I fully expected the Asus ROG Ally to shoot back up in price after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the opposite just happened to the Ryzen Z1 model. For whatever reason, you can now pick up the lower spec version of the gaming handheld for the same price as a 256GB Steam Deck LCD, I'd say it's worth it for the wider compatibility alone
You'll find the new Asus ROG Ally deal once again over at Best Buy, as the Ryzen Z1 edition is down to $399.99 (was $599.99). During Black Friday, the big box store brought the best gaming handheld contender down to $449.99, but it feels like the retailer realizes under $400 is a more appropriate price point. After all, it lacks the power of the Z1 Extreme version to outrun the Steam Deck in terms of frame rates, so it hasn't got raw performance on its side.
That said, the Asus ROG Ally Ryzen Z1 model still has plenty going for it, like its 120Hz 1080p display and Windows 11 OS. Arguably, the latter isn't ideal if you're looking for a more curated console experience, but it does mean you'll be able to treat the Ally like a proper PC and practically run anything your rig can. You can even use it a PlayStation Portal alternative, even though you'll need to use an app like Chaiki to get the controls working.
Asus ROG Ally (Ryzen Z1) |
$599.99 $399.99 at Best Buy
Save $200 - Now down to the same price as a 256GB Steam Deck, the lower spec version of the Asus ROG Ally is down to yet another record low price. It previously dropped to $449.99, but the extra $50 is sure to pique interest of some handheld fans struggling to decide between a Deck and an Ally.
Buy it if:
✅ You prefer to play with a controller
✅ You can play plugged in most of the time
✅ You want to play as many games as possible
Don't buy it if:
❌ You only play Steam games
❌ You want to boost fps further at 1080p
Should you buy the Asus ROG Ally Ryzen Z1 model?
The Asus ROG Ally is best known for being a powerful Steam Deck rival, but that accolade doesn't apply to all models. In case you've not realised, there are two versions of the Ally available in the US, and one of them has a less powerful AMD Ryzen Z1 APU within. In standard benchmarks, the vanilla Z1 is significantly slower than the Ryzen Z1 Extreme, and Valve's custom chip also pulls ahead of it in terms of frame rates.
So, why am I asking you to consider this Asus ROG Ally deal? Well, as someone who plays games across multiple storefronts using Windows handhelds, it's wonderful having access to every part of my PC library. Stores like Xbox Game Pass, Epic Game Store, and GOG are all accessible using Windows 11, and the ROG Ally will grant you easy access without tinkering. That Ryzen Z1 APU will also still perform pretty well in indie games and older adventures still sitting within your backlog, and as someone who saves a lot of those specifically for portable PC sessions, the lower spec chip holds up just fine.
It's also worth noting that for $399, you're not going to find a handheld with similar screen specs and build quality to this ROG Ally model. So, if you're looking for premium portable experience, opting for Asus' lower spec portable is actually worthwhile.