Hey everyone, welcome back to TechNuovo, my name’s Stef, and this video is going to be a bit of a talking head, as last week we took part in a virtual event for the Asus ROG Ally handheld console. The Ally has already been announced, we know that, but Asus ROG showed off some pretty impressive specifications with their new handheld console, and that’s something we wanted to make a video about and just talk about what ROG has on offer, and also compare it to the Steam Deck, as you know, it’s probably the most notable handheld so far that’s out there for PC gaming.
So the most impressive thing that stood out to me with the new ROG Ally was its spec, and what’s driving the device itself. Inside you can find an AMD Z1 series CPU, exact model is the 7840U7, which is part of AMDs Zen4 architecture and is also running RDNA3 graphics. Now, comparing that to the Steam Deck, you’ll find Valve is using a lesser processor, running AMD’s Zen 2 CPU architecture with RDNA 2 graphics. Both devices are running 16GB RAM and of course, take these with a pinch of salt because we’ve not had any hands-on time yet with the ROG Ally to really compare the numbers produced, so even though the Ally on paper has a better spec, there are other factors that can also take effect.
Like for example, the Steam Deck is running a version of Steam OS 3.0 which at its core is a Linux operating system, which we already know is a pretty lenient when it comes to performance draw and with my experience so far with the Steam Deck, works really well. In comparison, the ROG Ally is running Windows 11 right off the bat. Now again, this may not be an issue when it comes down to its power draw on the battery, but it’s interesting to see as Windows could require more power to run depending on background tasks taking place. And this in the long run could affect the battery life of the device between charges. Valve do offer users different options to limit wattage or power within the performance menu to really extend that battery life, and Windows right now offer very limited options when it comes to power saving.
SteamOS is also a very light storefront, and it’s an extremely convenient system which is easy to navigate on a handheld, and being Steam, the access to the biggest game store in the world right now is a definite bonus. The advantage though with the ROG Ally is the fact it’s running Windows, as right off the bat it will give users access to Steam, Origin, Epic Games, Games Pass, Battle.net and other launchers out there, and also games that require some form of anti-cheat, that might not either be accessible by Linux or to get access to these game launchers, you’re going to need to dual-boot or install Windows onto your Steam Deck anyway which isn’t really hard to do, but it is jumping through hoops to get the extra game launchers. But Asus does have a lot of work to do to keep that battery life at a decent number of hours. They’ve got their Command Centre, which has options to change the operating mode, but it’s too early to tell if this is going to have any real-life impact. The Steam Deck will last a few hours, say maybe two or three, maybe even four hours if the CPU and GPU aren’t being pushed at all, depending on the demand of the game you’re playing. So if Asus can match that, that’s a good start. But if Windows becomes too much of a power hog then Valve’s Steam Deck may be the ultimate winner here, especially for those who really want a portable experience and not using docking stations, it’ll be the better handheld option to go with.
With Windows potentially being a big power draw, the ROG Ally also has a superior screen, coming in at 1920 x 1080 at 120Hz at 500 nits of brightness, while the Steam Deck is sitting at 1280 x 800 at 60Hz at 400 nits of brightness. Now the Steam Deck has an impressive screen. I’ve always found it absolutely fine for the types of games I’ve played, being Hollow Knight, or Maneater or games from the Sega Classic Collection, nothing too taxing. Now on paper, the ROG Ally has a far superior screen, but the caveat to that is the hit to battery performance that the ROG Ally may have. Furthermore, the ROG Ally to hit that resolution and refresh rate is going to have to work that much harder, which while it has a superior chip and graphics performance, may still not be enough to fully run a game at 1080p at a constant 120Hz.
But, finally, the big elephant in the room, and something that I believe will make or break the ROG Ally, is the price. The Steam Deck’s 512GB variant which matches the Ally the closest when it comes to storage capacity is currently priced at £599. This ROG Ally handheld has got to match that at the very least, but in an ideal world, they’re going to want to beat it, to swing the favour, and steal consumers their way. You’ve also got to remember that there is an entry-level 64GB Steam Deck priced at £399, for a smaller storage capacity of course, but it’s a more attractive offering overall., and you can install your own SSD at a later date on this device for relatively cheap. Both handhelds also have the option for expandable microSD storage. So again, Valve may still be the winner here just purely based on price.
So considering battery life and price, which one do you think is going to come out on top? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments. Is the ROG Ally going to be worth the cost? Is it going to beat the Steam Deck? It’s got some pretty tasty specs after all! But who knows. Let us know what you think. Thanks for watching the video, hit the thumbs if you liked it, and subscribe to keep up with more ROG Ally videos once we manage to get our hands on one. If we can that is. Thanks for watching, and have a wonderful day!