Meet the ROG Ally, the perfect handheld companion for any gamer

May 11, 2023 Written by:ROG Article

The ROG Ally handheld game system on a blue background surrounded by light rays.

The future is here. The Republic of Gamers is proud to announce the ROG Ally, a brand-new Windows 11 gaming handheld featuring a 7-inch 1080p screen, up to 512GB of NVMe storage, and enough power to play the latest AAA games at smooth framerates. Sporting an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme APU, the Ally has incredible graphics performance, rivalling modern living room consoles while weighing in at a lightweight 608 grams. 

The Ally ushers in a new generation of handheld gaming consoles. Handhelds have always been a frustratingly compromised experience, with lower resolution graphics, lower framerates, and clunky controls — they allowed you to play games on the go, but it was never the same as the living room. In fact, many titles were handheld-friendly spinoffs of their console counterparts, rather than the same game. Now, all that changes: the Ally lets you play all your games, from any platform, wherever you go. Welcome to a new age of portable gaming.

Intuitive control

Two hands holding an ROG Ally game system on the edge of a boat over the water.

A handheld needs to feel great in your hands — it's right there in the name. We spent years iterating, adjusting, and perfecting the ROG Ally’s shape until we were satisfied we had a design that felt just right for your thumbs, fingers, and palms. The Ally features a tried-and-true Xbox-style asymmetrical stick layout, giving gamers something familiar and within easy reach. All of the buttons sport a flat face design, providing a more comfortable feel with distinct tactile feedback. The D-pad features a dish shape, giving flexibility to gamers who need to make multiple quick inputs without taking their thumbs off the joysticks for too long. 

In addition to the standard left and right triggers and shoulder buttons, the Ally also sports two paddles on the back of the device. By default, these act as modifiers like the function key on a laptop, giving you easy shortcuts for taking screenshots, capturing footage, and more — but you can also remap them to act as other buttons on the controller. The buttons and D-Pad on the ROG Ally are rated for more than 10 million presses, ensuring the Ally will keep on gaming for years to come. We even added a gryo sensor for motion controls in supported games.

To ensure an ergonomic fit, the top of the chassis isn’t completely flat – it has a subtle 2-degree slant to more comfortably contour to the angle of your wrists, while a 14-degree slant in the corners provides the perfect resting place for your palms. Engraved lines on the front of the machine keep the Ally secure in your grip with just a bit of ROG flair, while the mini triangle texture on the rear ensures a firm grip at all times. 

Most impressive is the light weight of the device. We put a ton of work into refining the chassis to bring the weight down to just 608 grams (1.34 lbs), making the Ally feel incredibly light both in your hands and in your bag.

Incredible immersion

A man lying on the floor with the ROG Ally game console in his hands.

The Ally is the smallest Windows device ROG has ever built, yet we’ve worked hard to make it one of our most immersive gaming devices ever. It all starts with the screen. Framed in the centre of its chassis, the Ally sports a sizeable 7-inch, 1080p resolution screen. That combination creates an insane pixel density of 314ppi, more than double the pixel density of a 32-inch 4K display. In addition to the excellent image clarity and sharpness, a high refresh rate 120Hz panel with FreeSync Premium guarantees that motion is smooth and tear-free with minimal latency, keeping you on target even in the fastest paced games. 

As a handheld device, the Ally is designed to game anywhere you go, even outside. That’s why we pushed the panel brightness to 500 nits, allowing you to see the action on screen clearly even in bright and challenging scenarios. Whether you’re in the backyard, at the beach, or somewhere in between, glare won’t stop your game. We also used Gorilla Glass Victus, Corning’s best-in-class protection from nicks and scratches during everyday use. 

The Ally also has another trick up its sleeve: Corning’s DXC coating. In addition to minimizing fingerprints and adding to surface hardness of the glass, DXC minimizes the intensity of specular reflections, meaning your gameplay stays crisp and punchy even in the presence of direct light. And with dual front-facing speakers featuring Smart Amp technology and Dolby Atmos, you'll feel surrounded by lifelike audio every time you drop onto the battlefield. No matter where you like to game, the Ally is the perfect companion.

Groundbreaking performance

A chart showing the Z1 Extreme Ally's graphics performance at 8.6 teraflops compared to other handhelds.

At the beating heart of the Ally is the AMD Ryzen Z1 series of APUs. With up to 8 cores, 16 threads, and 8.6 teraflops of graphics performance, these chips are built on the 4 nanometre Zen 4 architecture. Featuring the latest RDNA 3 graphics engine as well as full support for AMD’s incredible upscaling technologies like Radeon Super Resolution (RSR) and FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), the Z1 series delivers incredible performance and the best power efficiency available in a handheld or console today. The top-end Ryzen Z1 Extreme rivals the graphics power of modern living room consoles, providing that coveted 60 frame per second level of AAA performance that’s been missing in handhelds for so long. 

A powerful processor isn’t all it takes to make a powerful gaming machine. The Ally also features 16GB of ultra-high speed LDPPR5 6400Mhz memory to keep the APU fed with data, allowing the silicon to nimbly jump from task to task and keep the machine feeling snappy in game and on the Windows desktop. That fast memory is supported by high-speed storage, in the form of both a dedicated M.2 2230 PCIe Gen 4 drive, as well as a UHS-II microSD card slot. The microSD slot is a quick and easy way to expand your game library as large as you need it, without sacrificing load times. In fact, during internal testing, we found that the PCIe Gen 4 drive and microSD drive performed within 4% of each other, giving you a seamless experience wherever you install your games. 

