Asus ROG Ally X: Upcoming Handheld Gaming PC with Battery, Memory, Storage, and Port Improvements

The next handheld gaming PC from Asus is coming soon, but don’t call it a next-gen Asus ROG Ally. That’s because the upcoming Asus ROG Ally X will have the same 7 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel, 120 Hz display with a variable refresh rate and the same AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor as the original model that launched last year.

But while Asus isn’t providing all of the details about the new model yet, the company says it will reveal more information during a launch event on June 2, 2024. For now, Asus has revealed that the Asus ROG Ally X will bring several important hardware upgrades.

Some of those improvements include:

  • Better battery life (thanks to a bigger battery with 30 to 40% more capacity)
  • Improved memory and storage
  • Port improvements
  • “Other physical changes”

In a short teaser video, Asus ROG senior content marketing manager Whitson Gordon made a motion with his hands when the subject of those “other physical changes” came up that suggest the changes could be related to the game controller.

As for memory improvements, the original Asus ROG Ally features 16GB of LPDDR5-6400 memory, so it sounds like the ROG Ally X will have more memory (although it’s unclear if all models will have additional memory of this is just an option). And while the current ROG Ally has an M.2 2230 slot for a user-replace SSD, the ROG Ally X is expected to have a longer M.2 slot, which should increase the number of SSDs that can be used with the system.

And while the original Asus ROG Ally has largely been well received as a portable gaming PC that offers excellent bang for the buck, it does seem to suffer from one significant hardware defect: the location of the microSD card reader. Asus put the removable storage slot directly above an exhaust vent, and many users have reported that this can cause the SD card reader to overheat. Sometimes this damages an SD card so badly that it can no longer be used, and sometimes it even cause the SD card reader itself to become permanently unusable.

Despite numerous reports about the SD card issue, Asus continues to insist that there’s no hardware defect. But the company does tell The Verge that it’s revised the motherboard in the ROG Ally X in a way moves the SD card reader (and some other components).

Asus is also planning to deliver a software update to the Armory Crate SE 1.5 software for its ROG Ally handhelds. Version 1.5 will bring new features including additional tabs for keeping games organized by game platform (Steam, Epic, GOG, etc), while also adding a new favorites tab for pinning games and making them easier to find.

There’s also a new List View option and a new Carousel View, as well as several new options for customizing the home screen/game launcher experience. And Armory Crate SE 1.5 also lets users share game profile templates with other users, including things like custom button mapping.

The ROG Ally X will most likely ship with the latest version of the ROG Armory Crate SE software, but it will also be available for the original ROG Ally handhelds, which Asus says it will continue to support.

And that makes sense, because it doesn’t sound like Asus is ready to discontinue the original ROG Ally just yet. The new ROG Ally X is more like a premium version of the existing handheld than a next-gen model. While the memory, storage, battery, and physical design changes could all lead to a better gaming experience, overall performance is likely to very similar since the new handheld has the exact same processor as the original.

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