Which Is Better to Buy: the ASUS ROG Ally Z1 or the Z1 Extreme?
With its faster performance than the Steam Deck, higher resolution display, and convenient access to the full version of Windows 11, the ASUS ROG Ally Z1 Extreme was swiftly dubbed a “Steam Deck killer” upon its release earlier this year.Ho...
With its faster performance than the Steam Deck, higher resolution display, and convenient access to the full version of Windows 11, the ASUS ROG Ally Z1 Extreme was swiftly dubbed a “Steam Deck killer” upon its release earlier this year.
However, buyers of a ROG Ally handheld now have to decide between the Z1 and the Z1 Extreme due to the company's release of a less powerful, less expensive model. However, what distinguishes them from each other, and is it truly significant which one you choose?
It definitely matters which one you buy, I can say with confidence after spending two weeks tinkering with both the Z1 and Z1 Extreme.
both cost and design.
Without looking for the tiny sticker on the bottom of the handheld, it would be difficult to distinguish between the Z1 and the Z1 Extreme when they were side by side. It's a good thing that ASUS kept the external design of both of these handhelds the same, as the design is excellent.
These are two well-made handhelds that are comfortable to hold for extended periods of time and don't feel overly heavy in the hand. It's also nice that it's white. You can move around the handheld without having to stretch your fingers uncomfortable thanks to the perfect placement of the joysticks, buttons, and triggers.
However, prices differ when the design remains the same. At $600, the ASUS ROG Ally Z1 is $100 less expensive than the Z1 Extreme, despite their similar appearances. Even though $100 is a big difference, if you're going to spend the cash on a gadget like this, I'd say go ahead and get the Z1 Extreme for the added performance.
The performance of the ROG Ally Z1 and Z1 Extreme.
This is actually the point at which the two devices' differences become apparent. You can obtain more cores on the CPU and GPU by spending the extra $100 for the Z1 Extreme. That may sound like ephemeral technobabble, but when it comes to playing AAA games like Starfield or Red Dead Redemption 2, it actually makes a difference. The Z1 Extreme gains a lot of performance from those additional cores.
Each device has an identical 1080p screen with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz and an identical internal SSD of 512GB. It is imperative to use the Z1 Extreme if you wish to maximize that refresh rate to any extent. (The Asus ROG Ally Z1 isn't a bad device by any means, but after reviewing it, I was a little disappointed with its capabilities. ( ).
Both devices have full access to Windows 11, although the Z1's slower processor makes games sluggish and navigation difficult at times. I was able to play those same games more consistently on the Z1 Extreme without needing to adjust the settings. For instance, I played Starfield at a largely consistent 30 frames per second on the Z1 Extreme, though there were occasional drops. That may not sound impressive, but the standard Z1 had trouble playing it at 15 frames per second, and I frequently had to wait for the system to respond to my commands. Although it experienced more drops than the Z1 Extreme, the Steam Deck, which operates in the middle of the Z1 and Z1 Extreme performance spectrum, was also able to run Starfield at about 30 frames per second. ( ).
Actually, these kinds of complaints are to be expected with handhelds of this type; none of them will provide the same performance that you would anticipate from a more costly desktop computer or even a gaming laptop. For those who prefer to play more games with fewer hiccups, the ASUS ROG Ally Z1 Extreme is unquestionably the superior option.
The Asus ROG Ally Z1 is still a good option, though, if all you intend to do is play simple independent games and don't mind the odd slower response time. Simply put, it's difficult to choose it over its marginally more costly sibling.
What's Your Reaction?