The upcoming Asus ROG Ally is a handheld gaming PC from a company that knows how to making gaming PCs. While Asus is hardly the first company to enter this increasingly crowded space, there’s are plenty of reasons to think that the ROG Ally will the first model to be truly competitive with Valve’s Steam Deck by offering significantly better performance and what could possibly be only a slightly higher price when it arrives (and Asus says it could arrive pretty soon).

Asus still hasn’t officially confirmed many of the ROG Ally’s specs, but a series of recent leaks are giving us a better idea of what to expect. Update: AMD has confirmed the processor options that will be available, and says that Asus will unveil pricing and availability details on May 11, 2023. 

A leaked product slide has been making the rounds* and, if it’s accurate, it suggests that the ROG Ally will feature:

  • Display: 7 inch FHD screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate, 7ms response time and up to 500 nits brightness
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen Z1 or Ryzen Z1 Extreme
  • Memory: 16GB LPDDR5 dual-channel
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen 4 M.2 2230 SSD + microSD card slot with UHS-II support
  • Cooling: ROG Intelligent cooling with dual fans
  • Audio: Dolby Atmos Sound
  • Weight: 608 grams
  • Software: Windows 11 (with support for Steam, Xbox, Epic, GOG, EA, and other game platforms), Armory Crate SE for performance profiles, control panel overlay, and customizable key mapping

While the slide doesn’t tell us much about that custom Ryzen Z1 processor, we can look elsewhere for clues. VideoCardz reports that the ROG Ally recently passed through the FCC website, letting us know that the device’s model numbers will include RC71L and RC71X. And product listings for a device with that model number indicate that it will have an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U processor.

It’s possible that information is just flat out wrong. But it’s also possible that the Ryzen Z1 chip is a modified version of the unreleased Ryzen 7 7840U chip, which is expected to be a 15-28 watt processor with 8 Zen 4 CPU cores, 16 threads, and AMD Radeon 780M graphics (with 12 RDNA 3 compute units).

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s likely that the custom chip in the ROG Ally will be a version of that upcoming chip that’s optimized for use in a gaming handheld, possibly with power and performance tuning to help it fit into a compact design while offering strong graphics performance.

By comparison, Valve’s Steam Deck has a custom AMD chip that’s code-named “Aerith,” and which includes 4 Zen 2 CPU cores, 8 threads, and 8 RDNA 2 compute units. The Steam Deck sells for between $399 and $649 and ships with Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS software pre-installed, although users can also install Windows on the system.

Meanwhile a number of smaller companies including AYA, GPD, and One Netbook have launched handheld gaming PCs this year that feature Ryzen 7 6800U chips with 8 Zen 3+ CPU cores and 12 RDNA 2 compute units. But while those models tend to deliver stronger performance than the Steam Deck, they also tend to carry price tags around $1,000 or higher.

*As best I can tell, the product slide was originally leaked by @papyatop, but it has since been deleted.

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 16,201 other subscribers

Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Note that the deck’s custom apu is truely custom, as in everything is tuned to deliver maximum bandwidth to the gpu, to the detriment of the cpu etc. It’s closer to a console apu than a laptop cpu.

    So while I expect the rog to pull ahead for stuff like emulation, the gap might not be that large for big games, and may even disappoint people who thought about 1080p 60hz high settings. Honestly 720p is just fine for 7 inches, those marketing numbers races are kinda absurd, just like phones with 120 Mpixel cameras that get obliterated by my 16 Mpixel fuji x-e1…

  2. If this truly has 8 cores, then give me a dock and a port to hook up to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and I’ll probably open my wallet, Asus.
    Oh, and give me the ability to install linux, pretty please with a cherry on top.

    1. Well, this does have a port for those XG docks which will do just that and process your graphics too, if you feel like spending a lot of money on the dock.

  3. The asus cannot match the Steam Deck for software experience though. Using windows has a number of hurdles from the OS itself, drivers and also windows games running via Steam have a number of keyboard/mouse centric issues that Valve work around with SteamOS.

    1. Exactly. I had an Aya Neo, and as a windows machine, I barely used it. On a whim I tried HoloISO on it to see how SteamOS played. 24 hours later I had my Neo listed on eBay and a Steam Deck ordered. The windows handheld experience is tragic.

  4. Brad, I think you’re right. I think the AMD chip isn’t really a custom model, but probably just a 7840U that has a specific TDP configuration to meet Asus’ requirements.

    It’s probably just being considered a unique SKU because my bet is that this gives AMD the ability to offer a specific bin level of chips to this product that might not have been viable for this chip otherwise, because they can be assured that it will be used in a power configuration that can be handled by a lower-bin supply of chips.

    1. And it can give Asus boasting rights by claiming exclusivity and having a “bespoke” chip.
      And if it a lower-bin option, it’s likely cheaper for Asus since as you mention, it lets AMD sell off chips it might have otherwise have had to toss as rejects for not handling higher power profiles.

      1. AMD is definitely in the business of doing that, just like they did with the Steam Deck.

        I don’t know if this ended up being true, but the early speculation with the Steam Deck’s custom AMD chip was that AMD didn’t really make the chip for Valve, but rather Microsoft was initially in talks with AMD about a chip for a handheld Xbox product, and they just claimed that the chip was made bespoke for Valve.

        The speculation about it being from Microsoft came from the fact that the chip was known to the public before the Steam Deck was announced. It made sense back then, because it wasn’t far off from the family of chips being used for the Xbox.