ROG Gaming Charger Dock_Scenario photo_01

The ROG Ally can be used as a standalone handheld, achieving excellent framerates in story-driven single-player AAA titles. But with the right accessories, it can also become so much more. Pair it with the ROG Gaming Charger Dock to charge and output video to your TV at the same time, allowing you to pair multiple controllers for couch co-op and multiplayer. Games like FIFA 23, Moving Out, and Street Fighter V all run at over 60 FPS for a party that never stops. Or connect the Ally to the ROG XG Mobile suite of external GPUs for ultra high-end performance and enough I/O for a monitor, mouse and keyboard. With the power of up to a GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, you’ll be able to play AAA games at 4K with ray tracing and DLSS3, or dominate the battlefield in esports titles with super high refresh rates for pro-level precision. 

Space-age cooling

A woman holding the ROG Ally in her hands, showing a rear view of the console.

Every ROG device needs to deliver maximum performance without sacrificing thermals and creating excess noise. The Ally builds on years of expertise in cutting-edge thermal systems, specifically for machines with all of the hardware behind the screen. We took the lessons we learned from the groundbreaking ROG Mothership in 2019 and the Flow Z13 in 2021 to make the Ally’s cooling the best it could be. The result is something we call our Zero Gravity thermal system – which, thanks to its quiet operation, also provides zero distractions from what’s truly important: your games. 

Why “Zero Gravity”? Because we want the Ally to be used in any orientation, without losing  performance. Traditional laptop cooling solutions are designed to be used just one way, lying flat on a table. To keep cooling performance high on the Ally, we used a heatpipe with a special wick and extra powdered copper, both of which create extra capillary pressure that allows fluid to continue cycling when held upside down. The Ally’s dual fan design features fluid bearings, giving them less friction even when used at non-traditional angles. Using two fans also allows each to run at a lower RPM, keeping fan noise down compared to single-fan handhelds. Ultra-thin heatsink fins maximize surface area for cooling despite the restricted dimensions, and dust filters on both air intakes will keep the Ally breathing easily for years to come. The Ally is a monument to years of ROG Intelligent cooling expertise. 

Custom-built control software

An ROG Ally on a colourful background showing the Armoury Crate SE Game Library on screen.

The Ally doesn’t just feature brand new hardware – we've also developed a Special Edition of Armoury Crate just for the Ally, giving you a way to seamlessly launch games, manage your libraries, and change settings on-the-fly.  

Windows gaming has a massive advantage over other consoles: the variety of choice. We have so many platforms, publishers, and indie games to choose from, rather than being limited to one storefront. But this splits up your game library among multiple applications, and with Armoury Crate SE, we wanted to fix that. When you turn the Ally on, you’ll immediately see a screen showcasing every game you have installed on the system, no matter what store or launcher it’s from. The program will regularly scan your system for newly-installed titles, letting you shop for the best deals without needing to worry about how to launch that new game. 

Armoury Crate SE also offers three distinct control modes while you’re navigating the device. You can quickly switch between the standard Gamepad mode recognized and optimized for many games, touch control for titles that support it, or you can map the Ally’s buttons to mouse and keyboard functions for games that require that input scheme. And when you aren’t gaming, you can use the thumbsticks to navigate the Windows desktop with a traditional cursor, or use Windows’ built in touchscreen support if you prefer. 

Armoury Crate SE also supports deep customization. Except for a few critical buttons, nearly every button on the Ally is remappable to suit your exact taste. Thanks to the rear paddles, every button can also have two functions mapped to it, giving you effectively double the amount of possible actions without adding any extra hardware to the device.  

Customization isn’t limited to button mapping, either. You can easily adjust the joystick’s deadzone and range, as well as the trigger range. Whether you prefer a long pull or a hair trigger, Armoury Crate SE can make the Ally uniquely yours. Aura Sync is also fully customizable on the Ally, with dual light rings around both triggers. Customize the color, lighting pattern, and sync up with Aura-supported games for an even more immersive experience.  

A screenshot of the ROG Ally showing the Command Center on the left side.

You don’t have to open Armoury Crate every time you want to adjust a setting, though. We put the most important options front and centre with the Ally’s new Command Center. Available both on the Windows desktop and in-game with the touch of a button, the Command Center allows you to seamlessly change performance modes, enable an FPS limit, or increase performance with RSR on-the-fly. 

Thanks to the power of Windows 11, the Ally can do anything a PC can: game, stream, and even work from one ultraportable device. The Ally supports Windows Hello thanks to a fingerprint reader in the power button, allowing for fast and secure login to your machine. Windows Defender keeps you safe from all sorts of cyberthreats with built-in malware and virus protection, and parental controls allow you to easily set up screen time limits if the Ally’s final destination is in your child’s hands. 

Pre-order your Ally today

The ROG Ally with the Ryzen Z1 Extreme comes with 512GB of storage and will be available in the UK for £699.99. It comes bundled with a 90-day Xbox Game Pass Ultimate code for free, giving you even more value and letting you hit the ground running with hundreds of titles to try the moment you unbox your Ally.