I’d like to say that the Ally is worth the pain. And if you have to play games that aren’t on Steam, then it might be, simply because it’s your only option. But the Ally feels half-baked, even compared to the Steam Deck when it came out. Perhaps future software updates can remove some of the Ally’s jank, but you can’t patch out Windows.
The Asus ROG Ally truly feels like the portable Xbox Game Pass machine that many fans have been clamoring for. While a frustrating user experience, poor battery life, and a lack of Steam Deck-style touchpads do hold it back a bit, it’s undeniable how much fun this handheld is to use when it really gets ticking. With a beautiful 1080p screen that’s marvelously bright and perfect for playing on the go in any condition, alongside its powerful set of specs and a fierce price tag, the ROG Ally might actually be the Steam Deck competitor we’ve been anticipating.
By The Verge
I fundamentally believe a portable gaming PC isn’t truly portable if the battery life and user interface aren’t built for the road. I also believe most people interested in this machine would be better off spending $300 more for our favorite gaming laptop (by Asus, no less). If you really want a portable, maybe save a couple hundred bucks by buying a $400 Steam Deck and adding your own small SSD.
By Tom’s Hardware
The Asus ROG Ally isn’t as ergonomically friendly as the Steam Deck and has far more software hiccups, but it offers a beautiful screen on the go and can play almost any game at the right settings, without emulation.
The Asus ROG Ally is a more powerful alternative to the Steam Deck, while featuring a superior design and more user-friendly software. That high price is hard to justify however, especially with the poor battery life.
The Asus ROG Ally is not an outright Steam Deck killer, but smart hardware, software, and design decisions make for a fun, exciting Windows-based handheld game console.
Despite a few hiccups, the ROG Ally offers one of most complete gaming experience you’ll find on any handheld console. But are you willing to pay its premium price tag and suffer its flaws?
The ROG Ally is the best handheld gaming PC on the market, and probably the best budget gaming PC full stop. Asus has rendered Windows implausibly usable on a handheld device, and created a well-priced, impressive stacked machine that looks, sounds, and feels great to use. I might even forgive Asus for that offensive April Fool’s double bluff reveal. Maybe.
The Asus ROG Ally is an excellent gaming handheld. Thanks to the powerful AMD Zen4 processor and the fast iGPU, the compact device manages smooth frame rates even in modern games and you can enjoy the 1080p screen with fast response times and 120 Hz. We were particularly impressed by the well though-out controls and the only real drawback of the ROG Ally is the limited battery runtime while playing games, because the battery will be drained after around 1.5 hours.
By Ars Technica
Yes, the ROG Ally is faster than the Steam Deck, and it has a better screen. It can pull off a minimum viable ray-tracing game where the Deck can’t, and it pushes more frames on the same settings. If that’s the most important thing for you—frames per second, pixels per inch, in purely handheld form—then you can likely make the mental leap from a $400–$650 Steam Deck to the $700 Ally with the Extreme chip.
There’s no slam-dunk choice. But there’s no air ball, either. In fact, both handhelds are fantastic. Whether I carry around the Steam Deck or the ROG Ally on the regular, I’ll be happy with my choice. And I think you will be too. Having decades of video games on a device I can keep in my backpack and still have room for my laptop and water bottle — that feels like magic.
On paper, the Ally beats the Steam Deck in many categories: better screen, better design, more powerful, better support for game platforms. But it’s not a blowout. The Steam Deck is easier to use, has those great touchpads for navigation, costs less and, so far, plays certain games better. For right now, I’d call it a draw. But with some updates, tweaks and optimizations, it’s hard to see how the Ally won’t turn into the handheld gaming PC of choice, at least until the next-gen Steam Deck arrives.
The ROG Ally delivers impressive gaming performance but navigation could be more intuitive and battery life is a limiting factor.