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A (very) hot potato It's been a while since Asus faced some bad publicity, but the Taiwanese company now has another problem to deal with, this one involving the ROG Ally. Asus has confirmed that the handheld Steam Deck rival is experiencing issues with its SD card reader due to the excessive amount of heat the device produces.
Despite initially starting life as an April Fool's joke, the ROG Ally was hailed as a smaller, lighter, and more powerful alternative to the Steam Deck prior to its release. Reviews have ranged from average to impressive, but one of the big complaints relates to the SD card reader, which some users have reported either isn't working at all, is unreliable, or is showing extremely slow read/write speeds.
Now, Asus has confirmed that under "certain thermal stress conditions," the SD card reader may malfunction.
Asus community manager MasterC wrote in a forum post that a software update is in the works that will fine-tune the default and minimum fan speeds on the ROG Ally to improve its reliability while (hopefully) keeping fan noise in check.
Anyone experiencing the microSD card reader problem in the ROG Ally should contact email@example.com if they're in the US or their local Asus customer service if they're outside of the States. The company says it will RMA the unit, inspect it for any issues, and repair it – don't expect to receive a brand-new Ally.
The ROG Ally comes with Windows 11, a 7-inch FHD 120Hz screen, 16GB of LPDDR5 memory, and AMD's hexacore Ryzen Z1 or octacore Z1 Extreme SOCs with RDNA 3 graphics. It can also be set to run between 10 and 30 watts, and offers 512GB of internal storage.
It appears packing all that hardware into such a small form factor is causing some thermal issues for the ROG Ally, and that isn't going to help it compete with the incredibly popular Steam Deck. A cheaper ($599) version of the $699 Ally arrives in the third quarter, which should have had its heat issues addressed.
The year so far hasn't been the best for Asus' public image. It was tarnished by the warranty policy fiasco for AM5 motherboards after the Ryzen burnout problems, and there have been issues with the company's routers.