ASUS May Launch A Revised ROG Ally Handheld With This Key Change

hero asus rog ally

ASUS' ROG Ally handheld doesn't have the absolute best specifications in any area compared to the exploding market of handheld PC game systems. However, it has arguably the best balance of features and price, and that's why we feel it is the most credible challenger to the Steam Deck so far. Versus the Steam Deck OLED, you trade some battery life and inputs for significantly improved performance and a 120-Hz VRR screen.

There is one major issue with the current version of the Ally, though. We've written about it a few times before; it affected our unit, and killed an expensive Samsung PRO MicroSD card. We're talking of course about the well-known design flaw where ASUS placed the Ally's MicroSD card reader directly above one of the exhaust vents. The end result is a quick heat death for MicroSD cards, and eventually for the reader itself.

ASUS says that it has resolved this problem in extant Ally systems through a combination of firmware and software updates that adjust fan speeds to protect the card reader at the cost of extra noise and slightly reduced battery life. We haven't been able to put those claims to the test, though, because our Ally unit already has a dead MicroSD card slot. If you're in this position, make sure to contact ASUS, because the company has extended the warranty on the ROG Ally system and affected MicroSD cards to two years.

rog ally header 2023

Videocardz notes that ASUS consistently refers to the ROG Ally as the "ROG Ally (2023)", which is indeed interesting. The site then goes on to say that it has been told that ASUS will be releasing a revised ROG Ally this year. This new "2024" version of the ROG Ally is not expected to bring major hardware changes or a new SoC. So saying, the "ROG Ally (2024)" will likely be fundamentally the same machine, just with minor tweaks.

One of those minor tweaks, according to Videocardz, will be a hardware fix for the MicroSD design flaw. There's no word on exactly what ASUS will be doing with the MicroSD card slot to insulate it from the hot exhaust, but literal insulation could go a long way toward protecting the slot and the cards inside. It would be nice to see some tweaks to other things, such as an increased memory transfer rate akin to what Valve did when it released the Steam Deck OLED (that jumped the memory clock from 5.5 GT/s to 6.4 GT/s, matching the Ally.)

Videocardz says that it expects to hear more about the revised ROG Ally in the coming weeks. We'll probably be informed if any such information comes out officially, so keep checking back in with us, too.