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Is it time for an apology/compensation?

saffref
Level 9

First, let me be absolutely clear: I am no "hater". I do not regret purchasing the Ally and I still think it is a great handheld PC. It is unquestionably more powerful and has a much nicer display than the Deck, which alone makes it an excellent choice.

This being said, the microSD card reader issue has not been handled well by ASUS. There have been thousands of reports about it failing after a few days of use, sometimes rendering the SD card itself unusable, sometimes not. Yet there has been no official acknowledgement of this obvious design flaw. As far as I can tell from personal experience, if a user complains long and hard enough about it, ASUS will grudgingly accept to repair the device (which I guess means replacing the reader with a new one). However, the process to send the faulty unit back is so long (several weeks) and cumbersome that it essentially deters the customer from exercising their rights.

Furthermore, since ASUS has not communicated *anything* about the actual cause of the fault or the steps that can be taken to prevent it from reoccurring, the unfortunate customers who do RMA their Ally (at a huge inconvenience cost) have absolutely no guarantee that the repaired unit will fare any better, making this option even less attractive than it already is!

ASUS made the decision to include a microSD card reader in the Ally, presumably to compensate for the limited storage capacity of the SSD and because their main competitor included this functionality. This decision was poorly implemented and early adopters have found themselves with an additional storage option that is basically unusable, which is tantamount to false advertising. The company must be held accountable.

Accordingly, I believe that it is high time for ASUS to apologise, issue a statement acknowledging the microSD card reader problem and offer some other compensation than an impractical and quite possibly useless return policy.

I have suggested elsewhere on this forum that offering a free Ally high-wattage dock (marketed at 70€ in my region) to those customers who have reported a faulty microSD card reader would be a good commercial and PR move. Such a one-off settlement should be acceptable to many (myself included) as the additional USB port would also help alleviate the limited onboard storage problem when docked. It would also only cost ASUS some lost business to the tune of a measly 10% of the price of the Ally itself, which is no doubt cheaper than the work and parts of a repair (so the only reason they would refuse such an arrangement is if they hope that most users won't bother to RMA their faulty unit anyway).

Let's see if this post gets enough traction to make ASUS take my suggestion seriously!

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22 REPLIES 22

I don’t think the it’s running at 25/30w I never used this setting.

I put in 100s hours over multiple games on medium. I thought that’s why as I never sped up the fans to deal with the heat inside.

but if it was happening even at higher fan speed, least I know it wasn’t me.

BBB
Level 9

This problem is bigger than just micro-sd. This was source of many more problems. Every BIOS update made ASUS ROG Ally worse since they discovered that problem with overheating of micro-sd slot. They made this device so much worse only to hide that problem with micro-sd

1. Left fan is always louder than right fan by at least 2000-3000 rpm

2. Stereo sound no longer works because left speaker is 3x louder than right speaker. I bet that ASUS broke stereo sound just to hide that left fan is louder because of 2000+ higher rpm. It is hard to play any games that require stereo sound 

3. Broken manual settings when even in lowest 7 watt mode right fan is always blocked at 7000 rpm. 

I never used micro-sd in Ally. I don't care about this port. For me it can be permanently disabled because I use large SSD. I just want original BIOS 319 where I had quiet handheld with stereo speakers that works! When I bought Ally it was so quiet. Fans have 3000-4000 rpm in 20 watt mode. Stereo speakers was really good. Now they left fan have 7000 rpm and left speaker is 3x louder than right one. 

I just want replace my Ally to any other handheld. ASUS trying hide problem with micro-sd made this device much worse to everyone. Even for people like me who never used micro-sd port. I just want return this device and buy any other handheld that will support stereo sound 

The software upgrade experience has not been smooth for me either, and this is certainly a trend i have experienced even with the regular Armory Crate on the laptop.

I believe these issues are quite random as well. In my case, upgrading the firmware and rebooting or upgrading ACSE and rebooting resulted in the following issues on different occasions; Control Center overlay becoming unresponsive to touch input from screen, ACSE keeps losing the custom controller profiles saved on games (This is the most frustrating of the lot), and ACSE itself not auto-launching on startup. I've also had a mate who experienced 1 of the speakers being much louder than the other speaker after the update. In all cases, we resolved that by completely uninstalling ACSE and reinstalling it from MyAsus. It was a rather annoying process to diagnose and pray-this-fixes-it

There are other issues but I won't mention them here as they are not really terrible and I have already worked around them.

I have yet to see if these fan profiles are broken for me as well, but I will remember to post back here when I do. Currently, the fan noise from the 10/15 W mode does not bother me I know it's there. The 30W turbo mode tho - is super loud and I need to increase the speaker volume to drown the fan noise. In saying all this, as far as fan noise is concerned, they only really bother me when I am doing something that does not involve sound -  using the Ally as a Windows Desktop device, reading, etc. When I am gaming, and get into the game, I generally forget about the fan noise. 

