The Asus ROG Ally handheld gaming PC is officially on preorder today for $700, shipping June 13th — but there’s also a less expensive, less powerful model shipping in Q3 for $600 that reviewers haven’t yet been able to try.
Asus PR told us it wouldn’t have pricing and availability for that model today, so it’s a bit of a surprise to see official confirmation!
Better still, it looks like Asus isn’t skimping on storage, as it’ll come with a 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD for that price. (Leaked data suggested it’d have a 256GB SSD.)
Considering Valve charges $650 for its 512GB Steam Deck with a last-gen processor, that model is starting to look like a pretty good deal, particularly if you aren’t eager to replace a $400 Deck’s internal SSD — but I would strongly encourage you to wait for reviews of this second model.
First, I just reviewed the $700 ROG Ally for The Verge, and its problems have little to do with price / performance — they’re about battery life and portability, and we have no indication that Asus will improve those just by inserting a different chip with the same TDP. Second, no one outside Asus has gotten to test the vanilla Z1 model. (Even the employees at Asus who answered my technical questions haven’t touched it yet.)
Third, the longer you wait, the longer Asus and Microsoft will have to fix some of the software bugs I’ve seen. I warned you not to buy a Steam Deck at launch, too, but things were looking much better months later.
If you’ve got any questions about the ROG Ally that I didn’t answer in my review, please leave them in the comments there! I spent 3,300 words on it, and I still didn’t quite manage to cram all my findings in.