Nobody should compromise on handheld gaming performance and for a good reason. Handheld gaming has become a trend after the tremendous success of the Nintendo Switch’s hybrid model that ushered in a renaissance for the play style. At long last, gamers can enjoy the complete console experience right in the palm of their hands. PC enthusiasts are also not far from the excitement, with the introduction of the Steam Deck, followed by the Asus ROG Ally, and now, the Lenovo Legion has rocked the market.
In this article, we will be breaking down the top 10 things you need to know about the Lenovo Legion Go – to determine whether it’s a worthy investment for your hard-earned money. However, before that, let’s find out what Lenovo Legion Go brings to your table.
A Brief Overview
When reflecting on our experience with the Lenovo Legion Go, only one word describes it— “Awesome.” We went hands-on with the recently released Windows 11 Lenovo handheld and thought it had the potential to beat the Asus ROG Ally and Steam Deck. Simply put, the Lenovo Legion Go is most similar to its cousin, Asus Rog Ally. It seems like a Steam Deck with a more prominent, broader display and more powerful features. Unlike ROG Ally, the Legion Go has undergone ambitious advancements in the form factor to fill the Achilles’ heel of all the already available handhelds.
It is designed for PC gamers with impressive specs and functionalities like robust performance, highly configurable buttons and controllers, crystal clear audio, and durable quality. It’s a game-changer, as it allows for long sessions without giving you strain or fatigue. Performance-wise, this handheld PC can handle a lot of titles, from the less demanding The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to resource-intensive 3D games like CyberPunk 2077. What’s more interesting is the convenience and portability that come with it, allowing you to juggle multiple games at once without a slowdown.
Overall, the Lenovo Legion Go is undeniably impressive. You might face some slowdown and slight freezing between the gameplay, but the game remains lag-free and smooth like butter during the whole session.
Top 10 Things About Lenovo Legion Go
Here are the key things you need to know about Lenovo Legion Go.
Multiple Modes, Complete Control
Say goodbye to traditional joysticks and enter the future with the Lenovo Legion Go’s TrueStrike Controllers. This handheld boasts an angled scroll wheel, spacious D-Pad controls, a Legion O-adorned power button with RGB illumination, customisable controls and triggers, a trackpad, and Hall Effect Joysticks engineered to thwart the notorious drift issue. These controllers redefine your gaming experience altogether.
At first glance, the controllers seem standard. It’s anchored by two sturdy Hall effect joysticks and responsive triggers. As a one-up on the Ally, the Lenovo Legion Go goes above and beyond by including an extra right trackpad for users who like a mouse-like simulation. While it may not equal the responsiveness of the Steam Deck’s pads, it is a pleasant addition for those disappointed by the lack of such a feature on ROG Ally.
Crafted with comfort, precision, and endurance in mind, the Legion Go offers the complete spectrum of control necessary to navigate seamlessly through two distinct gaming modes: handheld mode and detachable mode.
Handheld Mode: You can enjoy gaming on the go with the Handheld Mode, packing all the power of the Legion Go in one complete unit.
Detachable Mode: On the other hand, if you release the controllers and kick back the built-in kickstand to use the detachable mode. Detachable mode allows you to game for extended hours.
The first thing that will come to your mind while looking at Lenovo Legion Go is how large and heavy it is compared to its contenders. However, there are numerous obvious advantages to this architecture. Its excellent ventilation distinguishes it from smaller handhelds such as the ROG Ally, allowing longer gaming sessions without overheating, especially while tackling graphically and performance-intensive titles.
To counteract the lack of portability, Lenovo has thoughtfully added a kickstand. It integrates effortlessly into the handheld and has excellent build quality for both the stand and the hinges. This function lets you rest the Legion Go on a decently flat surface without needing a separate docking station. This way, you can transform your handheld into a multipurpose gaming device or use it as a desktop replacement.
As discussed earlier, the substantial side controllers are just outstanding. They serve a practical purpose—they are detachable, akin to the Nintendo Switch’s joy-cons. Like their counterparts, you can hold and use them in each hand and are propped up by the kickstand.
Another good thing? The convenient LED light ring surrounds each joystick to indicate the controller’s current power and connection status.
Several features distinguish the Lenovo Legion Go apart from its competitors. One of them is its gorgeous display. Its 8.8-inch IPS display outperforms the 7-inch displays featured in the Ally, Steam Deck, and Nintendo Switch OLED. Under the hood, the Legion Go has a slightly taller 16:10 aspect ratio and a 144Hz refresh rate, an improvement over the Ally’s 120Hz screen and more than double the refresh rate of both the Steam Deck and the Switch OLED.
The screen on the Legion Go supports 2,560 x 1,600 resolution and 500 nits of brightness. We have played Cyberpunk 2077, Marvel’s Spider-Man on the Legion Go, and loved how much detail and visual clarity it brings. The 144 HZ and 60Hz refresh rates are enough for a buttery-smooth experience.
Hold on! There’s more to it. It comes with a surprisingly high 97% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, which shows how brilliant and vivid colours pop on the screen. It supports an excellent touchscreen, too, which perfectly aligns with the well-optimised OS.
Another unconventional feature of Lenovo Legion Go is its FPS mode, which introduces a unique control method. In this mode, you can hold the left controller conventionally while the suitable controller is placed in a small plastic disk (magnetically attached), resembling an upright joystick but functioning like a mouse. Glide it across the desk, and your cursor or camera moves like a mouse. Interestingly, the perplexing button positions noted earlier occur in FPS mode.
