Best Steam Deck and ROG Ally deals during Amazon Prime Day: Last chance to save big on the best gaming handhelds

Gaming handhelds have been a pretty big deal over the course of the last few years, but they are pretty pricey. Thankfully, there are plenty of Steam Deck deals and ROG Ally deals going on right now during the week of Prime Day to make these devices cost less. Prime Day is running right now (July 16 and 17), and as such discounts on gaming handhelds are already live. 

Of course, whenever Amazon Prime Day happens, other retailers also get in on the discount action. As such, I've checked all over the internet (not just Amazon) to find the very best gaming handheld discounts going on right now. Take a look. Time is running out though, so you'll have to act fast. 

🔥 Hottest deals 🔥

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ROG Ally Z1 (non-Extreme) — was $499.99 now $399.99 at Best Buy

This version of the ROG Ally features an AMD Z1 processor, which isn't quite as powerful as the Z1 Extreme model. As such, this Ally is best suited to cloud gaming. It features fantastic controls and a really good screen. 

✅Perfect for: People who want to play PC games in bed, on the couch, or on the go. 

❌Avoid it if: You'd rather go with the more powerful Z1 Extreme ROG Ally. 

💰Price check: $430.19 at Walmart

👀 Similar deal: $399.99 at Best Buy | $399.99 at ASUS | $399.99 at Antonline | $399.99 at Target

🔎Our expertise: ASUS ROG Ally review | ROG Ally guides

ROG Ally Z1 Extreme — was $649.99 now $549.99 at Best Buy

ROG Ally Z1 Extreme — was $649.99 now $549.99 at Best Buy

This more powerful Ally is my gaming handheld of choice. It runs Windows 11 and is basically just a small gaming computer with controllers attached to it. You can play any game from any PC gaming service on this device and it feels great in your hands. I also love the fantastic screen and controls. 

✅Perfect for: People who want to play PC games in bed, on the couch, or on the go. 

❌Avoid it if: You'd rather go with the more powerful Z1 Extreme ROG Ally. 

💰Price check: $649.99 at ASUS

🔎Our expertise: ASUS ROG Ally review | ROG Ally guides

🤔 Why Best Buy: My Best Buy memberships get free 2-day shipping, 60-day return windows, and more.

ASUS ROG Ally Z1 Extreme (open box)from $356.99 at Best Buy

ASUS ROG Ally Z1 Extreme (open box) from $356.99 at Best Buy

The lowest price is on the 'fair' condition category, but there are also steals to be had on higher tiers of open box Allys, all of which are cheaper than buying a new one of this spec. It's cheaper than a Steam Deck, and more powerful, too. 

Perfect for: Gaming on the go, Game Pass, an entry point into PC gaming without the hurdles (such as anticheat) presented by the Steam Deck. 

Avoid if: You're not happy buying an open box product. 

🔎Our expertise: ASUS ROG Ally review | ROG Ally guides

🤔 Why Best Buy: My Best Buy memberships get free 2-day shipping, 60-day return windows, and more.

ASUS ROG Ally X — $799.99 at Best Buy

ASUS ROG Ally X — $799.99 at Best Buy

ASUS is about to release this newer and improved ROG Ally X, which boasts longer battery life and increased SSD storage (1TB vs the original device's 512GB). It's a fantastic option for people who love the Ally, but want something a little better. Since it's new, there is no discount. However, preorders are currently open and the Ally X releases on July 22, 2024. 

✅Perfect for: People who love the ROG Ally, but want it to have larger battery life, more storage, and larger RAM capacity. 

❌Avoid it if: You're looking for a less expensive gaming handheld that you can get right now. This releases on July 22, 2024.

💰Price check: $799.99 at ASUS

🔎Our expertise: ASUS ROG Ally X hands-on preview | ROG Ally X vs Ally side-by-side comparison

🤔 Why Best Buy: My Best Buy memberships get free 2-day shipping, 60-day return windows, and more.

Lenovo Legion Go — $699.99now$598.99 at Amazon

Lenovo Legion Go — was $699.99 now $598.99 at Amazon

Of the PC gaming handhelds on the market today, the Legion Go is perhaps the most unique. Unlike it's competitors, it features a built-in kickstand and has detachable controllers, which means you can play games without having to hold this handheld in your hands. It also has a much larger 8.8-inch display compared to most other PC gaming handhelds which only have a 7-inch display. Just note that it doesn't support VRR, so some games aren't as smooth on it. 

✅Great for: People who want a larger screen and detachable controllers.

❌ Avoid if: You want a gaming handheld that supports VRR for smoother motion clarity. 

