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Friday, May 24, 2024

I touched a prototype Asus ROG Ally X, and it felt higher

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On June 2nd, Asus will formally announce the ROG Ally X, a semi-sequel to its handheld gaming PC with a means larger battery. We exclusively revealed the broad strokes final Thursday, however I’ve now touched an early engineering pattern, too — and I’m happy to say it’s way more snug to carry.

Asus has made an entire bunch of ergonomic adjustments that make it virtually soften into my arms, within the precise means the unique didn’t. Whereas I nonetheless want the Steam Deck’s beefier grips and symmetrical thumbsticks, the Ally X might simply be my runner-up.

First, a disclaimer: this isn’t what I’d take into account a correct hands-on. Asus wouldn’t let me energy it on, play any video games, or present you any images. I couldn’t deliver the {old} ROG Ally into the room or use any instruments. The corporate even coated its ports with black electrical tape to maintain me from sleuthing an excessive amount of!

However I determine you’ll admire a dialogue of the design adjustments anyhow. Let’s get into it, lets?

The unique ROG Ally, beneath the unique Steam Deck.
Picture by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

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Think about a black ROG Ally — a black model of the white handheld you see within the picture above. That’s how the ROG Ally X seems from the entrance: similar large display screen bezels, similar shiny cowl glass, similar button format, similar speaker placement, virtually the identical precise form all through. However as a substitute of palm rests with bumpy corners, you now get easy curves.

Flip it over, and people curves dominate the hand-held’s rear grips, with no extra pointless edges. Asus now not makes you attempt to wrap your fingers round embedded variations of ROG’s trademark diagonal slash — although the iridescent foil slash design mark itself continues to be there.

The again of the unique ROG Ally, as a visible help. The Ally X again buttons and grips are fairly completely different.
Picture by Monica Chin / The Verge

The brand new again buttons now not embody the slash, both; they’ve been shrunk right down to small, virtually heart-shaped pebbles and moved additional away from the grips. The grips aren’t as beefy because the Steam Deck’s, however there’s sufficient to get my fingers round.

Add all of it collectively, and I can now decide up this handheld and maintain it above my head with none edges digging into my fingers or palms. It’s simpler to grip, and the again buttons now not get in the way in which — they’re there if I would like them, not if I don’t.

It’s not a light-weight handheld. The larger battery will make it a thicker and heavier one, and the engineering pattern positively had extra heft than the unique. However I wouldn’t say it felt heavy, both, because of the added consolation when holding it.

I gained’t guess at its weight, however I can offer you an informed guess at thickness: possibly a 3rd of an inch thicker at most.

How can I inform? I used my index finger as a ruler! The hand held’s “pill” portion is roughly as thick because the size of my index fingertip, and the grips add roughly the thickness of my index fingernail. Since my fingertip’s about an inch lengthy (27mm), and my fingernail’s about half an inch lengthy (13mm), the Ally X is roughly 1.5 inches and 40mm thick in whole. In the meantime, the unique ROG Ally is 1.27 inches (32mm) thick, and 0.83 inches (21mm) of that’s its pill area.

Whereas I discussed earlier that the Ally melted into my arms, I do really feel saying that could be a bit untimely: the engineering pattern I noticed was a wholly unfinished, easy, cheap-looking piano black, and Asus plans to stipple and texture its grips earlier than launch.

In order that’s the sculpt… what about the remaining? It’s fairly onerous to guage with out truly taking part in a sport, however right here’s what I feel I seen taking part in round:

  • The ABXY face buttons really feel like they’ve nudged barely southward, nearer to the analog stick, in order that the B button now barely intersects the grip
  • The face buttons are rather less rattle-y, although they nonetheless do pleasingly rattle
  • The joysticks now have a properly cheesy rubber coating within the center, just like the Steam Deck OLED — their throw felt barely tighter, too
  • The D-pad now has eight-way indicators and felt very barely floatier
  • The triggers possibly have a contact extra throw and nonetheless have a pleasant easy pull
  • There’s nonetheless simply two again buttons
  • It nonetheless makes use of Phillips head screws
  • You continue to get RGB LED ring lights across the sticks; I couldn’t inform in the event that they’d been added to the buttons, however they’re nonetheless double-shot
  • I might see by way of vent gaps within the chassis that there’s nonetheless a pair of followers inside

That’s all I used to be in a position to glean — but when Asus manages to nail consolation and battery life and not using a a lot increased price ticket, this’ll positively be a handheld to look at. Leaker @MysteryLupin claims it will cost $799 and include 1TB of storage, 24GB of RAM, and up to eight hours of battery life — but when I recall appropriately, Asus claimed the unique Ally had as much as eight hours of battery life, too.

I suppose we’ll discover out in June!

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