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Home / Hot Stuff / The Asus ROG Ally X has the Steam Deck beat in these key areas

The Asus ROG Ally X has the Steam Deck beat in these key areas

Refreshed gaming handheld brings longer battery life and improved controls

Asus ROG Ally X hot stuff lead

The category might still be in its infancy, but some PC-based handheld gaming consoles are already on their second generation. Asus took on plenty of fan feedback for the ROG Ally X, upgrading its internals, ergonomics and software to better compete with rivals including the Steam Deck OLED.

It’s powered by the same AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme CPU as the original ROG Ally, but the Ally X has double the battery capacity, twice as much storage, and significantly more internal memory.

As well as holding a more generous 1TB of games and apps – up from 512GB on the OG model – Asus has swapped to a more common M.2 2280 form factor for its removable SSD. That’ll make upgrading to an even higher capacity much easier later down the line. 24GB of DDR5 memory gives it a real leg up over the Steam Deck, which only has 16GB to share between system and graphics RAM. And an 80Whr battery should provide up to twice as much gaming time when away from the mains.

Asus had to shrink the cooling fans by a significant 23% to make room for the bigger battery. But by using 50% thinner fan blades and adding a third exhaust vent, the Ally X can actually push almost a quarter more air volume than the old model. Even the touchscreen benefits, reportedly coming in 6°C cooler after a prolonged play session.

Launching in black – the original Ally was only available in white – the Ally X looks a lot more menacing, with repositioned face buttons and analogue sticks for more comfortable handheld play. The joysticks are new, with stiffer springs that should better match console controllers, and the D-Pad has been swapped for a more precise, eight-direction version. As a fighting game fan, I see that as a major improvement.

The handles are also deeper now, and the triggers more slanted to make them easier to press. Finally, Asus has shrunk the macro buttons on the back, which should cut down on accidental presses.

I/O has taken a huge step forward, ditching the proprietary XG Mobile port for two USB-Cs – with one supporting Thunderbolt accessories including displays, docks and external graphics cards. And yet the whole thing is just 70g heavier than the OG model, at 678g.

The one area I’m sad to see hasn’t gotten an upgrade is the screen. The ROG Ally X sticks with the same 7in, 1080p IPS LCD panel as the first Ally. A 120Hz refresh rate and adaptive sync tech should ensure games feel smooth even when the hardware can’t quite keep up, but an OLED panel could’ve helped it secure a clear victory over the latest Steam Deck.

This is still a mighty looking handheld, though. You’ll be able to snag an Asus ROG Ally X from July 22, when it goes on sale for £799.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming