ROG Ally X is back in black with a battery twice as big

Asus ROG Ally X announcement
Image: Asus.

Addressing some of the biggest complaints of the original model, the newly revealed ROG Ally X looks like a promising handheld gaming PC.

Although largely impressive, the original Ally wasn’t perfect. Its short battery life stood out, and the device felt a little awkward to hold. Asus has made several changes to rectify both issues and more.

The ROG Ally X doubles the battery size of its predecessor, bringing it up to 80Wh. Asus didn’t provide hour estimates in its press release, which makes sense given the variables involved. How long the battery lasts depends on the chosen power settings and the games you play.

Asus ROG Ally X handheld
Image: Asus.

As a result of the larger battery, the ROG Ally X weighs 678 grams, roughly 11% heavier than last year’s model. For comparison, a Steam Deck OLED (still not officially available in Australia) weighs 640g, while a Nintendo Switch hovers around 400g. It’s still much lighter than the behemoth 854-gram Lenovo Legion Go.

The larger battery is arguably the biggest and most substantial change to Asus’ handheld gaming device. Rather than a straight-up successor, the ROG Ally X is more of an incrementally improved 2.0 version. Some things have stayed the same, like the 1080p 120Hz LCD screen.

What else is different?

Although the device uses the same AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme chip, not everything is the same on the inside. There’s a RAM boost, for one: 24GB of DDR5-7500 memory, up from 16GB in the 2023 model.

Its internal storage is doubled, too. The ROG Ally X includes a 1TB SSD, allowing more space for games, many of which carry ever-increasing install sizes. Asus also claims it has redesigned the device’s motherboard, making it easier to upgrade storage with an M.2 2280 slot. Like the first Ally, the X also has a MicroSD card reader.

Asus ROG Ally X angles

According to Asus, the ROG Ally X runs as much as six degrees cooler courtesy of a new thermal design. Its fans are smaller with thinner blades, generating more airflow to cool the device.

Back in black, the ROG Ally X also has a revamped exterior. It’s more rounded and has deeper handles to help increase comfort. Plus, the buttons and control sticks sit at a comfier angle, as do the triggers.

Last year, the ROG Ally’s controls copped some flak for feeling a bit muddy. It seems Asus has listened, changing both the sticks and D-pad accordingly. The control sticks now use stiffer springs which are said to feel more like a conventional game controller and last longer. Meanwhile, the D-pad benefits from precision tweaks suited to eight-directional games like fighters and retro titles.

Instead of the XG Mobile port on the 2023 Ally, the X has two USB-C ports. One of which is Thunderbolt, so it can connect to more docks and external GPUs if you want to beef up your portable gaming rig.

ROG Ally X release date and price

In Australia, the ROG Ally X costs $1,599, a $300 increase over the original handheld gaming PC. It’s now available for pre-order through JB Hi-Fi and the Asus E-shop ahead of a 22 July launch date.

A 1.5 upgrade to the Armoury Crate SE software used by the Ally is also due out in July, which will refresh the user interface and add more functionality on top of the Windows 11 operating system.

Read more gaming news on GadgetGuy