YouTube channel iFixit highlights that the ASUS ROG Ally may have even more advantages over the “undisputed champion of PC-based gaming handhelds”, Valve’s Steam Deck. While it’s well documented that the Windows device can be more performant, it appears that ease of repair may also be in its favor.
It only takes the removal of 6 Philips screws and some clips to get access to the insides of the ASUS ROG Ally, as seen in the recent video by iFixit. Once face-to-face with the internal components, they commend the easily removable 40Whr battery, which is a “direct contrast” to the glued in battery as found in the Steam Deck. They also praise the ROG Ally for how easy it is to remove the M2 drive, which can be replaced with a larger 1TB or 2TB drive if you’re hungry for some extra space.
Unlike other well-known handhelds on the market, the thumbsticks are easier to fix too, as it only takes the removal of two screws and a ribbon cable to separate them. However, iFixit explain that because they are built similarly to the thumbsticks found in the Nintendo Switch, they are susceptible to issues like drift.
Further examination of the handheld reveals the easy process of removing the fans, which can be taken out separately if needing to be replaced, or the entire cooling system can be removed easily in one go. The only major issue iFixit faced was with the screen, which is attached with a lot of adhesive and may be tricky to remove.
Although the ASUS ROG Ally wins over its rival in ease of repairability, the absence of official support for replaceable parts from ASUS means the handheld does not yet reign supreme over its Steam Deck rival. There’s still no word on when, if ever, ASUS plans to introduce replacement parts, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.
Check out our Asus ROG Ally review for a deep dive into the workings of the handheld, and see if it’s the right PC gaming handheld for you.
Feature image source: iFixit.