Asus ROG Ally X vs ROG Ally: Hands-on with the new, improved handheld

Fresh Perspective on the Asus ROG Ally X

Asus recently unveiled the ROG Ally X, a revamped version of last year’s Ally. Despite facing criticism for lacking a performance boost, my extensive testing of various PC Windows handhelds leads me to believe that the Ally X is a substantial upgrade in several aspects. The bump from 16GB to 24GB of memory tackles issues affecting a growing number of new games, while doubling the battery capacity significantly improves the notorious battery life concern plaguing all Windows handheld devices.

Memory Upgrade

While it’s true that the Asus ROG Ally X retains the same Z1 Extreme processor as its non-X counterpart, there are noticeable improvements. The shift from 16GB of 6400MT/s LPDDR5 to 24GB of 7500MT/s LPDDRX not only increases memory capacity but also enhances bandwidth. This better memory configuration results in a slight performance boost, similar to the upgrade seen in the Steam Deck OLED model. Expect an overall improvement in game performance during the transition from the Ally to the Ally X.

Enhanced Gaming Performance

The increased memory capacity in the Ally X showcases significant advancements in gaming performance. Games like Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, which struggled on the original Ally, run smoothly on the Ally X due to the optimal 24GB RAM allocation. This eliminates stuttering issues and provides a seamless gameplay experience without the need for manual configurations.

Specs Comparison Table

Asus ROG AllyAsus ROG Ally X
Main ProcessorAMD Z1 ExtremeAMD Z1 Extreme
Memory16GB LPDDR5 6400MT/s24GB LPDDR5X 7500MT/s
Display1920×1080 – 120Hz IPS with VRR1920×1080 – 120Hz IPS with VRR
I/OOne USB-C, MicroSD, Headphone Jack, XG Mobile PortTwo USB-C (inc. one USB 4/Thunderbolt 4 Compatible), MicroSD, Headphone Jack

Improved Battery Life

The Asus ROG Ally X boasts a significant enhancement in battery life with the inclusion of an 80WHr battery. This larger battery capacity addresses the previous issue of short battery life, allowing for extended gaming sessions without frequent recharging.

Design and Performance Enhancements

Besides the memory upgrade and battery life improvements, the Ally X features various enhancements that elevate it above other handheld devices. The redesigned internals, improved airflow, and upgraded SSD compatibility contribute to a more efficient and user-friendly device. Additionally, ergonomic enhancements like weightier analogue sticks and grippier grips enhance the overall gaming experience.

Final Thoughts on the Asus ROG Ally X

Despite maintaining a similar performance level to its predecessor, the Asus ROG Ally X offers substantial upgrades in memory, battery life, and design. While the price increase may deter some potential buyers, the Ally X stands out as a top contender among Windows PC portables, especially for gaming enthusiasts seeking reliable performance and enhanced features.