ASUS has just launched its ROG Ally gaming handheld, and we've found out that the rumor mill has been pretty much spot-on in terms of spec leaks and the pricing of the devices.
ASUS confirmed that the Steam Deck rival will cost $599 for the base ROG Ally with AMD's Z1 processor, and the higher-tier model - with the Z1 Extreme CPU - is going to carry a price of $699.
You can now pre-order the ROG Ally of your choice, and we're told that shipping will start next month, on June 13, for the Ryzen Z1 Extreme model. The vanilla spin of the handheld will be out later, in Q3 of 2023 (so technically, that could be July).
The Z1 Extreme is an 8-core (16-thread) processor, and as we'd already been told, it boasts 8.6 Teraflops in terms of GPU performance courtesy of integrated RDNA 3 graphics. The base Z1 CPU is a 6-core (12-thread) chip offering 2.8 Teraflops for graphics performance. The Ryzen Z1 can boost up to 4.9GHz and the Z1 Extreme pushes a bit further to 5.1GHz.
Both ROG Ally models come with a 512GB PCIe SSD for storage, and 16GB of LPDDR5 (6400MHz) system memory.
It's a tasty piece of hardware, no doubt, although from what we've heard in the form of early buzz from reviewers, battery life could be a thorn in the user's side.
The top-end ROG Ally is priced very competitively, considering the on-the-go gaming performance it offers, though we were hoping that the base model would be pitched a bit lower than $599.
With the ROG Ally running Windows 11 - as opposed to the Steam Deck, which relies on SteamOS (Linux, with the Proton compatibility layer) - that'll be a temptation for a good number of folks. Furthermore, with Microsoft seemingly mulling the prospect of a handheld mode for its OS, that could be a big deal for ASUS in the future, too.