ASUS Reveals ROG Ally X Gaming Handheld Specs, Throws A Bone To Non-X Owners

ASUS ROG Ally X gaming handheld on a blue background with a grid underneath the worlds, "Level up."
After teasing a refresh to its ROG Ally gaming handheld, ASUS at Computex officially unveiled the ROG Ally X, an upgraded console with more storage, faster RAM, longer battery life, and better cooling, to name some of the highlights. What hasn't changed is the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, though that was never a pain point for gamers (not directly, anyway).

Key to the refresh is an upgraded chassis. Combined with new fans that push up to 24% more air through the handheld, ASUS claims the display panel is up to 6C cooler to the touch. Interestingly, the fans are actually 23% smaller, but by cutting the thickness of the fan blades in half and adding a pair of new tunnels in the fan housing to direct hot air up and out towards a third exhaust vent, ASUS says thermals are better all around compared to the regular (read: non-X) ROG Ally.

While not discussed in the press release, ASUS tweaked the motherboard layout and shuffled the location of the ports, including the microSD card reader. This is important because the original handheld's card reader was prone to overheating and killing microSD cards, which prompted ASUS to expand its warranty to cover the microSD card reader for two years, along with offering to reimburse users with damaged cards.

Render of the ASUS ROG Ally X gaming handheld sitting at an angle on a desk.

ASUS also told The Verge that the ROG Ally X employs a new card reader that's different from the one in the original handheld. Between the beefed up cooling scheme and redesigned motherboard layout, we're optimistic that ASUS fixed the problem for good. We'll see.

Getting to the other upgrades, the ROG Ally X sports 24GB of LPDDR5X-7500 RAM and a 1TB M.2 2280 solid state drive. For reference, the non-X model sports 16GB of LPDDR5-6400 RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, so those are sizable bumps. It's also worth noting that the APU shares is video RAM (VRAM) with the system RAM, so we'll be curious to see how the capacity and speed increases affect gaming performance.

In addition to doubling up the storage, ASUS also doubled the battery capacity to 80Wh. ASUS stopped short of making any specific battery life claims, but given that the run time was our chief complaint with the ROG Ally, this is a welcome enhancement.

Other changes include a new black colorway; slightly rearranged buttons, sticks, and triggers aimed at improved ergonomics; more durable joysticks that are now rated for 5 million cycles; a more precise eight-direction D-pad; two USB-C ports (one of which replaces the XG Mobile port and one of which is Thunderbolt-compatible); and a more centered weight distribution that ASUS claims makes the 70 grams of additional heft "feel lighter than the [handheld's] 678-gram weight would imply, ensuring comfortable play and portability for all."

The ROG Ally X is launching at $799.99 MSRP. ASUS says it's available to preorder now, though the product page on its website has a "notify me" button.

As for owners of the original ROG Ally, ASUS apparently announced (via TechPowerUp) that it is extending the warranty in North America to two years, which presumably covers the entire console (as it already extended the microSD card reader warranty to two years previously).