💰Price check: $599.99 at Walmart | $699.99 at Target | $749.99 at Best Buy 

👀 Alternative deal: $598.99 at Antonline

🔎Our Expertise: Legion Go review  | Legion Go guides

Steam Deck LCD — Starting at $399.00 at Steam

Steam Deck LCD — Starting at $399.00 at Steam

Valve's original LCD Steam Deck kicked off the PC gaming handheld revolution. It runs SteamOS rather than Windows and has a far simpler interface, which makes it easier to use this device like a gaming system rather than like a computer. However, the screen and resolution aren't nearly as nice as some other handhelds.

✅Great for: People who want to play their Steam library on a handheld device.

❌ Avoid if: You want a gaming handheld with better performance and a better display. 

💰Price check: 64GB - $405.00 at Amazon | 256GB - $459.99 at Amazon | 512GB - $470.00 at Amazon

🔎Our Expertise: Steam Deck review

Steam Deck OLED — Starting at $549.00 at Steam

Steam Deck OLED — Starting at $549.00 at Steam

This OLED panel elevates the original Steam Deck to a higher level and allows game imagery to look sharper and more vibrant, even though resolution is the same as the base model. As with the LCD version, this one runs SteamOS and has a simplified interface for accessing your Steam library of games. 

✅Great for: People who want a better display to look at when playing their Steam library.

❌ Avoid if: You'd rather save money with the LCD version. 

💰Price check: 512GB - $678.00 at Amazon | 1TB - $775.00 at Amazon

📖Additional info: Steam Deck guides

MSI Claw (Intel Core Ultra 5-135H w/ 512GB SSD) — was $699.99 now $599.99 at Best Buy

MSI Claw (Intel Core Ultra 5-135H w/ 512GB SSD) — was $699.99 now $599.99 at Best Buy

MSI Claw hasn't been nearly as successful as other gaming handhelds on this list and it has proven to have poorer performance as well. However, it's the only PC gaming handheld that currently utilizes an AI-boosting Intel Core Ultra processor. 

✅Perfect for: People who want gaming handheld with an AI-boosting Intel CPU. 

❌Avoid it if: You want better performance from a gaming handheld. 

💰Price check:  $799.99 at MSI (out of stock) | $699.99 at Target

🤔 Why Best Buy: My Best Buy memberships get free 2-day shipping, 60-day return windows, and more.

🔥The hottest Prime Day 2024 deals🔥

Gaming handhelds make it easier to play your games wherever you want

ROG Ally and Steam Deck are my top two PC gaming handheld recommendations.  (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

I've always been a big gaming handheld enthusiast starting back as a child when I first was given a Sega Game Gear for my birthday and my brothers got a Nintendo Game Boy for Christmas. I've owned several gaming handhelds since then. So when Valve announced the Steam Deck a few years back, I immediately ordered one for myself. Since then, I've also gotten my hands on the ROG Ally (Z1 Extreme), ROG Ally X (as seen in my ROG Ally X hands-on preview), and a Legion Go

What's great about ROG Ally?

The ROG Ally runs Windows 11, which gives you the freedom to use it a lot like a small gaming laptop right out of the box. (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

These are all fantastic devices that I can honestly recommend to different people depending on what they're looking for in a gaming handheld. Thankfully, many of these devices are on massive sales right now thanks to Amazon Prime Day.

But which PC gaming handheld do I recommend most during this Amazon Prime Day? They all have their own perks and drawbacks, but my absolute favorite gaming handheld is the ROG Ally Z1 Extreme, followed closely by the Steam Deck. The ROG Ally runs Windows 11, which means it's basically a tiny laptop with controllers attached. I can access any gaming service I want whether that be Xbox Game Pass, Epic Games,, Steam, or something else. 

The 7-inch LCD touchscreen isn't as good as an OLED would be, but it's very colorful and offers plenty of crisp detail to help you enjoy your games. Plus, the screen supports VRR (variable refresh rate), can reach a resolution of 1080p, and can reach a peak 120Hz refresh rate. This all works together to provide a very good viewing experience while playing your games. 

I do wish ROG Ally had touchpads like the Steam Deck does, but the joysticks work well overall. The controls are responsive and the device doesn't feel as clunky as some others on this list. I've even connected the ROG Ally to a docking station and then used a wireless keyboard and mouse to use the Ally like a normal laptop. If you have the right ROG Ally accessories, you can do a whole lot with this device.

ROG Ally comes with a program called Armoury Crate installed on it, and this software makes it easy to launch your library of games, check system performance, and adjust settings quickly. One of the buttons on this side of the screen even brings up a quick assistant menu so you can make adjustments to resolution, FPS limits, TDP (thermal design power), and more without having to close your game window. It's very convenient. 

