Forget Steam Deck OLED — ASUS ROG Ally is $399!! (It is even cheaper than on Cyber Monday and it crushes the competition)

I know we just finished talking about Cyber Monday, but here's a secret tip: Most deals come back for the holidays, and some drop even lower. It's already happened for the ASUS ROG Ally Z1, now $399.99 at Best Buy (it was on sale for $449, then dropped to $429 today, and now Best Buy marked it down even further to its lowest price ever), and even its beefier cousin with a stronger processor, the Z1 Extreme, is down to $599.99 at Best Buy, too. Perfect for handheld PC gaming, it's beating its rivals like Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch for value at this price.

ASUS ROG Ally — Ryzen Z1|$599now $399.99 at Best Buy

ASUS ROG Ally — Ryzen Z1 | was $599 now $399.99 at Best Buy

ASUS' beastly gaming handheld is aimed squarely at the Steam Deck but also makes a compelling case over the Nintendo Switch thanks to its overwhelming power, fast and responsive screen, and all the freedom and customization from this design and the use of Windows 11. Open-box, where available, is just $299.99.

Perfect for: Those who want to play practically every PC game imaginable while on the go, on a vivid and responsive 120Hz display

Avoid if: You're really just looking to play modern Nintendo Switch games (although you can absolutely legally emulate backups on the ROG Ally, if you want)

💰Price check: $599.99 at ASUS eShop

👀 Alternative: ROG Ally — Ryzen Z1 Extreme | was $699.99 now $599.99 at Best Buy

🔍Our review: Asus ROG Ally: So close to being the perfect gaming handheld


Coming from a Steam Deck fanatic..

The only thing I'd change is asking for a black edition. Night mode ROG Ally. (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

I can feel the anger from Steam Deck fans already, mostly because I'm one of them. Look, I get it. SteamOS is a fantastic operating system, and there's nothing wrong with Linux. However, no matter how many advancements it makes, it'll be years before it catches up to the sheer level of compatibility and stability that Windows 11 on the ASUS ROG Ally offers.

It's not just me who came around, as Jez Corden agreed that he was wrong about the ASUS ROG Ally since the initial launch impressions. However, the teething problems of running Windows on a handheld are undeniable — Microsoft has a long journey to catch up with Valve in that respect. Still, most gamers are interested in sheer processing power.

If I were to advise parents on a handheld gaming machine with a budget around the $400-450 mark, I'd push them toward this ROG Ally deal before the recently launched Steam Deck OLED. Sure, anyone can learn the ropes and make Valve's handheld do magical things behind the scenes, but your average teenager likely already knows how to use Windows if they want to tinker.

For those unfamiliar with the category, stick with the Z1 version at $499.99. If your recipient has explicitly dropped hints about the ROG Ally, chances are they're typically more interested in the Z1 Extreme version for $599.99. The former is fine for a first-time handheld gaming PC and will easily play modern games, and the latter 'Extreme' model is geared towards the most demanding games with more powerful components lurking under the hood.

Already bought one during Cyber Monday? Best Buy price matches during these promotional periods, and a My Best Buy membership allows you an extended returns window.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon to ask questions or share opinions.

With contributions from
  • wojtek
    I feel like I'm on a huge advert billboard... just when one though "phew, shaite with flood of commercials and affiliation links ended with dumb cyber-black-turkey-whatever" there is new wave 🤦‍♂️