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ASUS thinks an Arm-based ROG Ally 'would be awesome to see'

It looks like an Arm-based PC handheld isn't off the table for ASUS.
By

Published onJune 5, 2024

ASUS ROG Ally X front view
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • An ASUS representative said that an Arm-based PC handheld “would be awesome to see.”
  • Switching from x64 to Arm chips would likely bring a substantial battery life boost.

Computex 2024 is effectively a launch party for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X chips. These Arm-based processors should greatly improve battery life on Windows PCs compared to Intel and AMD’s X64 chips, while performance is expected take a massive step up too.

We’ve seen Windows laptops, tablets, and convertibles running these Arm chips, but could we see an Arm-based Windows handheld then? ASUS just launched the AMD-powered ROG Ally X handheld, but a company executive certainly seems excited about the possibility of an Arm-based Ally. 

ASUS senior manager of content marketing Whitson Gordon told Android Authority:

I think that would be awesome to see. I can’t tell you definitively what will happen, but we’re considering everything. We’re seeing what’s happening there and we’re very excited about it. And, of course, our minds are like, ‘Could this be something we put in an Ally one day?’. We’re definitely asking those questions.

Gordon cautioned that ASUS didn’t have definitive answers to these questions yet, suggesting that you shouldn’t hold your breath just yet.

“We have to see where Qualcomm goes with that stuff. But nothing’s out of the realm of possibility yet,” he elaborated. 

The ups and downs of an Arm-based handheld PC

An Arm-powered handheld PC would likely offer much longer battery life than an otherwise identical x64-powered handheld, owing to the greater efficiency of Arm chips. This would be a huge boon for gamers who felt let down by the battery life of devices like the original ROG Ally and first-generation Steam Deck.

Would you buy a Snapdragon-powered PC handheld?

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This improved efficiency could also translate into weight savings and a thinner form factor as manufacturers could opt to use a smaller battery.  

One potential downside to using an Arm-based chip in a PC handheld is performance. Qualcomm has shown that its Snapdragon X processors can run a variety of X64 games at playable speeds via emulation, such as Baldur’s Gate 3, The Witcher 3, and Borderlands 3. However, emulation typically incurs a performance penalty compared to simply running software natively. So we’re curious to see whether an Arm-based handheld can keep up with an X64 machine in demanding games.

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