I think there are several companion apps out there that you can use to set custom power and fan profiles, tho I have not personally used any of them and can't be sure that they would interfere with ACSE. Personally, I would prefer to just use one app, and that is ACSE, because I paid for this as a part of the Ally package, and expect it to work. I don' think this is asking much from Asus.

 

Yes, many software issues too, but I think that Microsoft, not ASUS, are to blame for most of these (Windows is such a mess). The most annoying problem I've got on that front is that, whenever I try to exit Steam (big picture mode) after playing any game, the portal hangs (have to kill it from the desktop).

saffref
Level 9

Hi ASUS, your silence is deafening... 😊 But more seriously, I keep seeing new reports of SD card readers failing, presumably long after the BIOS update that was supposed to fix it (for those for whom it had not failed after the first week). So?

Belzebuh
Level 7

Hi all, so I have a May unit, and after regular usage and playing off the SD, it failed today.. I never really cared about it. So heres what happened.


I had this issue inmediately after upgrade from 3.8.0.002 to 3.8.0.006 MCU firmware.. also known as 308 to 312 FW upgrade.
Keep in mind i have never get above 80° on my unit so heating is out of the question. So after the update:
-windows was acting up slow, AC and Command center unaccesible but worked after sd removal.
-when re inserting sd card it will get stuck again and have file explorer to crash. Unusable windows no sign of sd anywhere
-i always do restore points from windows so i reverted the update. This showed up my asus in previous state where the 312 update was pending.
-issue was still present but file explorer was not crashing and now the drive letter was showing but still unable to read it.
-So i removed device and driver from device manager. Installed the intel SD genesys reader driver 1.14 i think Asus comes with a later one 1.41 or so.
-still unable to read the card.
-event viewer in windows showed event 154 when accesing the sd.
-checked it up and was corruption related
-used my switch and confirmed showed as corrupted, reformatted.
-issue fixed. SD working again

So i think i will stay away from this firmware, this is the one supose to fix the triggers pressing, not sure why it showed until now. Could be cause i am from LATAM.

Hi all,

Just keeping the thread alive in the faint hope that ASUS will eventually do the right thing and accept some level of responsibility.

I just found that Gamers Nexus did an extensive review of the Ally but (wait for it) couldn't actually test the SD card because the reader on their unit didn't work out of the box. Now considering that some of their benchmarking involved heat-stressing the hardware, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that they simply performed the tests in the "wrong" order and fried it. But the bottom-line is: some of the most thorough hardware nerds on the Net ran into the same issue as we did, couldn't figure out exactly what the problem was, but confirmed beyond doubt that there is a severe design flaw in the Ally.

Link to the video below...

https://youtu.be/Na1y7DyDe2w?si=NmLF8uFb6CIj0QOX

Customers were informed more than 2 months ago that your unit can be sent back to be fixed if there's any issue. Is there is reason why you are determined to not do that and continue to post about lack of options? Sorry if you have missed that memo.

Are you having an issue, and would you like to get it fixed?

_____________________________________________________________
FPS, Racing, and VR Gamer / Tech Enthusiast / ROG Admin

The issue is that there is no evidence that sending in your Ally for repairs resolves the issue.  Plenty of people that have RMA'd have reported on Reddit that their SD cards/readers have failed shortly after being returned.  Asus has never reported that they have a definitive cause or fix for the issue. There has been a definite lack of communication on thsi issue since the memo you referenced.

Thanks for your reply. As I have explained before, there are two reasons why the RMA option is not acceptable.

One has been mentioned by others in their response: given the vagueness of the explanations as to the cause of the malfunction, we are not confident that the micro SD card reader won't fail again (and there are several testimonies that it actually does).

The other, which matters more to me but this is subjective, is the extreme inconvenience. I was told it would take a minimum of 5 weeks to get my unit fixed and returned to me. The Ally has been my default computer since I got it at launch. I am not only a gamer, I am also a developer and a scientist. Part of the appeal of the device (on which ASUS's marketing leaned heavily) is that, unlike the Deck, the Ally is a full-fledged PC. I have procured an external keyboard, an external monitor, a USB hub etc. to use it as such. Who is to compensate me for the weeks, possibly months of lost utilisation? And that's before considering the hassle of returning my Ally to its factory state, especially after replacing the SSD (partly in response to the lack of other storage brought about by the micro SD card reader malfunction).

Needless to say that the two issues compound each other: why incur such a major inconvenience for a very hypothetical/temporary fix?

This is why I suggested an alternative route to compensation, one that would be cheaper to ASUS than RMA and less problematic for the early adopters. I fail to understand why it is not being considered (the only reason I can think of is an unwillingness to acknowledge how widespread the issue is and a cynical hope that wronged customers will not exercise their right).