The Asus ROG Ally has an official launch date of Could 11. That is so much ahead of many people anticipated to see the brand new Steam Deck rival, a wee PC that Asus is promising will “redefine handheld gaming.”

The corporate has been seeding us with some strong information prepared for its upcoming launch occasion, together with the super-bright 120Hz 7-inch display’s response time, and the machine’s confirmed pair of AMD Ryzen Z1-series chips.

After teasing the Ally on April Fools, then ready days to disclose that it wasn’t truly a joke, Asus Steam Deck rival wasn’t off to the best of begins within the eyes of some jaded tech journalists. Asus is pleased with the way it all went, nonetheless, with Asus’ international advertising director, Galip Fu, telling us: “We took an unconventional strategy to showcase our unconventional gadget, and we’re happy with the outcomes.”

Not lengthy after the preliminary announcement the corporate needled us with yet one more teaser that the Ally’s launch date could also be “ahead of you count on”, and with that coming in simply a few weeks from now, Asus clearly wasn’t messing round. This time.

ROG Ally specs

Asus ROG Ally

(Picture credit score: Asus)

APU: AMD Ryzen Z1
Lithography: 4nm
CPU uArch: Zen 4
Cores: 6
Threads: 12
GPU uArch: RDNA 3
Compute items: 4
Reminiscence: 16GB LPDDR5
Storage: 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD | UHS II MicroSD
Display screen: 7-inch
Decision: 1080p
Refresh price: 120Hz
Response: 7ms
Peak luminance: 500 nits
PPI: 314
Working system: Home windows 11
Weight: 608g

Earlier reviews from YouTuber Dave2D positioned the ROG Ally’s processor as a {custom} AMD SoC constructed on TSMC’s 4nm course of node. Asus has now confirmed the Zen 4 CPU and an RDNA 3 GPU the Ally will likely be operating on as a semi-custom, 6-core, 12-thread SoC often called the Ryzen Z1. It is basically a reduce down model of AMD’s latest Ryzen 7 7840U cell APU, maybe nearer to the Ryzen 5 7640U, and comes sporting a Radeon 780M GPU, simply as latest leaks had hinted.

There is no phrase on frequency clocks, but when the latest benchmarks of the 780M iGPU are something to go by, we’re within the cash. Whether or not the “anti-gravity warmth pipes” and twin followers the ROG Ally employs will be capable to preserve it cool with all that energy goes to be a problem, but it surely seems to be like an enormous focus has been determining methods to enhance thermals.

Asus additionally confirmed there may be an AMD Ryzen Z1 Excessive chip—the “final processor for contemporary handheld gaming”—which comes with eight cores and 16 threads. It additionally comes with thrice the variety of RDNA 3 compute items than the usual Z1 chip. Meaning you get 12 CUs versus simply 4, and that makes an enormous distinction in relation to gaming efficiency.

If you wish to discuss uncooked GPU efficiency, the Z1 Excessive can handle as much as 8.6 TFLOPS, which is roughly equal to a desktop RX 6600 GPU. The usual Z1 chip, nonetheless, is barely able to a most 2.8 TFLOPS, lower than an RX 6400. Although that’s nonetheless significantly greater than the Steam Deck’s 1.6 TFLOPS from its Aerith APU.

These unique 780M benchmarks got here from a 12CU iGPU, in order that would be the anticipated energy of the highest Z1 Excessive APU, which can absolutely kind the idea of a second, extra premium priced ROG Ally. Although may additionally be a bit extra aggressive on the ol’ battery in addition to on the pockets.

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AMD Ryzen Z1 APU

(Picture credit score: AMD)
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Asus ROG Ally APU specs

(Picture credit score: Asus)
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Asus ROG Ally specs

(Picture credit score: Asus)
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Asus ROG Ally cooling

(Picture credit score: Asus)

An OS not traditionally recognized for being straightforward to make use of on both a touchscreen or a smol display.

Whereas we knew the Ally would include a 7-inch 1080p display, operating at 120Hz, we’re now being promised a wholesome 7ms response time and AMD FreeSync compatibility, together with a 500 nits peak brightness. It is also sporting Corning Gorilla Glass to preserve it protected and comes with DX anti-glare coating.

We’re additionally HDMI 2.0 compatibility, a swappable SSD on the PCIe 4.0 x 4 interface, and a fingerprint sensor on the wake button for a fast login. All this is available in a comparatively light-weight 608g package deal, which Asus managed to slice down from the pre-production mannequin’s 680g because of new, slimmer followers and a hollowed out prime case.

The Steam Deck is a few 669g, which places the Ally in a barely lighter class.

One factor that we’re nonetheless curious to see in motion is simply how nicely it really works with Home windows 11—an OS not traditionally recognized for being straightforward to make use of on both a touchscreen or a smol display. Asus, nonetheless, is touting it as the straightforward answer to giving players entry to “all of their writer libraries and game streaming companies on a single gadget.”

As beforehand hinted, Asus goes to be including its personal game launcher to the Armoury Crate software program used throughout the complete ROG ecosystem. The Armoury Crate SE model of the app in facet the Ally is barely completely different and can scan your machine for put in video games and convey all of them collectively below one unified UI. That is a technique the corporate hopes to deal with the UI points related to a navigating handheld.

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Asus ROG Ally

(Picture credit score: Asus)
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Asus ROG Ally

(Picture credit score: Asus)
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Asus ROG Ally prototypes

(Picture credit score: Asus)

Asus can be promising three months of Game Go Final with every buy, “giving customers prompt entry to lots of of AAA and indie titles the second they boot their Ally.” That is a reasonably neat solution to get folks up and operating rapidly, and to get across the potential limitations of handheld {hardware}, noise, and battery life.

There was no admission on what kind of battery life we should always be capable to count on out of the ROG Ally, nonetheless, and likewise no actual hints on the ultimate value. The closest we received was an Asus consultant assuring us that, whereas the retail value was being held again for a reveal on the Could 11 launch occasion (and can undoubtedly be leaked nicely forward of that), “I can let you know for certain that the worth will likely be under $1,000. 200% it will likely be under $1,000.”

That is not 200% under $1,000 as a result of that will imply Asus giving each buyer $1,000 to take an Ally off their fingers. Business suicide.

Nonetheless, at the very least it appears Asus is eager to make sure the worth of the ROG Ally is roughly analogous to the mid-tier price of a Steam Deck. Although I assume it might simply find yourself being $999, after all.

That pricing is probably going only for the bottom six-core version of the Ally, nonetheless, as there may be absolutely going to be a second, dearer model sporting that Ryzen Z1 Excessive eight-core processor. How rather more we can’t know till the Could 11 unveiling in a few weeks. However you’ll be able to positively color us intrigued by what we have seen and heard up to now.