If you’ve been waiting for the Asus ROG Ally to get cheaper, you’re in luck, as there’s now a model that costs $100 less. The catch? Well, on paper, its iGPU packs less of a punch than the one within the Steam Deck, despite costing substantially more than Valve’s portable powerhouse.
The original Asus ROG Ally is one mean gaming handheld machine, trading blows with the best portable gaming PCs out there. It’s also pretty cheap compared to alternatives like the Ayaneo 2S, and it boasts specs and features that arguably put the Steam Deck to shame. However, on the performance side of things, the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme inside Asus’ device does a lot of heavy lifting, and its lower-spec sibling seems to lack the same graphical bite.
Specifically, the new Asus ROG Ally uses an AMD Ryzen Z1 chip with a 740M iGPU rather than the Extreme’s 780M configuration. Armed with four Compute Units and 256 shaders, the setup is fairly reduced compared to the Z1 Extreme, and its specs are halved compared to the custom APU within the Steam Deck.
In theory, that means it could feature lower frame rates, but there’s a glimmer of hope for those of you looking to snag a cheaper ROG Ally. We’ll hopefully be able to put the cheaper model to the test at some point, but internal benchmarks by AMD suggest it’ll provide over 60fps in games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Far Cry 6, and you’ll be able to play Grand Theft Auto 5 at around 90fps.
Still, even AMD says there’s a sizable performance gap between the two chips, and if you care about frame rates, picking up a Steam Deck might be a wiser decision. Not least because you can currently grab 20% off one thanks to a Steam store discount, and the base model only costs $399 at full price.
That said, I’d still urge you to consider the full-fat Asus ROG Ally if you’re in the market for a premium handheld. Sure, it costs $100 more than the new version at $699, but the portable’s 120Hz screen shines when paired with the punch Z1 Extreme APU. The cheaper model could still surprise us, but it’s worth waiting for some proper benchmarks that’ll paint a performance picture.
In any case, you can currently pick up the new Asus ROG Ally at Best Buy for $599, and we've included some of the best handheld deals available right now below: