ROG Ally X FAQ: What exactly is this gaming handheld?

 ASUS ROG Ally X on shelf.
ASUS ROG Ally X on shelf.

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What is ROG Ally X?
ROG Ally X updates
Release date
Design and color
Specs
Price
UI and software
Battery life
ROG Ally X FAQ

In May 2024, John Kulinksi and Whitson Gordon of ROG Pulse officially announced the "next ROG Ally," officially called the ROG Ally X. While this isn't the next-gen ROG Ally 2 device that many people were hoping for, the Ally X will offer several improvements over the original gaming handheld.

So what exactly is this ROG Ally X about? I've gathered all of the information I could find to paint as complete a picture as possible for this upcoming gaming handheld. Let's dive in and discuss.

What is ROG Ally X?

BenQ beCreatus DP1310 Docking Station connected to ROG Ally.
BenQ beCreatus DP1310 Docking Station connected to ROG Ally.

What exactly is the ROG Ally X?

According to Asus ROG Senior Manager of Content Marketing Whitson Gordon, the ROG Ally X is not the next-gen ROG Ally 2. Rather, it's "the ROG Ally built for the enthusiasts that wanted a bit of X-tra goodies." He assures that this gaming handheld has several improvements over the original device including better battery, SSD, RAM, user interface (UI), and even some physical changes, which makes it "more than just a basic refresh."

ROG Ally X updates

May 9, 2024: ROG Ally X announced — During a stream, the ROG Pulse duo officially announced the ROG Ally X and stated that it will have several improvements over the original ROG Ally. We were also told to expect additional info for the ROG Ally X on June 2.

R1OG Ally X release date speculation

ROG Ally 2 reveal in the manner of Pokemon.
ROG Ally 2 reveal in the manner of Pokemon.

When will the ROG Ally X release?

An official ROG Ally X release date hasn't been revealed yet, however, we do know that ROG will provide additional information about the handheld on June 2. My guess is that the handheld will release this summer in June or July. After all, the original ROG Ally launched on June 15, 2023, so it's possible that the Ally X could launch on its one-year anniversary. Of course, there's also an argument for it releasing in November, just in time for the holidays.

ROG Ally X design and color speculation

ROG Ally X hidden in shot.
ROG Ally X hidden in shot.

Once more, we don't know for certain what design changes the ROG Ally X sports. However, it seems it will come in a darker casing than the original white one.

In the week leading up to the official ROG Ally X teaser announcement, the ROG Global X account posted a picture with several ROG Ally devices in it and encouraged people to "find'em all." The thing is, it seems a black gaming handheld — which we assume was the ROG Ally X — was actually hidden in plain sight as a Phil-Spencer-shelf type of Easter egg.

Outside of color variants, what other design changes can be expected? Considering how bad the microSD card overheating issue is with the original ROG Ally, I would assume that ROG has taken time to redesign the ROG Ally X, so this is no longer a problem. To be clear, Asus has said that the microSD card slot has been moved in order to make ROG Ally X's internals fit. But we won't know for certain that there aren't any overheating issues until the device launches. Outside of that, I assume the casing will be mostly the same, but with slight tweaks.

ROG Ally X specs: What we know

AMD Ryzen 1 processor
AMD Ryzen 1 processor

What are ROG Ally X specs?

So far, we know for sure that the ROG Ally X will have the same AMD Z1 Extreme processor as well as the same 7-inch LCD, 120Hz, VRR display that the original ROG Ally utilizes. Asus has also said that more RAM options than just 16GB will be available and that the M.2 2280 SSD slot will be larger in order to make it easier for owners to upgrade the SSD. Otherwise, we're waiting to hear more.

The ROG Pulse crew has also officially said that more ROG Ally X specs will be released on June 2. We'll update this section once more is revealed.

ROG Ally X price speculation

Image of the ASUS ROG Ally.
Image of the ASUS ROG Ally.

How much does ROG Ally X cost?

No official ROG Ally X price has been revealed yet. However, since the ROG Ally X has improvements over the original ROG Ally, it's safe to assume that it will cost a bit more than the base Z1 Extreme gaming handheld, which has an MSRP of $699.99.

That all said, ever since the ROG Ally Z1 Extreme and its non-Extreme counterpart launched, the two devices have frequently gone on sale for up to $200 off. As such, I'm expecting to see similar deals for the ROG Ally X as time goes on.

ROG Ally X UI and software speculation

ROG Pulse Armoury Crate X
ROG Pulse Armoury Crate X

The ROG Ally X will have an updated user interface called Armoury Crate SE 1.5. This software provides more customization options including:

  • Grid vs list view for gaming library

  • Horizontal or vertical scroll direction

  • Cover art alignment

  • Cover art size

  • A favorites list

  • A game store services tab that is separate from your game library tab

  • Create and share button mapping profiles

I personally hope that Armoury Crate SE 1.5 also incorporates more AMD Software features so we don't have to constantly hop back and forth between the two programs in order to get the device working the way we want it to. As I learned when writing our ROG Ally AFMF guide, some tools are currently only available in one software or the other, and sometimes you have to adjust settings in both to get things working properly.

ROG Ally X battery life speculation

ROG Ally playing Journey.
ROG Ally playing Journey.

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In an interview with The Verge, Asus SVP Shawn Yen said that the ROG Ally X offers a significant battery life increase. "We’re not looking at 30 to 40 percent more capacity,” he says. “We’re looking at way more than that.”

While testing for my ROG Ally review, I found that the battery typically only lasts about 1 hour and 38 minutes when playing games. So, a 40% increase from that is about 2 hours and 17 minutes. This means that we should expect the ROG Ally X to last even longer than that on average, based on what Yen has said.

Now, gaming handhelds and gaming laptops have historically not had great battery life. So I don't expect the ROG Ally X's battery to last super long, but if it can at least last three to five hours while playing games, then it will be a decent improvement.

ROG Ally X FAQ

Fallout 4 on ROG Ally.
Fallout 4 on ROG Ally.

We know you might be bursting with other ROG Ally X questions, so here is a list of FAQs to provide answers.

Will ROG Ally X be better than Steam Deck OLED?

Better is a very relative term here. Both the ROG Ally X and the Steam Deck OLED offer perks that the other doesn't have. The ROG Ally X is a Windows 11 device that has a more powerful processor and allows people to easily access various game services right out of the box. However, people also need to navigate through Windows and potentially do some troubleshooting from time to time. Additionally, the ROG Ally X just has a 7-inch, 120Hz LCD screen, but it is very colorful and has great contrast. Meanwhile, the Steam Deck OLED has a far superior display and a simpler interface to navigate, while also being less expensive than the original ROG Ally. However, the Steam Deck OLED isn't as powerful as the ROG Ally X.

In other words, if you value powerful performance and more freedom out of the box you'll want to go with ROG Ally X. If you care more about having an OLED display, simpler interface, and lower price point then you'll want the Steam Deck OLED.

Does the ROG Ally X have a microSD card overheating issue?

Asus has specifically stated that the ROG Ally X microSD card slot is in a different position from the original ROG Ally, which might prevent whatever issues were happening with the OG device. However, while speaking on the subject of the Ally X microSD card, Senior Product Manager Gabriel Meng said, "We don’t want people to think that’s what we had to do. We had to move things around the board to make them fit.”

Source: The Verge

Will the ROG Ally X have better battery life than ROG Ally?

Yes, Asus SVP Shawn Yen has specifically said that the ROG Ally X will have more than "30 to 40 percent more capacity" than the original ROG Ally.

Will ROG Ally X have better screen?

No. While it would be nice to see an ROG Ally X with an OLED screen, the ROG Ally X just has the same 7-inch LCD display as the original ROG Ally. However, this screen is very good, offering VRR and a max refresh rate of up to 120Hz, so it's not like it's a bad display.

What color is the ROG Ally X?

From what we've seen in teaser images, it looks like the ROG Ally X will have either a black or darker-hue casing of some kind. It's currently unclear if other color variants will also be offered.

Does the ROG Ally X have a better processor than the original ROG Ally?

No. The ROG Ally X has the same AMD Z1 Extreme SoC that the original ROG Ally has.

Will the cost of the original ROG Ally go down when the ROG Ally X launches?

It's hard to say. Asus has made it very clear that it will continue to support the original ROG Ally after the ROG Ally X releases, so it's not like they'll put the OG Ally on clearance. Still, the ROG Ally has frequently gone on sale, so it won't be surprising at all if that happens again when ROG Ally X launches.