I also love that ASUS ROG has done a fantastic job finding ways to update the handheld with new features. It's helped this gaming handheld become even better than it was when it launched. That said, the ROG Ally isn't perfect. As with most gaming handhelds, battery life only lasts for about an hour and a half on average and can run out even faster depending on settings. Additionally, the Ally only comes with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, so if you'd prefer more space you'll either have to upgrade the ROG Ally SSD or else purchase a microSD card separately.

What's so great about Steam Deck?

You can play many games from your Steam library on Steam Deck.  (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

So, what do I think about the Steam Deck? The Steam Deck isn't quite as powerful performance-wise as the ROG Ally and the LCD touchscreen doesn't look as good as the ROG Ally's LCD display. However, the Steam Deck LCD does cost less and is easier to navigate for people who solely want to use the Steam Deck as a gaming handheld rather than like a gaming laptop.

For instance, Valve made it so the Steam Deck runs SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system. People who don't like troubleshooting with Windows 11 really prefer this interface since it feels a lot like navigating through Steam itself. As such, it's easy to find games in your library or purchase new games when shopping at the Steam store. You can also go into the device's desktop mode if you want to use it like a computer or customize the handheld so that it can provide more functions. 

As an example, Steam Deck's desktop mode comes with Mozilla Firefox installed so you can surf the internet, but you can easily install Google Chrome on Steam Deck or other preferred web browsers. Just note that it does take a few more steps to get browsers set up on Steam Deck compared to the process on ROG Ally devices. Of course, you can also check out our guide if you want to learn how to install Windows 11 on Steam Deck.

Top Steam Deck recommendations

Another thing Steam Deck has going for it is that it's literally sold by Valve, so Steam games that have been "Verified" to work on Steam Deck are usually very well optimized for the handheld. The same can't always be said for other gaming handheld devices. But the downside is that the Steam Deck only reaches 1280 x 800 resolution and a peak 60Hz refresh rate, so game visuals on 3D games usually look really pixelated and sometimes murky compared to what they'll look like on ROG Ally or Legion Go. Even the Steam Deck OLED only reaches 800p with a 90Hz refresh rate, so while colors look better, details still aren't the best on Steam Deck. 

But if budget and ease of use are the top factors for you when looking for a gaming handheld than the Steam Deck will serve you very well.  

What's so great about Legion Go?

Legion Go has a built-in kickstand, an 8.8-inch display, and detachable controllers. (Image credit: Windows Central | Jez Corden)

When considering PC gaming handhelds, you really shouldn't overlook the more expensive Lenovo Legion Go. For one thing, the Legion Go is our own Jez Corden's gaming handheld of choice and it's $100 off right now. Outside of that, it is similar to ROG Ally since it also runs Windows 11. However, it's also the most unique of the main PC gaming handhelds on the market today because it takes after the Nintendo Switch in some ways. Plus, it offers the best touchscreen on a gaming handheld so far (with one biggish drawback). 

Top Legion Go recommendations

Rather than the typical 7-inch display, the Legion Go has a massive 8.8-inch IPS touchscreen with 2560 x 1600 resolution and a whopping 144Hz refresh rate, which makes it easier to appreciate game visuals. If it's harder for you to see on smaller screens, then the Legion Go might be a better choice for you. The one drawback here is that Legion Go does not support VRR, so motion clarity isn't as good as on ROG Ally. 

The controllers also detach and the right controller has the ability to go into FPS (first-person shooter) mode, which makes it behave like a mouse. I've used this FPS mode a few times on more mouse-focused games like Manor Lords or Age of Empires. Meanwhile, the Legion Go has a built-in kickstand so I can prop the device up and watch shows or play games that way.

Do I need a Prime membership for Prime Day?

Yes, a paid membership or 30-day free trial is required to access the full range of Prime Day benefits during this event. If you haven't signed up in the past, you'll be eligible for the free trial and can cancel afterward if you want to.

Amazon Prime: Free 30-day trial

Amazon Prime: Free 30-day trial

New members can enjoy exclusive Prime Day discounts for free and cancel anytime. After the trial, membership is $14.99/month plus tax. Includes access to games via Prime Gaming alongside Prime Video and Prime Music.

Rebecca Spear
Editor and Reviewer

Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's editors and reviewers with a focus on gaming handhelds, PC gaming, and laptops. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, ROG Ally, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of articles with everything from editorials, reviews, previews, features, previews, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming-related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market. You can follow her @rrspear on X (formerly Twitter).