rog ally

Asus ROG Ally has come with a powerful chip and a clear display to change the rules of the handheld console game; Of course, if it leaves Windows!

Imagine a device the size of a smartphone that has a 7-inch FHD+ 120Hz touch screen, with a powerful Ryzen Z1 Extreme chip, 16GB LPDDR5 RAM and a 512GB SSD, it can handle all PC games, even Cyberpunk and Diablo 4. Windows 11 is installed so that you can browse the web, watch movies and series, read books or even work with Photoshop! And all these features for just $700, which is only $50 more than the 512GB Steam Deck.

You might say that your hypothetical scenario sounds too good to be true; But it is completely real. The Asus ROG Ally console, which was launched in May 2023 to directly compete with SteamDeck, has all these features; A device that, at first glance, uses almost the same familiar formula as Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch, but another world is going on inside it; The winding world of Windows laptops!

To be honest, I was very excited to review the ROG Ally console; Apart from the gaming discussion, which in itself is reason enough to excite any kind of review, it was enough to hear that the ROG Ally is not just a game console and that Asus has bundled it with the full version of Windows 11 to tempt me to look at it as a mid-range gaming laptop.

I was wondering if it is possible to go straight to Ally instead of buying a gaming laptop, for example, about the size of Gigabyte G5 for fifty million? So I decided to run all the tests we do here at Zoomit for laptops on the Ally console.

Let’s close our eyes for a few minutes and think that instead of reviewing a game console, we are reviewing a gaming laptop whose exclusive Ryzen Z1 Extreme chip is actually a high-end laptop processor that has only been renamed, but uses eight-lane PCIe that connects to an external graphics card. Enables the console.

The Z1 Extreme chip, which is based on the Zen 4 architecture and TSMC’s 4nm technology, uses 8 cores and 16 threads with a power consumption of 30 watts, along with 12 RDNA 3 graphics cores and 24 MB cache, and the promise of 8.6 teraflops graphics performance. gives A number that’s closer to the PS5’s 10.28 teraflops than the Steam Deck’s 1.6 teraflops. In terms of specifications, this chip is very similar to the Ryzen 7 7840U used in the Ayaneo 2S handheld console, whose cheapest model is about $300 more expensive than Ally.

ROG Ally, equipped with the powerful Z1 Extreme chip

When you are not in the game environment, the console joysticks act like a mouse pointer; Touch gestures are also supported, and swiping up provides quick access to the Windows toolbar. However, the touch experience on the Ally’s 7-inch display is not very pleasant and it often happens that you have to tap the corresponding icon several times to open a window or run a game. Ally only works as a Windows PC when you dock it with a mouse and keyboard; But I don’t think many users will be willing to use the console in this mode.

Ally’s Windows experience is not very enjoyable without a mouse and keyboard

If we put aside the limitations of the touch experience of Windows on the 7-inch screen, the Asus console can handle everyday tasks easily; For example, you can use it to surf the web, watch movies, listen to music, read books or even work with Excel.

Ally handles Photoshop and MATLAB

Of course, I went even further and tested the execution of Photoshop and MATLAB software from this console. You may be interested to know that the CPU performance score of the Asus console is almost equal to the 14-inch MacBook Pro or the Gigabyte G5 KF mid-range gaming laptop equipped with a Core i5-12500H chip. In the case of running Photoshop, it appeared almost at the same level as these two laptops, and in running MATLAB, it was only 20% weaker than the Gigabyte laptop.

If you were in a situation where you only had access to the game console and needed to edit a photo or write a few lines of code, you can count on Ally; But don’t think that you can do engineering work with this console, because its hardware power is only limited to everyday tasks and a little Photoshop and programming.

Turbo mode, ROG Ally’s secret weapon

Well, I think it’s enough to run surreal tests with this console and it’s time to go to its main purpose. For the benchmark, I took help from heavy and challenging games such as Cyberpunk, Far Cry 6, Forza Horizon 5 and RDR2, but I also played the light and 2D Hades game for myself.

The gaming experience with ROG Ally is certainly not at the level of a mid-range gaming laptop, and it is not supposed to be, because it does not have discrete graphics (unless you want to spend twice as much as the console yourself to buy an RTX 4090 graphics card!); But Ally appeared great as a game console, and the Turbo mode, which increases the power consumption to 30 watts when connected to electricity, is the secret weapon of this console, which the Steam Deck with a maximum power of 15 watts cannot reach.

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