The AOKZOE A1 Pro represents a handheld gaming PC reminiscent of the Asus ROG Ally. It boasts the same impressive AMD processor and a larger screen, all while shedding some of the limitations associated with Asus products. Does this device qualify as the ultimate gaming handheld? Or should it be dubbed the ultimate Windows-powered handheld?
Prior to the debut of the Steam Deck, the market offered several handheld rigs, albeit hampered by subpar integrated graphics. However, the introduction of the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme and Ryzen 7 7840U APU twins marked a significant improvement. This transformation was initially demonstrated by the Asus ROG Ally, although it was limited to 1080p. The AOKZOE A1 Pro takes it a step further, offering a 1200p experience thanks to its 16:10 aspect ratio display.
At its core, the A1 Pro relies on the AMD Ryzen 7 7840U chip, which is essentially the same as the Z1 Extreme in the ROG Ally, featuring eight Zen 4 processor cores clocked at speeds up to 5.1GHz. More notably, it houses the RDNA 3-based Radeon 780M integrated GPU, delivering enhanced graphics capabilities.
This device offers configurations of up to 64GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 2TB of SSD storage, though the 16GB/1TB specification appears to be the more practical choice. However, as of our latest information, AOKZOE is currently shipping 32GB of RAM with the base $999 version, which is significantly higher than the $699 price point for the ROG Ally.
Unfortunately, the extra cost doesn’t translate into a superior handheld interface. The OneXConsole software overlay is reasonably effective, offering convenient shortcuts for tasks like enabling Radeon Super Resolution and adjusting the APU’s power limits. However, its game library lacks the style and functionality found in Asus’s Armory Crate or Steam’s Big Picture mode. Interestingly, Valve’s Big Picture mode and the OneXConsole clash when set to boot into Big Picture mode for that authentic Steam Deck experience.
Nevertheless, the hardware of the A1 Pro is outstanding, and arguably, that’s what holds greater significance. Although the A1 Pro is bulkier compared to both the Steam Deck and the Ally, it doesn’t feel excessively unwieldy when held. This added size contributes to better thermal management for the AMD APU compared to the Ally.
Furthermore, it boasts a range of buttons surrounding its 8-inch display, including the standard start and select buttons, one dedicated to accessing the Windows desktop, and another for bringing up the on-screen keyboard or enabling the left thumbstick to function as a mouse input.
Speaking of the thumbsticks, they offer a smooth and accurate experience. However, the trigger buttons have an unusual placement, and the D-pad produces a clicking sound when it resets after you press it in a specific direction.
In terms of in-game performance, it closely mirrors that of the ROG Ally. There might be a slight difference of a couple of frames per second, but in practical terms, you’ll enjoy excellent gaming performance, especially if you stick to 1080p medium settings.
Another noteworthy aspect of the A1 Pro is its battery life. In contrast to the Ally’s 40Wh battery, which barely lasts an hour, the AOKZOE’s 65Wh battery provides a generous 90 minutes of gaming time. Even when you lower the power to 15W, you can still enjoy nearly two hours and 40 minutes of gameplay.
However, the major drawback here is the substantial price tag. If you’re in search of an affordable handheld gaming PC, the Steam Deck’s 64GB and 256GB options might be tempting, while the ROG Ally offers additional AMD performance. Paying an extra $300 for a larger screen, double the RAM, and some extra USB ports is a considerable leap. While the A1 Pro is an impressive device, the price difference is difficult to justify.