The shoulder buttons align perfectly with your trigger finger, and the M3 and Y3 buttons, which were prone to accidental taps in handheld mode, now sit directly under your thumb, making them much more accessible. It combines the best of both worlds—with a control stick in the left hand instead of the more limiting WASD keys and the precision of a mouse in the right. It’s a somewhat ingenious approach.
More Memory and Storage
The Legion Go includes 16 Gigabytes of LPDDR5X RAM and Gen4 PCIe storage. You can also quickly expand your storage space using the micro-SD card slot that supports up to 2TB cards. This ample storage capacity allows you to fit all your favourite games in one place without deleting your old loved titles.
Easier Access to Popular Game Launchers
Legion Space is the Legion Go’s “game-house” of the SteamOS UI (User Interface). This gaming handheld, like the ROG Ally and AyaNeo 2S, allows users to connect to game launchers such as Steam, GoG, Xbox, Epic Games, etc. You can click the first option, “Popular gaming platforms,” and quickly select your desired platform from the list.
The connection process is simple: a virtual on-screen keyboard is used to enter login information via touchscreen controls. However, for beginners, Legion Space opens every time you turn on your system. You can minimise the window via the Legion Space button on the left controller. This can be frustrating and even worse; you can’t just stop it from opening automatically in Windows settings or stop it manually.
Aside from this, the application offers a fair amount of customisation settings. This includes an RGB around the control sticks and console key mapping. As discussed earlier, this RGB light showcases the battery and performance status. Press the settings button on the suitable controller to open a quick settings pane like an abridged version of Legion Space. It lets you launch games, swap refresh rates, switch between four thermal and two OS power modes, and adjust resolution across three presets.
Specs and Performance
Performance is the critical point that puts Lenovo Legion first in the list of the best handheld devices available. The device is designed with AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme, AMD RDNA Graphics, and 16 GB of memory to seamlessly handle a spectrum of games, from 16-bit indie titles to the most demanding AAA releases. You may face longer load times on the more resource-intensive games, but the gameplay experience is highly fluid, with excellent graphics. When you plunge into your chosen title, your interaction with the handheld will pay off beautifully.
Objectively, this handheld can run graphically demanding games at 1200p at 45 frames a second, which is more impressive. That’s far, far better than what the Nintendo Switch can offer. However, it stinks that you need clarification on both in-console and in-game settings to get decent resolution and frame rates.
Overall, The Lenovo Legion Go is a powerful Windows-based gaming device that can run games locally, or gamers can take advantage of online gaming with cloud streaming. The device is also capable of Andriod emulation.
From the cooling point of view, the Legion Go features an advanced thermal design that ensures optimal cooling and constant airflow. This colling solution consists of ultra-thin heatsink fins to dissipate heat and fans to maintain the airflow. An expansive heat pipe and vapour chamber work with the fan to dissipate heat from the CPU and GPU. The vapour chamber absorbs heat and distributes it to the heat pipe. In addition to automatic thermal control, the Legion GO has user-controlled cooling modes. These modes enable users to change the fan speed and other parameters to prioritise performance or silence according to their needs.
Windows 11 Interface
Just like ROG Ally, the Legion Go is a Windows 11 device. This fact has both strengths and weaknesses. Since it is a small Windows machine, it can run various Windows-compatible applications. In addition, you can make the most out of this functionality by connecting it to top-tier monitors, wireless keyboards, and mice. The device’s versatility surpasses the Steam Deck, which runs on SteamOS. Thus, the Windows interface is a compelling sell point for those who want to install games and applications of their taste.
The bad news here is that the Windows 11 operating system is exclusively designed for PC functionality; the Legion Go can sometimes feel like a less intuitive, somewhat cumbersome handheld PC rather than an effortlessly streamlined gaming device. Like ROG ALLY, the support and features are limited outside the Legion Space.
Nothing can be more overwhelming if the battery sucks in the middle of the game. Lenovo still still needs to address this issue in its devices. But the Legion Go can make the most of battery power compared to its counterparts. It packs a 49.2-watt-hour battery, roughly 25 per cent larger than the Steam Deck or Rog Ally battery.
On the settings overlay, you’ll find options to adjust performance, thermal power control, resolution control, and refresh rates. However, these features are to customise your PC gaming. You can tweak more options to manage the battery performance. Windows 11 is the battery vampire in the Legion Go.
Thus, this is where the Legion Go may need to catch up. What’s the appeal of spending several pounds on a handheld device when you have to stick with the power outlet? Under the hood, a 2560X1600 144HZ screen is useless if you have to lower the resolution and refresh rates to save battery life for the next few minutes.
Lenovo has its head in the right place regarding versatility and innovation. The Lenovo’s Legion Go is a perfect example of this. It is an impressive addition to the ‘best’ handheld PC game consoles and stands out among the top-notch Lenovo gaming products. The large screen does a great job, and the design is quite astonishing, letting you play from wherever you want. The Legion Space is easier to navigate and provides your PC Gaming library access. Likewise, the detachable controllers, the kickstand, FPS mode, ample storage space, massive RAM, and high-end graphics are all genuine value-adds.
However, like any other tech device, many of the excellent features of Legion Go hold it back from must-buy status. If you are willing to compromise on Windows 11 less intuitive interface, battery power, and UI jank, the Lenovo Legion is the finest choice.
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