have it plugged in constantly though, it's an energy hog.

SantaKlaus

9/20/2023 8:44:40 PM

Attention this is not the (extreme) model!!!!

You want the extremen asus rog ally. Or just the extreme model for $699. There’s a reason this is $600 because it’s the inferior model with issues and is basically another steam deck which is hands down better because it’s cheaper and better optimized. If you buy this, know your paying for a nice screen. If you want the best gaming experience then you buy ally extreme. Best Buy had it a few days ago and just posted this version. If you can afford it wait for legion go or just buy a steam deck for now.

Included Items

  • Handheld device
  • Power adapter
  • Warranty manual
  • Stand in box lid