Lenovo is entering the handheld gaming market, and the Legion Go puts the ROG Ally to shame every time.
The success of the Nintendo Switch seems to have gotten many companies to realize how many people want to bring their favorite games on the go. Starting with the Steam Deck, the mobile PC market has grown exponentially, and Lenovo seems to be next.
Lenovo is well-known for gaming consoles (like the Legion Pro 7i that I reviewed earlier this year), and it’s bringing the heat to the mobile market with the Legion Go, which could be one of the best Steam Decks out there.
At this year’s IFA, we got to go hands-on with the Lenovo Legion Go, and we were very impressed with the device’s capabilities. More than performance, Lenovo has put a lot of focus on everything else, and it seems to be delivering something that makes a device like the Asus ROG Ally useless.
It has a large, bright display
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Lenovo Legion Go is that the display is bigger compared to players like the Steam Deck or the Asus ROG Ally. The panel measures 8.8 inches, and comes with an aspect ratio of 16:10. And since it has small bezels, it still manages to look stylish. However, the display is a big step up from the ROG Ally’s 7 inches, and the carrier Lenovo had on the display is bigger than what you’ll find on your Nintendo Switch, although it’s not that far off from what you get with the Steam Deck. Although this is a portable device, it is not something you can really take with you everywhere.
The show looks great, though. The leaves are green and green; combined with a brightness of 500 nits, you should be able to see the screen easily in bright light. Lenovo also claims 97% DCI-P3 coverage for this screen, so it’s ahead of most of its competitors (Asus ROG Ally claims 100% of sRGB, but usually that means you’ll be in 80% of DCI- P3). Combined with the large screen, this should create a good experience for playing video games and watching movies. And if you want to put this against other mobile devices, the idea here is Quad HD+ (2560×1600), and the refresh rate is 144Hz, so it is ahead of the likes of Steam Deck and ROG Ally.
One interesting thing we saw during our time that you won’t see in the final release is the cutout for the front camera, which the device does not have. Lenovo says this is due to where the panels are coming from, meaning it was probably a screen designed for a tablet being reused. But there will be no front or rear camera on the latter.
The right controller is a real mouse
Another big selling point of the Lenovo Legion Go is that the controller can be detached from the main body, and it includes a kickstand. This makes it very similar to the Nintendo Switch, especially the OLED version with its large kickstand. Of course, the controller includes several of the buttons you’d expect: the Hall Effect multi-stick, D-Pad, ABXY button array, shoulder and trigger buttons, as well as back buttons and a few dedicated buttons. on the Lenovo program (which did not work during our time).
However, there is a lot going on with the right manager. For starters, it has a touchpad, which you can use as a mouse and even click to navigate. I had some issues with it, but when it worked, it worked fine, and ran Windows 11 very well without using a mouse. On top of that, there’s a mouse wheel on the back of the controller, so you can move around naturally too.
This is probably the best first-person shooter you’ll get with one of these handhelds without having to connect a mouse and keyboard.
But the touchpad wasn’t good for gaming, that’s why Lenovo put the touch screen under the right controller, making it work the same way as a mouse. The Legion Go will come with a standard controller, which allows it to stand up and be used as a mouse. With the units we have to try, the base is just plastic, but the final units will have magnets, so the controller can stick to the bottom and be safe. When you open the mouse mode (with a switch under the controller), you have to turn the controller, which makes it more natural to hold, and the shoulder button reaches to the side, so you can press it. it in this entry if the left mouse click. There is another button below it on the right click.
While we wouldn’t use this for high-end competitive gaming, this is the best first-person shooter you’ll get with one of the handhelds without having to connect a mouse and keyboard. It’s really good and absolutely smart. Without a doubt, it’s something every designer should learn from.
Character design could be a little better
While we have to preface this by reiterating that the units aren’t the final models, we want to note that Legion Go doesn’t have the best graphics we’ve ever seen on a gaming handheld. We can put it above the Asus ROG Ally, but not at the level of the Ayaneo 2S. The Lenovo Legion Go is very light, considering its size, though, and that’s probably one of the reasons it feels a little lighter.
Despite the larger screen and more controllers, the Legion Go weighs 854g, more than the Ayaneo 2S, which weighs 667g, and the Asus ROG Ally, which weighs 608g. When I did, I was surprised by how it felt when I picked it up. Without the guides, it weighs 640g. Of course, it has features like a kickstand, which adds weight, but makes this a very portable device.
Performance should be similar to the Asus ROG Ally
We haven’t gotten around to in-depth testing, but we do know that it comes with the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme found in the Asus ROG Ally, so we have a good idea of what to expect. In our review of the ROG Ally, we often saw frames up to 120FPS internally Exotic Animals for normal gaming at 720p with high settings and AMD FSR enabled. A very rare game like Hades it ran continuously at 120FPS at 1080p. Of course, this may drop if you want to push the Legion Go’s Quad HD+ display, but it’s still very playable.
That’s one concern we have with this device. A Quad HD+ 144Hz display will not be fully utilized by this hardware. Ideally, you’ll be able to push Quad HD+ to playable frames in simple games that don’t require 3D rendering. And to use both Quad HD+ and 144Hz, it needs to be a actually simple game. You will have options to change the display mode and framerate, which should save power.
There is also the issue of cooling, which could be better here compared to Asus’s handsets. Considering the Legion Go is so big, it makes sense that it can control the temperature better than the ROG Ally, so you can see performance, especially during long games. Of course, we’ll reserve judgment on this until we’ve played the game for a long time.
Lenovo Legion Go might be the best Windows gaming console right now
Despite making some odd choices, the Lenovo Legion Go is arguably the best gaming PC we’ve seen in tech. The display is one of the best you’ll find on any handset, and the fact that it has intuitive controls and a good trackpad implementation tempts us to recommend it right away. It also comes in at the same price as the Asus ROG Ally, which makes the latter device a bit of a bargain in comparison.
Of course, you can expect a full review from XDA when the device launches later this year, so you can make your decision based on that.
Lenovo Legion Go
The Lenovo Legion Go might be one of the most impressive games out there, with a large 8.8-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It also has detachable controllers, including one with a trackpad that lets you use it as a mouse.
Check out Lenovo