Compared to the Steam Deck, the battery life is the best in its class. Why is this $799 gaming handheld so full of sincerity?

When Steam Deck was first released in 2022, it caused quite a stir.

The reason why most console game enthusiasts give it rave reviews is simple and straightforward:

I can hold AAA games in my hands and play them.

After that, PC handheld consoles entered an explosive period, and products such as AYANEO 2, LOGITECH G Cloud, LEGION Go, and PlayStation Portal gradually entered the world of players.

ASUS ROG Ally has attracted a lot of attention because it fully benchmarks or even surpasses Steam Deck in terms of performance, screen, hardware, platform compatibility, etc.

This week, ROG Ally released its second product. Unlike the "half-generation update" of general game handheld consoles, ASUS wanted to reflect from the naming that this is an iterative machine-ROG Ally X.

With optimized exterior details and reorganized internal structure, ROG Ally

Handy is a required course for every handheld computer

After all, the PC handheld console must always be held in the hand, and whether it is comfortable or not often determines the length of the game for players.

The appearance of ROG Ally X has been greatly improved. As a result, the new machine is more comfortable to hold.

In the handle part, Ally Better apportionment.

The part that fits the palm is also made of anti-slip texture, which is good news for players with sweaty hands.

The position of the joysticks has also been tweaked, and the new layout makes it easier to move your thumbs between buttons.

In addition, the durability of the rocker is directly doubled on the Ally X. The addition of Hall rocker technology directly doubles the rated number of rotations of the component from the previous generation's 2.5 million times to the new rocker's 5 million times.

Players who like violent operations and micro-management have more room to play.

The D-Pad direction buttons have also been redesigned. The feedback of the new cross button is more direct and crisp. The input in the 8 directions is easier for players to know. The excessive stickiness that was criticized by the previous generation has been adjusted.

The slightly recessed power button on the top of the fuselage can actually reflect "human factors design". First, you can quickly locate the button position with just your hands. Second, it is combined with fingerprint recognition and you can quickly start the game by pressing it.

In addition, the exclusive shoulder button and trigger for the index finger have slightly adjusted the contour angle, which is more consistent with the position and angle of the finger in a relaxed state without reducing accuracy and responsiveness.

Coming to the back, the M key is Ally’s signature key, and the customizable macro button can perform additional functions for some games.

The M key of Ally

Finally, as a game console, especially a ROG game console, lighting is naturally essential.

The ring-shaped RGB lights under the two joysticks can be used with games supported by Aura Sync. Whether it is game atmosphere or emotional value, sometimes it is just a matter of one light. Now Ally X gives you two.

Although the screen material of ROG Ally X has not been updated, the 7-inch 1080p touch screen can still play. Compared with the maximum brightness of ordinary LCD screens of 200-300 nits, Ally X can reach 500 nits.

High brightness not only brings a better visual experience to the game, but also allows the handheld device to be used outdoors. The "mobile" attribute is completely released due to the brightness of the screen.

Moreover, the glass of Ally X uses Corning DXC coating. This material can reduce the reflection of the screen surface and the reduction of ambient light reflection, which means that players can easily see the game screen clearly even if they are outdoors during the day.

The use of new materials has also increased the hardness of the screen by more than 40%, and the scratch resistance has been significantly improved.

What you can’t see is the highlight

If the appearance upgrade is just an appetizer, then the invisible inside of the fuselage is the “black technology” of this Ally X update.

The heat dissipation of mobile devices is a common problem faced by global electronics manufacturers.

The more mobile and portable devices are pursued, the worse the heat dissipation effect will be due to the limitation of body size. The first generation Ally was reported to have severe heat and even hot hands after long-term use.

Even if your hands can bear it, the performance degradation caused by high temperature and the reduced game frame experience will eventually persuade players to quit.

Therefore, the internal cooling system of Ally

ASUS installed a thick and long zero-gravity heat pipe above the inside of the machine, using the tiny structure in it to improve heat transfer.

The new structure increases the capillary pressure of the pipe by more than 15%, allowing the device to maintain efficient heat dissipation when used at any angle.

The second step is to reconstruct the cooling fan. The new fan is thinner and has more space between each blade for air to pass. The thickness of 0.15mm increases the overall airflow by 10% and provides greater flow to the battery. space.

Moreover, both fans adopt a fluid bearing structure. No matter how the equipment is placed, this structure has very little friction during operation, ensuring that the fans can rotate at high speed for many years of use.

The periphery of the fan module is covered with a large dust-proof net. The less dust that enters, the better the cooling efficiency of the machine can be maintained and the less noise it will make after long-term use.

Finally, Ally

There are a total of 102 fins on the entire radiator, with a total area of ​​12173 mm² , which is equivalent to the size of two business cards.

The secret of a good handheld game console: taking both soft and hard into consideration

Better heat dissipation is ultimately for better performance. Ally X also has a lot of upgrades in its internal configuration.

The core of Ally X is still equipped with AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor , and the built-in integrated graphics is RDNA3 .

In addition, Ally X upgraded the previous generation 16GB LPDDR5-6400 memory to a higher-speed ultra-high frequency memory 24GB LPDDR5X-7500 .

The new memory capacity is larger and the transmission delay of game data is lower.

The original SSD hard drive capacity has also been upgraded from 512GB to 1TB , and the hard drive slot length has also been extended from M.2's 2230 to 2280 , making it easier to expand.

What makes Ally more playable is actually the upgrade of the I/O configuration (input/output).

The XG Mobile graphics card expansion dock interface on the top of the handheld device has been replaced with two Type-C interfaces: USB 4 and USB 3.2 Gen2. They support both PD 3.0 charging and DP 1.4 display output functions.

Simply put, Ally X can connect to more third-party graphics card docks and external devices.

More importantly, the battery capacity has been doubled from the previous generation’s 40Wh to 80Wh .

This is not only far superior to similar competing products, but also reflects ASUS's in-depth understanding of PC handheld consoles: portability and battery life.

The gaming platform experience requires not only strong hardware support, but also easy-to-use software collaboration.

The Ultron Intelligent Control Center SE that comes with ROG Ally

After a year of accumulation, ACSE has integrated rich game ecological functions:

  • Manage game library
  • Set game profile
  • Adjust body performance
  • Set gyroscope
  • Support high openness key mapping
  • Calibrate handle sensitivity
  • Manage software updates and more

External reconstruction, internal reorganization, hardware upgrade, software optimization.

It can be seen that ASUS attaches great importance to this ROG Ally X. When most competing products in the market choose the strategy of half-generation updates for small items such as screen, color, memory, etc., they have taken an extra half step.

These seemingly minor updates in appearance and configuration will actually bring huge improvements to players’ experience.

Small problems with the previous generation are like pebbles in shoes. Although it does no harm and does not affect use, it makes you feel uncomfortable.

The handle that doesn't fit your hand, the buttons that are always accidentally pressed, and the screen that gets hot after a while are all pebbles that are "not very harmful but full of insults".

ROG Ally X not only solves these annoying little problems one by one, but also leads the industry in invisible configuration and performance.

The configuration is top-notch, the battery life is top-notch, and so is the price.

I just hope that the updates to the major version of Ally X and the improvements in experience can be worthy of the "far ahead" price of $799.

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