The Asus ROG Ally is the first mainstream competition for the Steam Deck, and while its Windows operating system may be both a blessing and a curse, it’s exciting to see the handheld PC gaming arena slowly grow. If you’re looking to get an Ally of your own, warts and all, preorders are now open at Best Buy for the higher-end model with an AMD Z1 Extreme processor costing $699.99 and due out on June 13th.
As for the base model with a standard AMD Z1, that’s not expected until the third quarter of 2023 — though it will also be sold at Best Buy, which for now, is the exclusive Ally retailer. (I guess that makes Best Buy an Ally ally?)
Our own Sean Hollister had mixed praise for the ROG Ally, as it’s a powerful device whose biggest fault is being too powerful for its meager battery. The Ally has some definite advantages over the Steam Deck, with a more powerful processor, higher refresh screen, and much quieter operation. It also runs Windows, making it a full-fledged PC you can buy for $700 and occasionally use as a desktop computer with a mouse, keyboard, and external monitor if you choose. If you think you’re willing to work with some short battery life and buggy behavior — and you want something more powerful than a Steam Deck with native support for Xbox Game Pass (personally, the thing I most sorely miss when I play my own Steam Deck) — you can take a chance on the ROG Ally.
Though, maybe if we wait, the early bugs may get ironed out a little, and we’ll even one day see some deals and discounts to make the ROG Ally more appealing. Remember, even the Steam Deck got a 10 percent discount once — it just, you know, took a whole year.