The alliance becomes strong and will only get stronger.
Handheld gaming consoles are coming back to the scene once again, and with the popularity of the Steam Deck as well as its successful sales figures, it is safe to say that more and more users are interested of bringing their PC games with them on the go. To think this was a hard pull in the last decade. Technology moves fast and now we have the technology to bring PC gaming right into our hands at a very high quality.
The Steam Deck’s popularity is not left unnoticed. Many manufacturers like Logitech had come up with their own mobile consoles. However, only one truly challenged the Steam Deck and was even teased to be more powerful than it while also being aggressively priced. This is the Republic’s first IGO, the Alliance! (Or in other words, the ROG Ally).
While both the Deck and the Ally are rival consoles, both companies have thanked each other for starting a new wave in the gaming industry as well as the Ally’s successful launch. This goes to show how connected the PC gaming community is and what truly defines it as a “community”.
This mobile console was teased back on April Fools’ Day which caused many to dismiss it as a joke. However, a day after that, ASUS confirmed its existence. Hence why you shouldn’t tease a real product during April Fools.
The Ally features a Ryzen Z1 processor based on AMD’s Zen4 architecture. It also uses an AMD Radeon GPU (unannounced) based on the RDNA3 architecture and with eight cores. In contrast, the Steam Deck uses AMD’s Zen2 architecture and an octa-core GPU based on the RDNA2 architecture.
The Ally has a 7-inch IPS LCD screen protected with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. It also has a fast 120Hz refresh rate and ASUS claims that this display is bright, bright enough to be used even outside. It has 500nits peak brightness which is how bright most IPS LCD screens can get. This display has a resolution of 1920x1080px as opposed to the Deck’s 1280x800px. Also, the Deck lacks a high refresh rate so you’re stuck with 60Hz. Makes it look worse in comparison, no?
The ROG Ally has 16GB RAM onboard with a choice between a 256GB SSD or a 512GB SSD while the Steam Deck is more flexible. It also has 16GB LPDDR5 RAM but also, you can get a 64GB storage of it, eMMC and this can go as high as 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD.
In terms of ports, the ROG Ally comprises of a single 3.5mm jack, a USB-C/DisplayPort combo (USB 3.2 Gen2, DisplayPort 1.4), and a MicroSD Card reader. The Deck uses similar types of ports.
The battery for the Ally is comprised of a 4-cell 40WHr battery which is also the same capacity the Deck has. It is charged via a 65W USB-C adaptor and, among other features, the Ally has ASUS’ AURA Sync technology as well as a fingerprint sensor for extra security.
In terms of connectivity, the console connects via Wi-Fi 6/6e and Bluetooth 5.2. No cellular connectivity of course. It is not a phone and is not intended to replace the company’s ROG Phone lineup. Meanwhile, the Steam Deck supports Bluetooth 5.0 and Dual-band Wi-Fi.
The ROG Ally is also Hi-Res and Dolby Atmos audio certified and is equipped with stereo speakers so when you game, it feels immersive and lifelike. The Steam Deck also has stereo speakers that are customized for a truly personal sound experience.
Of course, as a gaming console, there are shoulder trigger pads, a joystick, and buttons. It also has a trackpad and a touchscreen and embeds Windows 11 so you could play PC games on the go. With that said, you can also use it in an office environment such as with Microsoft’s Office suite and conferencing.
Purchasing the ROG Ally also grants you FREE 3 months of XBOX Game Pass Ultimate. This freebie is only available where Game Pass Ultimate is available. While the console supports Steam, ASUS also has its own built-in game library called “Armoury Crate” where all your games are neatly organized. Like the Deck, the Ally also has a complementary dock which is sold separately.
There are two versions: the regular and the extreme. The only difference here, as patterned with the ROG Phone series, is the storage/RAM option. The Regular Z1 Ally costs USD 600 (16/256) while the Extreme is priced at USD 700 (16/512). Meanwhile, the Steam Deck is priced significantly lower starting at USD 399 (~PHP 22.4K) (16/64), USD 529 (~PHP 29.7K) (16/256), and USD 649 (~PHP 36.5K) (16/512). Given the Ally’s benefits in specs, the console is actually priced pretty well and ASUS has managed to compete well in that regard. The ROG Ally is yet to be available in the Philippines. The Deck is, however. Here, it costs PHP 30,990 for the lowest-end variant if you purchase from Data Blitz. It can go as high as PHP 48,990 (16/512). It is more expensive here due to import duties and supply chain issues.
ROG ALLY SPECS:
- 7″ FullHD+ (1920x1080px) IPS LCD, 120Hz refresh rate,
- Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
- Antiglare coating
- AMD Ryzen Z1, AMD Zen4 architecture (4nm)
- Octa-core, 16 threads
- AMD Radeon Graphics, RDNA 3
- Windows 11 Home
- 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort 1.4
- 1x 3.5mm jack
- 1x UHS-II MicroSD Card Reader
- Accessory Connectors
- ABXY button combinations
- 1x D-pad
- 2x Thumbsticks
- L&R Trigger Pads
- Hi-Res Audio, Stereo Speakers, Dolby Atmos certification, Array Microphone
- 40WHr Battery, 4-cell
- 65W Fast Charging, AC Adapter (Type-C)
- Fingerprint Sensor, Wi-Fi 6/6e, Bluetooth 5.2
- 16/256 (Regular): USD 600 (~PHP 33.7K)
- 16/512 (Extreme: USD 700 (~PHP 39.4K)