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The Lenovo Legion Go is a device unlike any other. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing will depend heavily on your needs and overall preferences. At its core, it is yet another — admittedly quite alluring — handheld gaming PC, but it does stand out for a few of its incredibly original features.
First of all, it sports a Nintendo Switch-like design with detachable controllers. That, needless to say, is quite a rarity. There’s even a built-in kickstand on the back which mimics the one found on the OLED Switch — a nifty addition, no doubt. It also has two USB-C ports (as opposed to just one), hall effect thumbsticks and triggers, a jaw-dropping display, microSD card support (up to 2TB), and more programmable buttons than you can shake a stick at.
On paper, it seems like one heck of a package. In reality, though, its specs and features don’t quite coalesce all that nicely — but more on that down below.
Even though it might not be to everyone’s taste, it sure does warrant a closer look (not to mention a head-to-head comparison with its biggest rivals).
There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s begin!
Lenovo Legion Go — Hardware Breakdown
Before delving any deeper into the nitty-gritty of it all, we first ought to cover the basics:
|Lenovo Legion Go|
|APU||AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme [780M iGPU]; Up to 30W|
|RAM||16GB 7500Mhz LPDDR5X|
Up to 1 TB PCle 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD 
Up to 2TB microSD support
|Screen||8.8″ QHD+ (2560×1600) 16:10, IPS LCD, 97% DCI-P3, 500 nits, 144Hz, Touch — no Variable Refresh Rate|
|I/O||2 x USB-C 4 (40Gbps; Thunderbolt 3, DP 1.4, PD 3.0), 1x 3.5mm jack|
|Size||Base module w/ Controllers attached: 299 x 131 x 41mm / 11.8 x 5.15 x 1.61″|
|Weight||Base “module:” 640g [1.41lb]; Base w/ controllers: 854g[ 1.88lb]|
|Battery Capacity||49.2 Wh, Rapid Charge Express|
|Operating System||Windows 11 w/ Lenovo’s “proprietary” Legion Space|
|Controls||Standard layout including hall effect analog triggers and thumbsticks, View button, Menu button, Legion L&R menu button, 6x assignable grip buttons, Controller base for FPS Mode (included in the box), trackpad on the right controller|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Price||$699 / €799 / £699|
|Release Date||October 31st, 2023|
The Lenovo Legion Go is a veritable beast as far as specs are concerned. Then again, as a package, it raises more questions than answers. The inclusion of a high-res display on a portable gaming device simply doesn’t make sense. Now, to be fair, if you scale it down to 800p you will get a very nice-looking, crisp image due to integer scaling, so it’s not like there’s no upside whatsoever.
For those who are tech savvy, this probably is a tremendous boon as it allows for a greater level of control.
Its weight, too, warrants a mention. A handheld gaming PC that weighs nearly a kilo? That’s unheard of — and rightfully so. The Steam Deck already feels a bit too heavy at 669 grams (for longer gaming sessions), with the ROG Ally being ever so slightly less taxing on one’s arms (608g).
Given its size and weight, the Lenovo Legion Go is pretty much the least portable gaming device on the market. Now, granted, it might just be what some folks are looking for. It’s good to have a wide gamut of options to choose from, but it still feels like Lenovo missed the mark with this one.
Lenovo Legion Go — A Bespoke FPS Mode
If there’s one “saving grace,” then it’s probably the so-called FPS Mode and the bespoke magnetic puck which attaches magnetically to the right controller, effectively turning it into a vertical mouse for first-person shooters.
On the one hand, it’s a really cool concept and, supposedly, it works a lot better than one would expect. On the other, it’s hard not to question the use-case itself. It’s just not something the vast majority of users will ever really use or leverage. It’s a neat “party trick,” and while it is an innovation worth talking about, it’s nonetheless a bit too gimmicky.
Make sure to watch Dave2D’s video to see it in action:
Lenovo Legion Go vs ASUS ROG Ally — Which Is Better?
