There are already dozens of PC gaming handhelds, including the Steam Deck and ASUS ROG Ally, but Lenovo thinks that there’s room for one more. Lenovo took to the IFA Berlin conference to introduce Legion Go, a portable Windows console that boasts a powerful CPU, ridiculously fast charging, a screen that’s totally overkill, and detachable controllers. The Legion Go launches this October with prices starting at $700.
Based on what we’ve seen, the Legion Go looks to be a mishmash of other handhelds. It runs on the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme CPU, which you’ll also find in ASUS’ ROG Ally handheld. Like the Steam Deck, the Legion Go uses integrated trackpads to make up for the lack of a mouse. And, of course, Lenovo copied the Nintendo Switch’s detachable “Joy-Con” controllers — this eliminates the need for a third-party gamepad when connecting the Legion Go to a TV or monitor. The Legion Go’s kickstand also appears to be inspired by Nintendo Switch.
This console is also notable for its internal hardware. Along with the Ryzen Z1 Extreme CPU, the Legion Go offers up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, a maximum 1TB of storage (plus up to 2TB of microSD storage), and support for Wi-Fi 6E. Its 8.8-inch IPS display boasts a QHD+ resolution (2560 x 1600), touchscreen functionality, and an impressive 144Hz refresh rate. And while its 49.2 Wh battery isn’t especially large, it can charge to 70% after just one hour. Interestingly, Legion Go has two USB-C ports to accommodate accessories while charging.
The Legion Go’s detachable controllers use Hall Effect joysticks, meaning that they are immune to stick drift. And because this console offers 6-axis gyro support, it should support tilt controls in compatible PC games (and emulated games).
However, we don’t expect an amazing battery life out of the Legion Go. Its QHD+ display resolution, which is overkill for an 8.8-inch screen, may eat away at the battery (even if you use a low refresh rate). Battery life was one of our main problems with the ASUS ROG Ally, which packs the same CPU as the Legion Go but uses a more modest screen. The fact that Legion Go runs Windows may also be a cause for concern, as many gamers insist that the Steam Deck’s custom Linux-based OS is better for portable gaming than Windows (though we don’t necessarily share this sentiment, and some users will prefer to use Windows for its increased software compatibility and flexibility).
Lenovo says that it will launch the Legion Go in October of 2023. Pricing starts at $700, which is costlier than the Steam Deck, but it’s in the same ballpark as the ASUS ROG Ally. Interestingly, the Legion Go console includes 3 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which allows you to download hundreds of PC and console games. Note that Lenovo is also showing off its Legion Glasses, a wearable display that can pair with the Legion Go.