They’re somewhat hard to compare which, frankly, is quite a strange thing to say given the fact that they’re more or less identical in regards to their spec sheets. The ROG Ally is, one could argue, the more well-rounded device; it’s also been out for longer which means that it’s much easier to source third-party accessories and docks and whatnot. It also sports a variable refresh rate display which, needless to say, makes a much bigger difference in daily use.
As far as performance is concerned, the Legion Go, on paper, should be the faster device, but only by the slimmest of margins. The fact that it’ll come imbued with 7500Mhz LPDDR5X RAM will make a difference, but it’s not going to be a true game-changer of any kind.
The fact that they’re so similar might also be a good thing — you know what you’re getting performance-wise so the only thing left for you to decide is which form factor you prefer more. The ROG Ally is undeniably the better pick for most given its portable nature, but if you fancy yourself a much more versatile device, then the Legion Go will be a worthwhile investment — especially if you’re looking to play first-person shooters (and are willing to adapt to a makeshift vertical mouse).
The Ally’s variable refresh rate display and more conventional form factor means that it’s still the superior choice for the vast majority of users.
Lenovo Legion Go vs Steam Deck — Which Is Better?
This, essentially, is an unfair comparison. First of all, they’re vastly different in regards to pricing, and much of the same holds true for performance as well. The Legion Go, at its higher TDPs, will perform much better than the Steam Deck, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the better pick.
The Steam Deck is still, to this day, our go-to recommendation for anyone looking to buy a handheld gaming PC. Its price-to-performance ratio is absolutely insane, and much of the same holds true for its sheer malleability. You can tinker with it in a myriad of different ways, and it doesn’t lack third-party developer support either. It is, in every way, a spectacular device, and the fact that it can be bought for a “measly” $400 — or even less, if you buy it refurbished — simply boggles the mind.
It’s not the most powerful thing in the world, granted, but it sure does provide the most value. The Lenovo Legion Go is obviously the better pick if you need as much power as possible — not to mention Windows 11 out-of-the-box — but its design-related peculiarities do make it a bit less universally alluring.
Is the Lenovo Legion Go Worth It?
It is, but only if you’re in the market for such a wholly unique device. It’s not going to be any more powerful than the ROG Ally, nor as affordable and well-rounded as Valve’s Steam Deck — the only handheld gaming PC on the market that offers a console-like experience.
The Lenovo Legion Go has many unique strengths but also a few peculiar weaknesses as well — some of which may be deemed as dealbreakers, depending on your needs and preferences. It’s a niche device, really, which means it’s much harder to recommend than any of its competitors.
That doesn’t make it a bad investment, mind you, but it’s just not going to make as big an impact as Lenovo is probably hoping for.
It’s large, chunky, and packed with certain features the vast majority of users probably won’t ever use. The ROG Ally, for instance, is a slightly smaller but much more powerful Steam Deck with a brighter, faster display. That’s an easy thing to market and advertise and, frankly, it should exist — for those who have a bit more money to spend and want a Windows-based handheld device with a lot more graphics oomph.
The Legion Go, however, takes that formula and twists it in numerous different ways, some of which, one could argue, aren’t all that enticing. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most unique handheld gaming PC on the market. But, again, its very uniqueness makes it less universally appealing. It’s not the smallest of the bunch nor is it the lightest. It’s not as affordable as the Steam Deck nor is it as streamlined and frictionless UX-wise.
All three of these devices can co-exist, and we’re glad beyond measure for that being the case. The more the merrier, after all, and a bit of competition will not only drive prices down but also push everyone involved to both iterate and innovate. It’s a good time to be a gamer, of that much we’re certain.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Lenovo Legion Go — which is slated to be released on October 31st — we would suggest you take a look at the following Reddit thread. It’s a veritable treasure trove of information (which was sourced from a Lenovo representative, no less).